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(Saturday, November 19th)
Final Score: Iowa 31, Purdue 21
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Hawkeyes' star wideout Marvin McNutt had nine catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, as Iowa notched a 31-21 win over Purdue in a Big Ten battle at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Marcus Coker powered the ground game with 139 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries for the Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten), who finally tallied their first road win of the year. James Vandenberg completed 22-of-32 passes for 273 yards and three TDs on the day.
With the loss, the Boilermakers (5-6, 3-4) will need to beat Indiana in Bloomington next weekend in order to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2007. Robert Marve had a tough day under center, as he completed only 7-of-18 passes for 95 yards and two interceptions, and he also fumbled at the goal line late in regulation.
Iowa marched 80 yards down the field on its opening possession, and Vandenberg connected with McNutt for a 26-yard scoring strike to give the Hawkeyes an early 7-0 lead.
Purdue answered with a 13-play, 63-yard drive, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Caleb TerBush to Gabe Holmes midway through the first quarter.
However, the Hawkeyes responded with another 80-yard drive, and this time Vandenberg found C.J. Fiedorowicz for a five-yard touchdown pass to put Iowa on top, 14-7 in the final seconds of the first quarter.
Purdue tied the game with a big defensive play at the 4:49 mark of the second quarter. Dwayne Beckford and Will Lucas teamed up to sack Vandenberg deep in Iowa territory, knocking the ball loose, and Brandon Taylor scooped it up in the end zone for a touchdown.
The back-and-forth battle continued with Coker scoring on a two-yard run in the final minute of the first half to send the Hawkeyes into intermission with a 21-14 advantage.
Iowa began to take control in the second half. Mike Meyer gave the Hawkeyes a 24-14 lead with a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter, marking the only points of the period.
McNutt's second touchdown grab came on a quick slant near midfield on the first play of the fourth quarter. The senior wideout juggled the ball, hauled it in and then made several defenders miss on his way to a 51-yard TD catch that gave the Hawkeyes a 31-14 advantage.
Purdue would not go quietly, though, as Ralph Bolden scored on an 11-yard run on the Boilermakers' ensuing possession to trim the margin to 31-21. Later, with 1:27 remaining in regulation, Marve appeared to score on a nine-yard scramble on fourth down to cut the deficit to three. However, the officials reviewed the play and overturned it, ruling that Marve lost control of the ball just before he crossed the pylon. Iowa took over possession and ran out the clock.
With bowl eligibility at stake, the Boilermakers simply turned in a flat offensive performance marred by turnovers and missed opportunities. They finished with just 282 total yards and came up empty on two of their four trips into the red zone.
11/19 16:17:06 ET