IOWA CITY — After two straight losses in the Big Ten and dips in the rankings, the 23rd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes needed a victory. They got just what the doctor ordered Saturday, beating Purdue 26-20.
The Hawks set the tempo right out of the gate, taking over seven minutes off the clock on the game’s opening drive, which resulted in a Keith Duncan field goal. He would drive two more through before the half to give Iowa a 9-7 advantage heading to the locker room.
Purdue got the ball to start the second half. They were driving into Iowa territory when Riley Moss picked off Jake Plummer’s pass to give the Hawks the ball. They’d follow that up with a four and a half-minute, nine-play touchdown drive to go up 16-7.
After a field goal from each team, another Purdue field goal brought the score to 19-13 with just under three minutes left to go. The Boilermakers decided to try the onside kick. The Hawkeyes recovered at midfield, and a personal foul on Purdue’s Jackson Anthrop got them an extra 15 yards closer before the start of the drive.
It took Mekhi Sargent two plays to run it 35 yards to the house from there. Purdue would score another TD with 24 seconds left to play, but Iowa would recover yet another onside kick to seal the deal at 26-20.
Quarterback Nate Stanley finished the day with 260 yards and a pick, while Sargent led the team on the ground with 68 yards and a score.
The win moves the Hawkeyes to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play. They’ll look to keep their winning ways going when they hit the road to take on Northwestern next week.