Until last weekend, Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G Legends) was undefeated at home, but Michigan State dropped Iowa to 6-1 for the season. Iowa's opponent, Purdue (5-5, 3-3 B1G Leaders) this week is 5-1 this season at home, at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Iowa hasn't played in West Lafayette, since the 2007 season and last won there in 2005. The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes haven't faced one another, since 2008, when Iowa beat Purdue 22-17 in the second to last game of the season.
Will three be a charm for Purdue? It will be Senior Day for the Boilermakers. Under Coach Danny Hope, the Boilermakers are 0-2 on Senior Day.
The weather is likely going to be windy at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, as the two teams play on the Big Ten Network (Direct TV 611-1 in HD) with a 11 a.m. start. Last week, in Iowa's 37-21 loss vs. Michigan State, the Hawkeyes' junior QB James Vandenberg struggled against the wind.
Purdue is coming off a big 26-23 OT win at Ross-Ade Stadium over Ohio State last week. Last week for Iowa, the Hawkeyes were coming off a big 24-16 win over Michigan, as they faced Michigan State for the second straight home game.
Will Purdue's fate be similar to Iowa or will they string another victory at home and obtain bowl eligibility? http://Iowa - Black & Gold rivals, in this Big Ten intra-division protected game! Iowa has been 16-5-1, since 1983, while prior to the 1981 win by Iowa, Purdue had a 19 game winning streak over the Hawkeyes.
Both teams have a lot to play for on Saturday. Iowa can secure a winning season for 22011. While, Purdue can secure bowl eligibility and their first win on Senior Day under coach Danny Hope.
So, is there any Hope for Iowa in West Lafayette on Saturday?
- Iowa QB Vandenberg needs to do a better job of game management
- Iowa defense needs to play stronger and avoid "big plays" which hurt Iowa vs. MSU and in other Iowa losses on the road
- Execution is huge, as well proper technique
- Iowa must establish the running game - which they did at Minnesota in their disappointing 22-21 road loss. Who will be the #2 RB for Iowa this week?
- Iowa must finish, unlike @ Minnesota: put points on the board in the red zone on offense
- Iowa defense needs to play strong on red zone
- Ironically, Iowa is a good red zone defense, in conference play
- Special teams: both teams are pretty even, so who win the challenges in this phase?
- Which coaching staff has there club in better position to win?
The Iowa coaching staff for the most part has had Iowa in position to make plays this season. But, in Iowa four losses, players have not stepped up, when the opportunity has been there for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa appears to be in a strong position, if they can get to 28 points @ Purdue.
Purdue needs to hold Iowa to 24 points or less. In regulation, Iowa has been held to 24, 3, 21 and 24 points in the four losses Iowa has had this season.
In 2005, it was Iowa 34, Purdue 17, in Iowa's last victory in West Lafayette, so this time around. Iowa's last road win was @ Michigan in 2010, when the Hawkeyes won 38-28.
In this game, look for Iowa, if they can get off to a good start and control momentum, the line of scrimmage and field position... IOWA 28, Purdue 17, very similar to Iowa's first B1G road win in 2007. That game was at Northwestern, when Iowa entered the game 0-3 on the road in the Big Ten.