It’s always better when Iowa hosts Purdue rather than plays at West Lafayette.
That’s said as a sports writer who covers Hawkeyes games, not as an objective sports observer. Driving to Cedar Rapids to West Lafayette and back isn’t fun, and that’s a fact. Thus, here are the Purdue-Iowa Fun Facts:
1. Iowa’s last game against Ohio State was a 31-point win, in 2017. Purdue’s last game against Ohio State was a 29-point win, in 2018. Neither play the Buckeyes this season.
2. In Purdue’s 24-15 win at Iowa in 2017, all but three of the points in the game were scored by the team with the wind at its back.
3. Purdue has 1,947 yards passing and just 381 rushing. That means the Boilermakers are 10th nationally in passing offense, 129th in rushing offense. Purdue’s 2.2 yards per rush also ranks 129th, ahead of only Akron. Iowa’s third-leading rusher has 26 more yards than Purdue’s leader.
4. Iowa has lost two straight games to the Boilermakers. It hasn’t lost three or more in a row to Purdue since 1980, when it suffered the last of its 20 consecutive defeats to them.
5. The Hawkeyes have outgained their opponents by 152 yards per game. The Boilermakers have been outgained by 56.5 yards per game.
6. Purdue is the only Big Ten team that will play two nonconference games (Vanderbilt, TCU) against Power Five conference teams in the regular-season. Five league teams, including Ohio State and Wisconsin, played none.
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7. Iowa is 20-for-20 in scoring once it reaches the red zone. LSU and Notre Dame are the only other teams in the nation that are at 100 percent in that category.
8. Iowa’s 15 points over its last two games is its lowest consecutive-game total since it lost 31-0 to Illinois and 38-10 to Ohio State in 2000 on Oct. 14/21, 2000. Coincidentally, Michigan State has scored 10 points over its last two games, the first time since it did likewise in a two-game stretch since Oct. 14/21, 2000.
9. The Hawkeyes have allowed 16 quarterback sacks, the same amount they surrendered all last season.
10. Is Purdue the new Tight End U.? The Boilermakerss’ Brycen Hopkins has been named the John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week twice this season. He has 24 catches for 345 yards and three touchdowns.
11. This is Iowa’s Homecoming game. The Hawkeyes are 15-4 in Homecomings since 2000 and is 59-43-5 all-time.
12. According to the team roster on Purdue’s website, 14 Boilermaker players are majoring in selling and sales management.
13. Iowa’s Keith Duncan is tied for second nationally in field goals with 2.2 per game (13 in 6 games).
14. Purdue kicker J.D. Dellinger has a name that sounds somewhat like those of author J.D. Salinger and famed gangster John Dillinger. Dellinger, who has a degree in economics, has interned at Shaw Tate Land Development in Charlotte, N.C.
15. Delinger is from Charlotte. Duncan is from Weddington, N.C., a Charlotte suburb.
16. Iowa wide receivers Nico Ragaini, Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette all have 24 catches.
17. The Boilermakers’ 63-14 Music City Bowl loss to Auburn last year tied for the biggest margin of defeat for a Big Ten team at a bowl. Northwestern lost 66-17 to Nebraska at the 2000 Alamo Bowl. Purdue also lost 58-14 to Oklahoma State in the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl.
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18. Last week, Purdue’s Board of Trustees approved a policy prohibiting gambling on sporting events involving Purdue teams, coaches or student-athletes. Sports betting is legal in Indiana.
19. Nearly one-third of all manned U.S. spaceflights included a Purdue graduate, including the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
20. There are those who believe the moon-landing was fake. There are people who use the word “fake” for things they can’t or won’t believe.