Iowa Football

Iowa football: 5 Things to know about Purdue

Hawkeyes hit the road for another key test

Purdue quarterback David Blough (11) is forced to scramble in his own end zone by Michigan State linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle on Saturday. (USA Today Sports)
Purdue quarterback David Blough (11) is forced to scramble in his own end zone by Michigan State linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle on Saturday. (USA Today Sports)

What now?

That seems to be the question heading into Week 10 of the college football season, Iowa’s ninth game and second straight road tilt.

The Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-3) couldn’t get the offense cranking in a 30-24 loss at Penn State on Saturday and now meet a dangerous Purdue unit itching for another signature victory in 2018.

The Boilermakers (4-4, 3-2) lost to Michigan State on Saturday, 23-13, snapping a four-game winning streak that included a 49-20 drubbing of Ohio State.

Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m. at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.

What now?

Here are “5 Things” about Purdue and Saturday’s game:

1. A “Woodshed” moment

If you’re writing about Purdue in 2018, you have to mention the beatdown it put on Ohio State — not unlike the “woodshed” whipping the Hawkeyes put on the Buckeyes in 2017.

Purdue gave up a whopping 546 yards of offense, but dominated the scoreboard.

David Blough completed 25 of 43 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns and the Buckeyes couldn’t get a hand on running back DJ Knox, who rushed for 132 yards and three TDs — averaging 8 yards per run.

“I told them Friday night, ‘We are ready for it now. You guys have paid your dues, you’ve paid the price and you’ve worked hard, and you guys can win the game if you believe you can,’” head coach Jeff Brohm said after the win. “They surpassed my expectations by the way they played.

“It’s a credit to our players. I’m happy for them. They have gone through a lot to get to this point, and to pull off a victory like that, I’m very proud of them.”

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This was the biggest upset Purdue had pulled off since beating No. 2 Ohio State, 28-23, in 1984.

2. The right stuff?

Brohm seems to be the right person to lead the “Cradle of Quarterbacks,” a nickname for the Purdue program.

The 36th head coach in Purdue football history, Brohm was a quarterback at Louisville who spent seven seasons in the NFL with seven different teams.

His collegiate record was 15-10, including a 9-3 mark as a senior when he passed for 2,626 yards and 20 TDs. He had a QB rating that year (1993) of 149.2.

Undrafted, he signed with the San Diego Chargers and beat out Trent Green for the third QB spot in 1994. He then spent a season with Washington Redskins and two in San Francisco before bouncing to Tampa Bay, Denver and Cleveland. He played in eight games and completed 37 of 58 passes, all during his two years with the 49ers.

He played one season in the XFL.

His coaching career started in 2001 as head coach of the Louisville Fire, an arena football team. That team finished 2-17.

He then coached quarterbacks at Louisville, Florida Atlantic and Illinois before serving as offensive coordinator at Alabama-Birmingham.

He went to Western Kentucky the following year as OC then, in 2014, was named head coach. He directed the Hilltoppers to a 30-10 record in three seasons, including a 12-2 mark (8-0 in Conference USA) in 2015 and took them to three bowl games. He directed the Boilermakers to a 7-6 record last year, including a 38-35 win over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl.

He has a 41-20 career record.

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“We will play a brand of football that features the quarterback’s strengths,” Brohm said when he was hired. “Our style will be wide open and exciting, and we think the fans will enjoy watching us play.”

3. Quarterback U

As mentioned, Purdue is known as the “Cradle of Quarterbacks.”

Purdue’s alumni list includes Bob Griese, Len Dawson and Drew Brees — all Super Bowl-winning QBs.

Then there are guys like Jim Everett, the third overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, Mark Herrmann, Scott Campbell, Gary Danielson, Mike Phipps and many others.

Phipps also was the third overall pick in the NFL Draft, in 1970, and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1969. Griese was second in the 1966 Heisman voting and Brees was third in the 2000.

Blough, this year’s QB, has started seven of the eight games and completed 65.2 percent of his 182 passes for 2,350 yards and 13 TDs against five interceptions.

4. History lesson

Purdue started playing football in 1887 and has had 64 winning seasons since.

That latter number includes five unbeaten seasons — 4-0 in 1891, 8-0 in 1892, 8-0 in 1929, 7-0-1 in 1932 and 9-0 in 1943. The only outright Big Ten title came in 1929 under the direction of James Phelan,

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Purdue’s 1931 team went 9-1 and was “retroactively” named national champion by Parke Davis, an “NCAA-designated major selector.” He also named Pittsburgh as national champ that year.

5. The series

The first time these two teams met — on Oct. 22, 1910 — Iowa rolled to a 16-0 victory.

Purdue, however, owns the overall series lead, winning 47 of the 88 games. There have been three ties.

The Boilermakers won last year’s game, 24-15, snapping a four-game Iowa winning streak in the series.

The Hawkeyes have won four of the last five, six of the last eight and 10 of the 15 games this century.

The longest streak in this series was from 1983 through 1991 when Iowa won nine in a row.

l Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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