WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Sophomore receiver David Bell caught three touchdown passes, including the game winner, to guide the Purdue Boilermakers to a 24-20 victory over Iowa Saturday.
With the Boilermakers’ top receiver Rondale Moore sideline for undisclosed reasons, Bell caught 13 passes for 121 yards.
His difference maker was a 6-yard TD from Aidan O’Connell with 2:15 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Purdue the lead. Purdue’s defense stiffened on the final drive, stopping Iowa on fourth-and-10 from its own 44.
O’Connell, who was named starter just before the game, completed 31-of-50 passes for 282 yards. Zander Horvath, who got the start because King Doerur was out with a hamstring injury, led the Purdue rushing attack with 129 yards on 21 carries.
Purdue’s game winning drive was set up by a big turnover.
With Iowa leading 20-17 and driving, the Hawkeyes’ Mekhi Sargent had the ball stripped by Dedrick Mackey and Cam Allen recovered at the Purdue 28. The Boilermakers followed with a 12 play, 72-yard drive.
Spencer Petras completed 22 of 39 passes for 265 yards for Iowa.
Iowa took a 17-14 lead into halftime when Keith Duncan kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.
Purdue wasted a nice opening third quarter drive when O’Connell was intercepted by Barrington Wade at the Iowa 3-yard line on second down-and-10 from the Iowa 11.
The Hawkeyes pushed the lead to 20-14 with Duncan’s 33-yard field goal with less than two minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter. Purdue’s 14-play drive stalled, and the Boilermakers settled for J.D. Dellinger’s 29-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 20-17.
Purdue had tied it at 14-all when Bell caught an 11-yard TD pass from O’Connell. Bell opened the scoring for Purdue with an 9-yard touchdown catch in the opening quarter
After Petras tied it at 7-all for the Hawkeyes with a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 10:21 left in the second quarter, Iowa went ahead 14-7 when Sargent capped off an 11-play, 73-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run.
Purdue managed to win the game without coach Jeff Brohm’s guidance. Brohm missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19 Sunday and forced to isolate at home. His younger brother, Brian, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, took over as acting head coach for the game.The Boilermakers defense came up with big play when needed to shut down the Hawkeyes.
Iowa’s fourth quarter fumble probably made the difference.
Iowa will host Northwestern Saturday.
Purdue will play at Illinois Saturday.