Martin-Manley makes amends: One thing didn’t lead to another Saturday for Kevonte Martin-Manley and that proved to be a good thing for the Iowa football team.
The junior made amends for a second-quarter mistake which helped Purdue forge a short-lived 7-7 tie in its eventual loss to the Hawkeyes.
Martin-Manley gave the Boilermakers a short field to work with, fumbling a punt on the Iowa 32-yard line that was recovered by Purdue’s Armstead Williams.
“That put us in a tough position, one of the few disappointing things of the day,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “But, I liked the way he responded.’’
Six plays after the fumble, the Boilermakers’ Kurt Freytag caught a 2-yard touchdown pass that tied the game with 5 minutes, 44 seconds left in the second quarter.
Martin-Manley helped Iowa answer, coming up big when Jake Rudock delivered a 22-yard touchdown strike to the Hawkeye receiver to end the ensuing possession with 1:57 left in the half.
“He had just enough of an opening and the line gave me enough time to see him and he did a good job making the play,’’ Rudock said.
Another setback: Saturday’s loss was the seventh straight for Purdue, which lost for the eighth time this season to a collection of opponents which are all bowl eligible.
The Boilermakers surrendered 38 points to Iowa, matching what the Purdue defense has been allowing this season in Big Ten play.
“Does it sting any more or less? They all sting about the same,’’ first-year Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell said. “You would like to perform better every single week. That’s the goal. We want to make some stops defensively and some plays offensively.’’
Catching on: Don Shumpert continued to work toward a strong finish to his senior season, catching two passes for a career-high 69 yards against Purdue. His previous best was 35 yards.
“We’ve finally got him healthy. He has good hands and is capable of making plays,’’ Ferentz said.
Running on empty: Brandon Cottom led Purdue with 28 rushing yards, part of a 53-yard effort by the team which was actually 11 yards better than the Boilermakers’ season average in Big Ten play.
Purdue is the fifth team to finish with fewer than 75 rushing yards against the Hawkeye defense.
“Not letting them get anything going in the run game was where we started today,’’ defensive end Mike Hardy said. “We came out and set that tone right away.’’
Hardy finished with two of the Hawkeyes’ nine tackles for a loss Saturday, an effort which included a pair of sacks.
Creating issues: When Anthony Hitchens forced and Christian Kirksey recovered a fumble in the third quarter Saturday, it continued season-long success by Iowa’s senior linebackers in creating problems for opposing offenses.
Including the work of James Morris, the Hawkeye trio has accounted for seven turnovers this season.
“All of those guys have been very active and have done a great job,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Scoreless start: Iowa and Purdue played to a scoreless first quarter.
The Hawkeyes have not allowed touchdown in the opening quarter in their last eight games and have held seven opponents without a point during that stretch. Ohio State is the only team to score on Iowa in the first quarter during that stretch, collecting a field goal.
Into the red zone: Purdue moved into the red zone for the first time since the fourth quarter of a Sept. 28 game against Northern Illinois when Danny Etling hit Akeem Hunt with a 26-yard pass which took the ball to the Iowa 5-yard line in the second quarter.
Three plays later, Purdue scored its first touchdown in three games on a 2-yard pass to Kurt Freytag.
The Boilermakers ran 205 plays between snaps inside its opponents’ 20-yard line.
Wrapped and ready: Three Hawkeyes who left the No. 2 game against Wisconsin with injuries all returned to start Saturday.
Quarterback Jake Rudock played with a knee brace, running back Mark Weisman wore a well-wrapped brace to protect an injured elbow and Jordan Walsh returned to the lineup at guard.
“I didn’t notice it too often,’’ Rudock said. “When you’re playing, you don’t notice those things. I feel like I was able to get done what I needed to do.’’
Hawkeye debut: Cole Croston, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman, made his college debut Saturday for the Hawkeyes.
Croston was on the line when Mike Meyer connected on a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Finally in the fourth: Mike Meyer’s 28-yard field goal with 11 minutes, 48 seconds remaining Saturday gave Iowa its first points in the fourth quarter of a game since a fourth-quarter field goal at Minnesota on Sept. 28.
The field goal followed a 4-yard touchdown run by Mark Weisman in the third quarter, his first since scoring on a 4-yard run in the second quarter of a Sept. 21 win over Western Michigan.
Going the distance: Iowa’s 9-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter that ended with a Jordan Canzeri run was the longest of the season for the Hawkeyes in terms of yardage.
The previous long was an 85-yard drive at Minnesota.
— Steve Batterson