WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Iowa didn't allow Purdue’s Rondale Moore to get much going Saturday.
The Hawkeyes held the Boilermakers’ freshman sensation to 88 all-purpose yards, well below the Big Ten-leading 181.1 yards Moore averaged entering the game.
"We felt like if we could make him work for his yards that it would help us," Iowa safety Amani Hooker said. "He’s good. You see him on tape, and he does a lot of good things. We hoped to slow him down."
Moore, limited in practice over the past week by a lower body injury, shared the Purdue team lead with six receptions against Iowa but was limited to 31 receiving yards and a long gain of 12 yards.
The longest of his three kickoff returns was 15 yards and his biggest impact came on his only punt return of the game.
He returned a 31-yard Colten Rastetter punt 24 yards to the Iowa 18-yard line with just under six minutes left in the third quarter, positioning Purdue to extend its lead to 35-23 on a 3-yard touchdown pass from David Blough to Terry Wright with 2:26 left in the quarter.
"He’s an excellent returner, and he had our attention," Iowa kicker Miguel Recinos said. "We felt like if we could get the ball high in the air, it might make it a little more challenging for him. We’d seen him drop a couple like that. For the most part, we didn’t give him anything to work with."
No comment: Nate Stanley played Saturday with his sprained right thumb taped up.
The Iowa quarterback completed 21-of-32 passes for 275 yards and one score, but he wasn’t talking about what it was like to compete with the injury.
"I’m not talking about that," Stanley said following his fourth-most productive passing day of the season.
Stanley did throw a 4-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson in the third quarter. The 43rd touchdown pass of his career moved him into a tie with Matt Sherman for fourth on Iowa’s career list.
He also ran for his first career touchdown, scoring on a 1-yard carry with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter to pull Iowa within 21-17 at halftime.
Little things: Iowa center Keegan Render said ultimately, little things made a difference in the Hawkeyes’ third Big Ten loss of the season.
"In games like this, you go back and there are a million little things that could have been done better that would have maybe changed the outcome," Render said. "These are the ones that are so tough to take, game decided by a couple of points."
He said the task for Iowa beginning now is to find a way to regroup.
"We have three games left in the regular season. We still have a chance to do some good things, and we need make sure we get past things and get to work on that," Render said. "We’ve got to get back at it now and get ready for Northwestern. That’s all that matters."
The long ball: The 82-yard touchdown pass Blough threw to Wright on the Boilermakers’ first snap of the second half was the longest play of any type allowed by Iowa this season.
The previous long was a 67-yard kick return by Penn State’s K.J. Hamler. The longest play from scrimmage Iowa had surrendered this season prior to Wright’s second touchdown catch of the game was a 52-yard reception by Tyler Johnson of Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes answered quickly with their longest play of the season when Noah Fant caught a 65-yard pass on a touchdown drive. Iowa’s previous longest play of the season was a 60-yard pass from Stanley to Ihmir Smith-Marsette at Minnesota.
Still streaking: Recinos extended his string of successful field goal attempts to 10 when he split the uprights from 34 yards in the first half.
Recinos moved to 13-of-16 for the season following his kick with 10 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter to cut into a 14-7 Purdue lead.
On guard: Cole Banwart moved into the Hawkeye lineup at right guard Saturday.
He replaced Dalton Ferguson, who had started the last six games at the position after Banwart started the first two games of the year.
Purdue played Saturday without its starting left tackle, Garrett Hermanns, who was injured.
Rated success: Purdue has beaten all three rated opponents it has played this season, following wins over 23rd-rated Boston College on Sept. 22 and second-ranked Ohio State on Oct. 20 with Saturday’s win over the 19th-rated Hawkeyes in front of a sellout crowd of 60,716 at Ross-Ade Stadium.
It marks the first time since 1957 the Boilermakers have defeated three rated opponents at home in a single season.