West Lafayette, IN — The Purdue Boilermakers (5-4) shocked the nation once again with an upset over the nationally ranked, No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3) 38-36, in an epic Big 10 Conference showdown. Purdue is literally “Boiling Up” this season now having beaten three top 25 ranked programs, including Boston College, Ohio State, and now Iowa. Boilermaker and Hawkeye fans alike gathered in Ross-Ade Stadium to create nothing short of an electrifying atmosphere.
Purdue led the strike with a passing touchdown from quarterback David Blough to wide receiver Isaac Zico early in the first quarter. Iowa responded with a rushing touchdown from running back Ivory Kelly-Martin to tie the game 7-7. Purdue’s Markell Jones scored a rushing touchdown to take the lead 14-7 going into the second period. The Hawkeyes put some points on the board to start the second frame with a field goal from Miguel Recinos.
With 6:27 on the clock, Purdue’s Blough threw a 41-yard pass to senior wide-receiver Terry Wright for his first touchdown of the night. Just when it looked like Purdue was going to start slipping away, Iowa’s Nate Stanley scored a rushing touching at the end of the quarter to cut the score to 21-17 right before half.
Purdue set the initial tone for the second half scoring a passing touchdown from Blough to Wright with 12:11 on the clock. In just three short minutes the Hawkeyes closed the gap with a completed pass from Nate Stanley to T.J. Jackson, making the score 28-23. The Boilermakers answered back with another touchdown from Wright, giving them a 35-23 advantage. Iowa kept it exciting as Mekhi Sargent scored a rushing touchdown early in the fourth, bringing them within five points, 35-30.
Iowa came up with a huge interception shortly after which seemed to be the play to shift the momentum in their favor. After two complete passes from Nate Stanley, Sargent scored another rushing touchdown to give the Hawkeyes their first lead of the night, 36-35. Iowa was not able to complete the two-point conversion that would have given them a three-point lead.
The Boilermakers did not let a series of unfortunate plays keep them down. Purdue demonstrated spectacular defense, getting several big stops late in the fourth quarter. Their resiliency paid off big time as kicker Spencer Evans completed a field goal to secure the win over Iowa, 38-36.
Both teams put on an incredible show, but one player did shine brighter than the rest tonight: Purdue’s senior, Terry Wright.
Wright was overcome with excitement after the game, expressing the joy he felt after Purdue pulled off the upset.
Just when football fans thought all eyes were on freshmen standout Rondale Moore after his stellar performance against Ohio State, Wright showed just how dangerous this Boilermaker team can be. Scoring three out of the five touchdowns for Purdue, Wright knew he had to be ready for any and everything during tonight’s game.
“My coaches just kept telling me they were going to call my number. So I was like, I’m going to be ready. So when they called my number, I was always ready! I got the speed to do it so I just got it done!”
Wright also totaled six receptions during the game, resulting in a career-high 146 yards.
“We knew coming in that Purdue is a very dangerous football team – an explosive football team,” stated Iowa’s head coach Kirk Ferentz. “We weren’t able to control the big plays that they hit on. We knew that was going to be a challenge but we came up short on that, especially in the first half.”
This was a tough loss for Iowa, but Ferentz is ready to come in on Monday and prepare his team for their next opponent, Northwestern. Purdue travels to Minnesota next week to take on the Golden Gophers in the next Big Ten matchup.