Purdue Downs Iowa In Season Opener

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue capitalized on a late fourth quarter fumble to rally for a 24-20 victory over the University of Iowa football team in its season opener Saturday afternoon at Ross Ade Stadium.

With Iowa driving, senior Mekhi Sargent burst off a 13-yard run to the Boilermaker 28, but Dedrick Mackey knocked the ball loose at the end of the play and Cam Allen recovered.

It was the opening Purdue needed as it drove for the go-ahead score.

The Boilermakers took over with six minutes remaining and drove 72 yards over 12 plays. Running back Zander Horvath rushed four times for 15 yards, including a 2-yard gain that gave Purdue a first-and-10 at midfield. Iowa sacked Aiden O’Connell for a 4-yard loss two plays later, but the Boilermakers caught a break when Jack Heflin was flagged for a 15-yard face mask penalty, moving Purdue to the Iowa 22.

After Horvath carried the ball twice for 11 and 5 yards to the 6, O’Connell hit wide receiver David Bell for a 6-yard touchdown pass — his third of the day — to give Purdue a 24-20 lead with 2:15 left.

The Hawkeyes picked up one first down on a 16-yard completion to Sam LaPorta before turning the ball over on downs with 1:23 remaining.

Iowa out-gained Purdue, 460-386, for the game, but the Hawkeyes were flagged 10 times for 100 yards (Purdue had three penalties for 21 yards). Iowa finished 4-of-13 on third down and committed two turnovers, both in Purdue territory.

Petras completed 22-of-39 attempts for 265 yards in his first career start with five completions going to LaPorta for 71 yards. The Hawkeyes rushed for 195 yards — averaging 5.4 per attempt. Sophomore Tyler Goodson had 77 yards on 16 carries, while Sargent finished with 71 yards on 11 attempts with one touchdown.

Defensively, Jack Koerner paced Iowa with 13 tackles, including nine solo stops and one tackle for loss. Senior Nick Niemann had eight solo tackles, while Riley Moss (six solos) and Daviyon Nixon (four solo, 0.5 sacks, 2.5 TLF) had seven stops apiece. Seniors Barrington Wade and Matt Hankins both had interceptions.

O’Connell completed 31-of-50 attempts for 282 yards and three touchdowns, Bell had 13 receptions for 121 yards and three touchdowns, and Horvath had 129 rushing yards on 21 carries.

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