Johnson helps Iowa run past Purdue 24-3
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Kaleb Johnson had a day to remember.
The freshman ran for a career-high 200 yards on 22 carries, including a touchdown, and Spencer Petras passed for two touchdowns to power Iowa past Purdue 24-3 on Saturday.
It was the Hawkeyes’ first 200-yard rusher since Akum Wadley had 204 in 2015.
“It was a total team win in all phases,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It was like old-time football. I thought our guys did a great job with the conditions. I think all three drives were into the wind and we didn’t let it bother us. It was a total team effort.”
Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell struggled to find his rhythm on a windy day, completing just 20 of 43 passes for 168 yards and two interceptions.
Both teams are now 5-4 and 3-3 in the Big Ten. Iowa has won two in a row while Purdue lost its second game in a row.
Leading 17-3 at halftime, it took Iowa just 17 seconds in the second half to push the lead to 24-3 on Johnson’s 75-yard touchdown run.
After starting the game 2 of 6, Petras finished 13 of 23 for 192 yards with two touchdowns.
The Hawkeyes took a 7-0 lead on Petras’ 16-yard TD pass to Sam LaPorta, his first TD catch of the season, in the first minute of the second quarter.
After Kaevon Merriweather intercepted O’Connell, Iowa scored when Petras connected with Nico Ragaini for 29 yards to push the lead to 14-0.
The Boilermakers drove to the Iowa 26 before Seth Benson’s interception at the 15-yard-old snuffed out the drive. The Hawkeyes picked up a first down on the Purdue 1 before three straight plays for a loss forced the Iowa to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Drew Stevens.
Purdue’s only score came on Mitchell Fineran’s 34-yard field goal with 1:40 left in the second quarter.
“It was a bad day for us,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “It starts with me. I didn’t have the team ready to play. The guys didn’t perform and we got our butts kicked. That is a good football team, we knew that. We knew we were going to have to make play and get points early and take them out of what they wanted to do. We turned it over.”
Brohm said the Boilermakers’ inefficiency in the passing game hurt.
“That’s when you have to be able to run the ball and you can’t turn the ball over,” Brohm said. “When you’re in games like that, all three phases have to do their part. You have to control the ball.”
The Boilermakers were limited to 87 yards rushing, led by Devin Mockobee with 65 yards on 14 carries.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes got a big road win and moved closer to bowl eligibility with one of their better offensive outputs. Iowa had been averaging just 16.4 points per game.
Purdue: The Boilermakers’ hopes for a West Division title took a major hit with a lackluster offensive performance in its second consecutive loss. Purdue had been averaging 32.8 points a game,.
The fact that the Purdue’s Boilermaker Special stalled before the game proved to be an omen for the football team. The train, which leads the team out on the field, needed several people to push it to get off the field. Purdue’s offense never got in gear, either.
Iowa: Hosts Wisconsin on Saturday.
Purdue: Travels to Illinois on Saturday for Cannon Trophy Game.
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