Iowa returns to Kinnick Stadium for the last time this season, honoring their seasons as they look to finish an unblemished season at home. The Hawkeyes are 10-0 for the first time in school history and will host Purdue. The Boilermakers have had their struggles but have also defeated Nebraska, and played in tight ball games with Michigan State and Northwestern.
The Hawkeyes will not look ahead or sleep on Purdue. They know the Boilermakers can present a challenge.
"They're good," running back Jordan Canzeri said. "Up front they're stout and large. They know how to play the gaps and rip off blocks. That is going to be difficult. They have a good secondary as well. We know that they're going to give us all they have. They'll show us stuff we haven't seen from them on film. They'll bring the blitz. It's just something we have to be ready for. With the amount of games we played there's nothing that they'll show us that we haven't seen before. It's up to us to be ready for whatever stunts they bring, twists, or fronts they want to show us."
"Their defensive line is experienced," offensive lineman Jordan Walsh noted. "They're hard nosed. Their linebackers were hard nosed last year and are continuing that. They're a good team."
"Their whole offensive line is back," linebacker Ben Niemann shared. "They have a good quarterback. He's dynamic and can beat with you running and throwing. Their running back is a physical runner. They have big receivers that can go up and get the ball. We have to be ready."
The Hawkeye defense looks to bounce back from their worst outing of the year. They gave up big plays more than they have all year last Saturday against Minnesotan and surrendered 35 points, the most so far this season. They're confident they'll be able to redeem themselves.
"It was frustrating," Niemann commented about last week's performance and having to watch the tape from it. "We have to move on with the 24 hour rule. We look at what we did and then it's on to the next game, on to Purdue. We have to see what we did wrong and learn from our mistakes. They're definitely correctable. Some of the things were mental and some of it was what they did. We struggled to communicate at times as well because of how loud Kinnick was. It's a mixture of things but it's all things we can correct."
From the offensive standpoint, this looks like an appetizing matchup. Iowa is the second best rushing offense in the league while Purdue is the worst at defending the run, allowing over 200 yards on the ground per game. The weather could also add to that as they're expecting quite a bit of snow in Iowa City.
"I definitely like that," Walsh admitted about the possibility of running the ball more due to the weather. "But it's going to be windy and cold for us and windy and cold for them."
"I definitely didn't know that," he added about the Boilermakers' struggles in stuffing the run. "It doesn't show up on film. Those guys play fundamentally sound. Their defensive line gets after it, and their linebackers do as well."