Game Balls: Purdue vs Iowa

Identifying the top performers in Iowa's victory over Purdue.

Iowa clinched the Big Ten West title crown on Saturday with a 40-20 win over Purdue. They have secured their spot in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis where they will take on the winner of the Big Ten East. Michigan State will represent the east division if they are able to defeat Penn State next weekend.

The Hawkeyes are now 11-0 and will look to lock up an undefeated regular season with a win on Friday over Nebraska in Lincoln. 

But time to look back on this past weekend's performance where they were able to fend off the Boilermakers and hand out game balls to the top performers.



He did have one fumble on the game and only 12 rushing yards but he does a lot of things that go unnoticed. He was especially key at a time where the Hawkeye offense was desperate for a big play. He checked out of a run play when Purdue was feasting on the ground game and audibled to the pass to George Kittle over the top of the box for a 35 yard touchdown. That play allowed Iowa to regain the momentum and re-take control of the game. Those are the types of plays that Beathard brings to the table and the impactful difference he has on his team.


It took him a while to get going but the senior showed up big on center stage during his last game in Kinnick Stadium. He had 95 yards rushing and cemented the Hawkeye win when he broke free in the fourth quarter for a 42 yard touchdown. Obviously the offensive line deserves a lot of credit but Canzeri's run put the icing on the 11th win cake.


Not a whole lot more needs to be said about the Iowa tight end. He's on this list seemingly every week and it's well earned each time. He had one of his better statistical lines with 4 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. His catches just come at big moments and he's a huge option for the Hawkeyes on third down in every game during conference play. It was Matt VandeBerg earlier in the year but when that was taken away, Beathard found an alternative security option in Krieger Coble. That's how this team has operated all year.



The defense took a step forward, or a baby step at best according to Josey Jewell, by putting together a better performance than they had the week before against Minnesota. Lomax was a big reason why and he's gotten much, much better this year from game to game. He's turned it up another gear the past few games and his big hit early in the game knocked starting quarterback David Blough out of the game. He also lead the team with 13 tackles.


Lomax and Jewell have been the mainstays on this list the past several weeks. They have been the constant producers at the tail end of the season. Jewell plays like a senior as Kirk Ferentz noted in his press conference afterwards, and he is a big staple in their solid rush defense. He finished the game with another 12 tackles and also had a pass break-up.


Fisher makes the list this week because of the drastic improvement he had from the week prior. The Minnesota game was one of the bigger struggles on the year individually for him, especially defending the pass, but the adjustments were made and the performance rose up against the Boilermakers. Seeing that type of improvement week to week is a bright sign for Iowa moving forward. 

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