The Rob Report: Purdue

Iowa dropped to 0-3 in Big Ten road games this year after falling 27-14 in West Lafayette Saturday. Senior writer Rob Howe was there and files this collection of news, notes and observations. The report includes a tidbit on LB recruit Kyle Williams, an injury update on Grant Steen and Jared Clauss, and a look at who made the trip to Purdue.

INJURY REPORT

Grant Steen:Dressed for the Purdue game after practicing lightly on Thursday, but Coach Kirk Ferentz did not feel his senior linebacker was ready. He had a noticeable limp while walking on the sideline Saturday. The coach indicated that Steen likely would be ready for Minnesota.

Jared Clauss:Also dressed for the game in West Lafayette after working out lightly late in the week, but did not get into the game. KF put Clauss in the same condition as Steen as far as being available for Minnesota.

Mo Brown:The senior receiver admitted after the game that he was only operating at 70 percent, unable to make many of his normal cuts. He said he has screws take the place of ligaments in his foot right now. But even on a bad wheel, Brown caught eight passes for 126 yards against the Boilermakers.

Sam Aiello:After a play in the final minutes, the right tackle limped to the sideline where trainers examined his left leg. After about five minutes, he opped back up and looked ready to go back into the game. The game ended before he had a chance to return.

Ramon Ochoa:The senior receiver had to leave the game for a play after dinging his knee up on a return in the third quarter. He returned to the field and showed no ill effects.

NEWS, NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS

Back in Good Graces:A.J. Johnson was in uniform after not being on the sidelines for the Illinois game. Sources say the true freshman running back missed the Illini contest for an off of the field infraction.

Dressed List: Albert Young made the trip to West Lafayette, but did not see the field. At this point, he is an almost sure to redshirt. Champ Davis also suited up. Scott Chandler, oddly enough, came in for the two plays when his brother Nathan went to the sideline.

Shakeup:Iowa began the game with a 3-4 front on defense. Purdue countered by running the ball at the Iowa, whose LBs were either out in coverage or dropped back off the line more than normal.

Questioned Calls:Phil Parker went crazy on a Purdue pass completion in the Boilers' first drive. The Iowa DB coach was standing right on the sideline where WR John Standeford hauled in the pass from QB Kyle Orton. Parker was screaming at the official and pointing at the ground to indicate is feeling that Standeford failed to get a foot down inbounds. There were several other times when Parker got into disagreements with the refs. Ferentz argued with officials right before the half when he felt that the Boilermakers were guilty of a false start before a field goal. Iowa had a touchdown pass to Mo Brown wiped out in the first half when the officials called the Hawkeyes for not having enough men on the line of scrimmage. They said that Brown was not in proper position in the slot. Brown believed that he was on the line.

Road to Recovery:Starting center Brian Ferentz, who suffered a season-ending injury during the bye week, walked around Ross-Ade Stadium on crutches.

Bonecrusher sighting:Bolingbrook (Ill.) High linebacker Kyle Williams, one of the best as is position in the country, took a visit to Purdue on Saturday despite being an Iowa verbal committ. I did not get a chance to speak with him, but several reporters I talked with that did said that Williams was upset that Iowa lost. He was not upset like, "Hey, I'm not coming here." He was upset like, "Hey, my team lost." That's a very good sign.

Foiled Blitz:Iowa probably blitzed on defense more on Saturday that it had in its pervious nine games combined. Unfortunately, the Boilers were well prepared and continued to burn the visitors. The backbreaker came on the first drive of the third quarter when Orton connected with Anthony Chambers on a 45-touchdown pass. The play was set up beautifully by previous looks that Purdue gave the defense. On several plays before that, Orton brought Chambers in from the slot to block off of the right tackle on audibles at the line. He did the same thing on this play, only when the linebackers blitzed, Chambers released off of the line and was wide open.

Coming Up Empty:Iowa was shut out in the first half for the first time since heading to the locker room with a 14-0 deficit at Iowa State in 2001.

Mountain of a Hold:Iowa LT Robert Gallery was guilty of a costly hold on his team's first drive of the second half.

Key Stats:Purdue was over 100 yards rushing midway through the third quarter. It also scored two touchdowns on the ground. Iowa came into the game allowing just 72.0 rushing yards per game, and it had only given up a total of three scores via the rush this season. The Boilermakers wore down a Hawkeye defense that spent a lot of time on the field. At the end of the third quarter, they had run 49 offensive plays to the visitors' 26.

Yanked:Iowa DE Matt Roth blasted through the line extremely early on at least two plays Saturday. After committing the infraction late in the game, he was immediately pulled. He ran right by Ferentz, who stood arms crossed and not very happy.

QUOTABLE

IA RB Fred Russell on why the team more disappointed with Saturday's loss as opposed to its previous two setbacks:

Yeah because these guys outplayed us. We had a turnover at the end, but we just simply got outplayed. That's not like us.

WR Mo Brown on why the Iowa offense has trouble getting going at the start of games:

We just shoot ourselves in the foot. That's what it comes down to. Penalties. Turnovers. Stuff like that. I have no answers other than to pay attention to detail.

LT Robert Gallery on the problems caused by penalties:

It just killed us. It kills the momentum. It kills the drives. They cost us big plays. If we want to get those big plays, we can't have that.

QB Nathan Chandler on overthrowing WR Ramon Ochoa on what would have been a early touchdown:

It's something where during the game you look up and think, "We should have seven." Those are plays you can't afford to make when you're going up against a team like Purdue, where every play counts. Every time you get a break like that, you need to take advantage of it.

IA Head Coach Kirk Ferentz on the Purdue defense:

We had a hard time blocking them, not that we blocked them great in the second half. We had a difficult time with them. They actually blitzed less than we expected. They've been pretty active with the blitz. A lot of it was just base defense, and their guys did a great job of really getting after it. We had a couple of chances to make some plays but we weren't able to execute them. That didn't help us at all at halftime. That's for sure.


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