Purdue aims to keep rolling at Iowa

Both Purdue and Iowa are coming off wins, but the teams will have different vibes when they meet for a Big Ten West contest Saturday in Iowa City.

Purdue (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) is coming off its best performance of the year, a 44-19 victory at home over Illinois.

Quarterback Hudson Card (18-for-26, 217 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions), a transfer from Texas, continued a solid start to the season. Card is completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 1,244 yards and five TDs.

The Iowa defense held an opponent under 20 points for the second time this year.

Meanwhile, Iowa enters with a good record (4-1, 1-0) but is somewhat in a state of disarray.

After suffering a shutout loss at Penn State the week prior, the Hawkeyes struggled at home last Saturday to beat a bad Michigan State team, needing a punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to take the lead.

Worse, starting quarterback Cade McNamara suffered a serious knee injury and had to be carted off of the field. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Backup quarterback Deacon Hill took over from there in the win, and he’ll likely be the starter against Purdue.

Hill went 11 of 27 for 115 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, although he was plagued by six dropped passes.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was satisfied with how Hill handled a tough situation and feels he can be a good leader for the team the rest of the season if needed.

“He’s a different style of quarterback,” Ferentz said. “He’s a big quarterback, but he throws the ball well.

“It’s his strength and I thought (Saturday), we hadn’t really seen him in game action when the game is on the line. And I thought he showed a lot of good things.”

Purdue head coach Ryan Walters said he doesn’t anticipate his team will prepare for Iowa much differently with Hill at quarterback.

“They still have the same personnel around him,” Walters said. “We’ve got to be able to hold up in the run game, be able to hold up on the line of scrimmage and be able to be creative in the ways we cover their tight ends.”

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