Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers – College Football, October 24, 2020

| October 16, 2020 12:08 am PDT

There’s going to be football in West Lafayette after all. The Boilermakers open up their Big Ten schedule at home versus the Hawkeyes on October 24th, and all signs are pointing toward a hard-fought game.

From a look at the odds to previewing each team individually, let’s work our way toward an Iowa vs. Purdue prediction.

Iowa vs. Purdue Odds

Iowa (-3)-110
Purdue (+3)-110

ESPN’s Matchup Predictor pegs the Hawkeyes to win this game a shade over 64% of the time. Installing Iowa as a field goal favorite seems about right, but check out these two programs fared against the spread a season ago.

The Hawkeyes covered 46.2% of the time (6-7 ATS) while the Boilermakers were a reliable 8-4 ATS. In terms of the total, which is yet to be released at the time of this writing, Iowa games went “under” 66.7% of the time. On the flip side, Purdue games went “over” 66.7% of the time.

Hawkeyes Assessment

The Nate Stanley era is over as the keys of the Hawkeyes offense get handed over to Spencer Petras. The California native has attempted just 11 passes as a collegian, but two years behind the scenes learning Kirk Ferentz’s system bodes well for the redshirt sophomore.

Ferentz is “pleased” with Petras thus far but admitted it’ll take time for Iowa’s offense to start gelling. Considering they lost arguably the top tackle in the nation (Tristan Wirfs) along with a three-year starter at quarterback, it’s only natural for that to be the case.

In fact, don’t look now, but the defense in Iowa City could also take some time before it starts establishing an identity.

The Hawkeyes waved goodbye to their top pass rusher, their top cornerback, their best safety, and their best linebacker. That’s a mouthful, but sadly, it’s the reality of the situation for Coach Ferentz.

Boilermakers Assessment

The strength of this team is undoubtedly their WR room. Thanks to Rondale Moore’s decision to opt back in, Purdue’s offense is centralized around one of the most dynamic playmakers in America.

It’s easy to boast about the electric 20-year-old from New Albany, but it’s worth noting that David Bell hauled in 86 balls for 1,035 yards as a true freshman in 2019. We’re talking a pair of elite wide receivers.

The question becomes who is going to be throwing the football to these standout WRs.

Is Jack Plummer set to return under center, or will he be unseated by Aidan O’Connell? Perhaps UCLA transfer Austin Burton gets some reps. Among the trio, Burton is the most mobile – and probably the most intriguing.

All three men have thrown their hat in the ring, although Jeff Brohm is running out of time to settle on a starter.

Iowa vs. Purdue Pick

Had this game been scheduled with these teams in mid-season form, I might have sided with the Hawkeyes in this Iowa vs. Purdue prediction. However, that’s not the case, and the Boilermakers offense is easier to trust.

Frankly, I like Jeff Brohm and company to win this game outright, but you may as well latch onto the three-point cushion as insurance.

There won’t be any students packed into Ross-Ade Stadium, but Purdue still gets a boost getting to play this game in West Lafayette.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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