Each week during the season the Hawkeye Headquarters staff will predict the outcome of the Iowa football game.
Blake Hornstein (5-0): The last time the hype train was on the tracks for Purdue, it turned into the little train that couldn’t. Ryan Walters brings a defensive attitude around a spread offense for the Boilermakers. A different look — and one I think will spell trouble for the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
Walters told me back in July at Big Ten Media Days he knew “what was coming” when he shut down Iowa’s offense as the defensive coordinator of the Fighting Illini last season. Is Iowa’s offense really any less predictable now?
I was one of only two “experts” that picked Iowa to beat Purdue last season. This year I’ll be one of two listed here that picks against the Hawkeyes. As cool as “Big Deac energy” sounds, Iowa’s new QB1 completed just 43% of his passes in relief last week.
The spoilermakers ruin homecoming, Cooper DeJean can’t bail out the offense that keeps metaphorically stubbing it’s toe over and over again, and Brian Ferentz’s chances of meeting his point per game goal look even slimmer.
Prediction: Purdue 24, Iowa 20
Ryan Jaster (4-1): Since Iowa’s 2013-16 four-game winning streak, Purdue has won four of six in the series, cementing itself as a regular thorn in the Hawkeyes’ side – but also for the Totally Irrelevant Prediction. Our virtual fortune teller has a blind spot for the Boilermakers, going 1-5 in that same span. The lone exception was 2018, when the TIP predicted a 34-31 loss and Iowa lost 38-36. While the now-departed Jeff Brohm seemed to be Kirk’s Kryptonite, the 2004 23rd-ranked Boilermakers are definitely the TIP’s.
But we won’t blame the new Louisville coach here. Let’s call it the Curse of Kyle Orton. Back in my Chicago days, I argued that Orton didn’t deserve a single vote in the NFL’s rookie of the year voting (and I stand by it, as you only get one vote, unlike MLB awards) and the result was a lot of angry Bears fans online. Since then, Orton has become the most consistent virtual arch villain in these prognostications. Iowa’s good in the game, but so is K.O.
Also good but not necessarily award-winning? What we’ve seen so far from Deacon Hill. The drops did him no favors, so if the receivers clean that up, we’ll all welcome Iowa’s new offensive overlord.
This year — the last matchup until 2026 in a once-protected “rivalry” — the Totally Irrelevant Prediction says the Hawkeyes will win 20-17. But with its track record in this series and plenty of potential for positive Purdue storylines, the Hawkologist’s prognosis is a 3 on the 6-point pain index.
Here’s a look at what others from near and far expect, starting with the weather from Local 4’s Tyler Ryan:
David Eickholt: Purdue 20, Iowa 17. I trust Purdue’s offense more than Iowa’s offense. Iowa is in prove it mode to me, and Purdue is healthier now.
Bill Connelly: Iowa 25, Purdue 17
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Joe Vitale: Iowa
Luke Easterling: Iowa
David Kenyon: Iowa 17, Purdue 13