Howe: Script Holds in Hawkeyes’ Blowout Loss to Purdue

January 20, 2018

Written by Rob Howe






IOWA CITY, Iowa – If you missed Saturday’s Iowa-Purdue game, it turned out as expected. A really good team played one that’s struggling and the outcome was lopsided.

There was no repeat of what happened when Top 5 Ohio State came to Kinnick Stadium during November. These Hawkeyes didn’t rise up like their football counterparts and shock the college sports world. Nope, this one went according to script.

The third-ranked Boilermakers steamrolled reeling Iowa, 87-64, in a game, if you can believe it, that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Purdue led by 37 four minutes into the second half.

It was like watching naked people in a movie with your parents – uncomfortable and embarrassing. It had to be far worse being on the losing end of things.

Continue reading below

Related In HawkeyeNation Forums

Coach Fran McCaffery and his Hawkeyes talked after the game, as they have throughout their 1-7 Big Ten start, about turning things around. Saturday’s performance made it much harder to believe that possible.

They couldn’t take advantage of a nearly sold out Carver-Hawkeye Arena that was emotionally charged for a tribute to the late Chris Street. Fans never had a chance. An 18-0 run put the visitors ahead 24-6 midway through the first half.

Iowa was, quite simply, outclassed by the Boilermakers. The Hawkeyes were trying. They were just severely overmatched.

Purdue knocked down an astonishing 11 of 16 three-point attempts in building a 51-20 halftime lead. The visitors enjoyed the same wide-open looks many Hawkeye opponents have this season. They finished the day with 20 treys, matching a Big Ten record and establishing a new program mark.

Continue reading below

It’s an extreme example of what can happen against the conference’s worst defense. It should be surprising.

The league’s worst offense, Rutgers, shot 53.7 percent from the floor, including 43.8 on threes, in demolishing the Hawkeyes on Wednesday. Four of Iowa’s last five opponents have shot over 50 percent from the floor. The lone exception was Illinois, which was at 48.6 in a overtime loss.

The Hawkeyes once again looked helpless on defense. Purdue shot just four free throws because the Hawkeyes weren’t close enough to contest.

McCaffery once again talked about offensive deficiencies. Sure, they were there.

Continue reading below

However, trying to play offense from way down early, as Iowa has throughout the conference season, invites trouble. Guys start forcing shots trying to make up the difference. Patience goes out the window because of urgency.

The Boilermakers exposed all of Iowa’s defensive weaknesses. They moved the ball well, penetrated off the dribble, showed good spacing and took open shots. It looked easy.

The Hawkeyes needed Purdue to be off its game, like the Buckeyes were back in November. Instead, they allowed a good team to play well.

Ten regular games remain for Iowa to gain some traction in what is clearly now a rebuilding year. It starts Tuesday with a home contest against another of the Big Ten’s lower division teams, Wisconsin.

It’s winnable but the Hawkeyes’ confidence has to be shaken. It’s not easy plowing ahead through adversity. You wonder if a bad season is about to get worse.

Trending in Forums View All >

8 thoughts on “Howe: Script Holds in Hawkeyes’ Blowout Loss to Purdue

Comments are closed.

HawkeyeNation Archives View All >

Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson Will Look into Leaving Iowa Early for NFL

Rob Howe

November 20, 2018

Hawkeye tight ends wanting feedback from draft advisory board.

HN TV: Hawkeyes Bracing for Emotional Senior Day

Rob Howe

November 20, 2018

They talk about Friday’s Kinnick finale.

Hawks in the NFL: Week 11

Sean Neugent

November 20, 2018

Several Hawkeyes rested during week 11, while others stirred up a little controversy

Hawkeyes Not About to Let Early Success Go to Their Heads

Rob Howe

November 19, 2018

Iowa focused on improvement, not being in national rankings.

HN TV: Fran McCaffery, Iowa Players Want to Keep Good Times Rolling

Rob Howe

November 19, 2018

Jordan Bohannon, Luka Garza, Connor McCaffery and others meet with the media on Monday.

HN Podcast: Illinois Recap and Fast Hoops Start

Jon Miller

November 19, 2018

Miller and Deace discuss Iowa’s win over Illinois and Iowa’s fast start on the hardwood

Bigger Ten: Week 12 Recap

Jon Miller

November 19, 2018

Miller and Deace discuss the games from Week 12

Transcript: Fran McCaffery Press Conference 11-19

Athletic Communications

November 19, 2018

Iowa coach meets with media on Monday