Oct 24, 2020; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver David Bell (3) runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Short-handed Purdue rallies past Iowa

Aidan O’Connell hit wideout David Bell for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 2:15 remaining to give Purdue a 24-20 win over Iowa in the Big Ten and season opener for both teams on Saturday at Purdue.

It was the third touchdown pass of the day from O’Connell to Bell, who both finished with big days. O’Connell finished 31-of-50 passing for 282 yards and three touchdown passes, all of those to Bell, who finished with 13 receptions for 121 yards.

The score was set up after Purdue (1-0) recovered an Iowa fumble at the Purdue 28-yard line with 6:00 remaining.

Purdue opened the scoring with 7:07 left in the first quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Bell that gave the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead.

Iowa (0-1) responded, tying the game at 7-7 on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Spencer Petras and then taking a 14-7 lead with 4:42 left until halftime on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Mekhi Sargent.

Purdue tied the game at 14-14 with 1:40 left in the half on an 11-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Bell, but Iowa took a 17-14 lead at halftime when Keith Duncan made a 27-yard field goal as time expired to end the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Iowa took a 20-14 lead with 13:12 remaining on Duncan’s 33-yard field goal.

Purdue cut Iowa’s lead back to three at 20-17 with 8:23 left on a 29-yard field goal by J.D. Dellinger.

Running back Zander Horvath ran for 129 yards on 21 carries for Purdue.

Petras finished 22-of-39 passing for 265 yards and Tyler Goodson ran for 77 yards on 16 carries for Iowa.

The Boilermakers won despite the absence of head coach Jeff Brohm and top receiver Rondale Moore. Brohm confirmed Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was replaced on the sideline in the head role by younger brother and Purdue co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Brohm.

Moore, a junior, didn’t play following a Friday press release from Purdue that addressed his status but didn’t provide a reason for his absence.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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