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Purdue Football Look Ahead: Week 6 - Iowa

Iowa returns an experienced defense and can’t be any worse on offense by default (right? RIGHT?)

Iowa v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Iowa: Week 6 Opponent

Schedule Information

Game Day: Saturday, October 7th

Location: Iowa City, Iowa


Kick Time: 3:30/4/7:30 (TV Hold)

University Facts

Legal Name: The University of Iowa

Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Type of School: Public Research University

Founded: 1847

Enrollment: 30K

Historical Football Facts

Inaugural Season: 1889

Overall Win/Loss/Tie Record: 685-570-39

Conference Affiliations:

WIUFA (Western Interstate University Football Association) - 1892 - 1896

Missouri Valley - 1907-1911

Big10 - 1909 - ?

Note: Iowa was in the Missouri Valley at the same time they were in the’s complicated.

Conference Championships: 13 (11 Big10, 1900, 1921, 1922, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1981, 1985, 1990, 2002, 2004 - 1 WIUFA, 1896, 1 Missouri Valley Conference 1907)

Bowl Record: 20-17-1

Seasons Ranked in Final AP Poll: 26

AP National Championships: 0

Most Recent Appearance in Final AP Poll: 2021 (23rd)

Mascot: Herky the Hawk

Notable Football Alum

2022 Season Facts

Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz

Overall Record: 8-5

Conference Record: 5-4

Points Per Game: 17.7 (123rd)

Points Against Per Game: 13.3 (2nd)

Highest AP Ranking: NR

Best Win: @ Purdue (24-3)

Worst Loss: Nebraska 17-24

Post Season: W vs Kentucky (21-0)

Head Coaching Information

Head Coaching Experience: 24 Seasons

Career Record: 186-115

Bowl Record: 10-9

Teams: Iowa

Best Finish: 2015 (12-2)

2023 Preview

Key Losses From 2022


Sam Laporta - TE

What else is there to say about TE’s from Iowa? Dallas Clark, George Kittle, TJ Hockenson, and Noah Fant all attended the Big Ten’s Tight End U and Sam Laporta is the latest to ascend to the NFL after being taken by the Detroit Lions in the second round of this year’s draft. LaPorta did not have traditionally spectacular numbers at Iowa but his best seasons did come when it mattered most: as a Junior and Senior. Over his final two seasons, Sam caught 111 passes for 1,327 yards and 4 touchdowns. Considering the state of the Iowa offense over those two seasons, these stats were spectacular.

Now we wait to see who the next star TE to come down the Iowa pipeline is. You’d think that continually replacing these guys would be difficult but there must be something in the corn out there.

Spencer Petras - QB

This is an odd situation as Spencer Petras will remain on the roster for this season, but in a “non-playing role”. Petras suffered a major shoulder injury last season and will basically receive medical care using his scholarship while being a de-facto coach alongside Brian Ferentz. Petras had been the Iowa starting QB for 2.5 seasons and was, well. he was at the helm of one of the worst offenses in college football. In 32 games over 3 seasons, Petras went 462 / 814 for 5174 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. Perhaps he will be better suited in a coaching role.

Replacing Petras should, in theory, be easy from a production standpoint, but we must ask the question: was it a Spencer Petras problem or a Brian Ferentz problem? Or both? This season may tell.


Lukas Van Ness - DL

A big piece of the Iowa defense, Lukas Van Ness, entered the NFL Draft after his Junior season and was drafted 13th overall to the Green Bay Packers. A two-year starter on the defensive line, Van Ness had an immediate impact when he got on the field, recording eight sacks in 2021 and then 6.5 sacks in 2022. His 2022 campaign was awarded with second-team All-Big Ten honors before leaving for the draft. At 6’5, 271 pounds, Lukas is a big man to move but he’s quick as shown by his moving from DT to DE in 2022. His other hidden skill is blocking punts, as he did multiple times throughout his junior season.

Any time you lose a player to the NFL after their junior year, there are big shoes to fill. Iowa historically hasn’t had an issue finding elite talent on defense, so they shouldn’t be overly concerned.

Jack Campbell - LB

The leader of the Iowa defense in 2022 was definitely Jack Campbell, who made the defense hum by simply being everywhere. A two-year starter, Campbell recorded an absurd 268 tackles in those seasons to go along with 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 defensive touchdowns. You can’t have much better of a two-year campaign than that. 2022 led to Campbell winning the Dick Butkus award given to the best LB in the nation, as well as Big Ten DPOY and an All-American nod. Then, to top is all, Campbell was drafted alongside Sam Laporta by the Detroit Lions 18th overall.

Speaking of big shoes to fill, Iowa will need to replace one of the most prolific and touted defenders in its history. Players like Campbell don’t just show up every season, so expect the position to take at least a small step back.

Key Additions For 2023


Cade McNamara - QB

Is Iowa allowed to have a good quarterback?? We’ll see as Cade McNamara comes over from Michigan after losing out on the starting job to JJ McCarthy. McNamara was the Michigan starter back in 2021, going 210 / 327 with 2576 yards, 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions en route to a Big Ten Championship victory over Iowa and subsequent loss to Georgia in the CFP. In 2022, Cade and JJ McCarthy were in a tight battle for starting QB before McNamara went down with a significant knee injury against UConn. McNamara would not play another snap for the Wolverines.

This season is a year of redemption for Cade McNamara and if he can replicate his productivity from 2021, Iowa could be a monster on a whole new level. The one caveat is that McNamara is not a particularly mobile quarterback and Iowa has room to improve on the offensive line. Another concern is his knee injury as McNamara went down in practice this week on a non-contact play. Initial reports say the injury is not too alarming, but knee injuries are a tricky business. One false step could lead to the Hawkeyes scrambling for a QB this season.

Kaleb Brown - WR

This offseason, Iowa reached into the transfer portal and snagged a highly recruited receiver that originally chose Ohio State as home. Kaleb Brown was a high 4-star recruit out of Chicago and ultimately got caught in the log jam that is the OSU WR room. With so much talent on the field, Brown was only able to catch one pass for five yards. The receiver room at OSU remains basically unchanged, so Brown entered the transfer portal and landed in Iowa City. The important thing is that Iowa should have a good QB to throw Brown the ball but Brown should make an instant impact either way.

At 5’10, Kaleb Brown may not be a “go up and get it” receiver but his burst and change of direction make him a threat all over the field. Think of a Rondale Moore type player who can take a screen pass and dance or straight up run past you on the outside. All of this is for not, however, if Brian Ferentz utilizes his talents incorrectly (like Charlie Jones).


Nick Jackson - LB

As stated earlier, Jack Cambell will be incredibly difficult to replace but Iowa did get a really nice LB out of Virginia who will try to replicate Cambell’s productiveness. Nick Jackson was a four-year player at Virginia and recorded over 100 tackles in 3 of those seasons. He led the ACC in tackles his Junior year with 117 (the only season he played 12 games) was top 5 in his Sophomore and Senior years. He recorded 10 sacks over three seasons with five coming in 2022. The former Cavalier will bring experience and leadership into an already stacked Iowa LB room and DC Phil Parker should be excited about his talent.

Although it’s incredibly difficult for a team to have back-to-back B1G DPOY, Nick Jackson will certainly try to make it happen. Although he likely won’t match the final season of Jack Campbell, he’s got a great shot at it in Iowa City.


Kirk Ferentz has 9 coaching lives. Any mortal coach wouldn’t have made it out of 2022 with gainful employment after abuse allegations, a brutal offense led by an immediate family member and now a gambling scandal. If you come for the king, you best not miss I suppose. Kirk further flexed his Iowa muscle by keeping the shining example of a nepo baby, Brian Ferentz, as his offensive coordinator despite all facts indicating that he’s so far out of his depth the billionaire eating sub would implode before reaching him (too soon?).

Still Iowa is Iowa. They kicked Purdue’s ass last year, so I don’t have much room to speak ill of our most hated rival. The defense is so experienced I had to stretch to find a key addition, and couldn’t find 2. Right now all but one projected starter is either a junior or senior on that side of the ball.

The offense couldn’t be any worse than last season (no Brian, this isn’t a challenge) and Cade McNamara is the best quarterback Iowa has fielded since....C.J. Beathard I guess? The addition of McNamara and Ohio State transfer receiver Kaleb Brown could bring much needed juice to the dry husk of an offense they trotted out in ‘22. The bar is set so low Brian would need an excavator to find it, any signs of life would be an improvement.

This team has the distinct smell of an 8-5 Iowa team that loses a few ugly games and pull out a few head scratchers they have no business winning.

Welcome to the Kirk Ferentz experience.