West Lafayette, Ind. — Their methodical, no bells and whistles approach is serving the Iowa Hawkeyes well this season.
Iowa, which ran 88 plays to 62 for Purdue, spotted the Boilermakers a 10-0 lead, then dominated the final 49 minutes, rallying for a 24-10 Big Ten-opening victory Saturday.
During the final 30 minutes, Purdue was limited to 56 yards and four first downs. Iowa held the ball for 34:30, nearly 10 minutes more than the Boilermakers.
Without relying on big plays, Iowa has three come-from-behind victories heading into its bye week.
"It's a good sign, certainly, and that's one thing … this group has been resilient," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "They've given good effort, they've worked hard, and they've got good character. Those all are positives. Now, obviously, two weeks in a row, we've found ways, but we now have to find ways to come out quicker."
The Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0) took a 17-10 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a 23-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Beathard to Kevonte Martin-Manley, capping a six-play, 71-yard drive.
Officials first ruled that Martin-Manley caught the ball out of bounds, but after video review, it was clear the receiver caught the ball with one foot in bounds. Even Martin-Manley was unsure if he caught the ball in bounds. Beathard was pleasantly surprised when the call was reversed to a touchdown.
"He had a great catch," Beathard said. "Usually, when they review something, we are over there getting our next call ready. And then they come back and call it a touchdown, and we're like, "Wait, what?' it was a touchdown? I was like, 'Oh, wow, awesome.' "
From that point on, almost everything was awesome for Iowa.
While Purdue (2-3, 0-1) struggled to generate any sustained offense after the first quarter, Beathard and running back Mark Weismann helped Iowa maintain possession.
The Hawkeyes increased their lead to 24-10 with 5:10 remaining on Weismann's 5-yard touchdown run that capped a 12-play, 79-yard drive.
Weismann finished with 24 carries for 76 yards, and Beathard completed 17 of 37 passes for 245 yards and the TD to Martin-Manley, who had five receptions for 74 yards.
Weismann scored on a 2-yard run with 8:15 left in the second quarter, pulling Iowa within 10-7.
Iowa tied it at 10 with 13 seconds remaining in the first half on a 28-yard field goal by Marshall Koehn.
Purdue, which is 0-9 in Big Ten play for second-year coach Darrell Hazell, scored first when strong safety Frankie Williams intercepted Beathard in the right flat and ran 39 yards for a touchdown with 4:13 to go in the first quarter.
The Boilermakers increased their lead to 10-0 on Paul Griggs' 42-yard field goal with 11:48 left in the first half. From that point on, it was all Iowa, as the Hawkeyes won in West Lafayette for a second consecutive season. Iowa also pulled away in the second half in 2013, outscoring Purdue, 24-7, in the final 30 minutes for a 38-14 victory.
This was the third come-from-behind win for Iowa this season. The Hawkeyes trailed Ball State, 13-3, in the fourth quarter but rallied for a 17-13 victory. Last week, the Hawkeyes trailed 20-17 at Pittsburgh in the final quarter before winning, 24-20.
Now, Iowa has until Oct. 11 to prepare for its next game — Indiana in Iowa City.
"We wanted to be 5-0 going into the bye week, but after we lost a game, the best we could be was 4-1," Ferentz said. "We have a lot of rough spots, and in my 16 years at Iowa, I can't really remember us humming by the end of September. But we eventually have to get there."
Purdue now is 3-14 in the Hazell era, beating only Indiana State in 2013 and Western Michigan and Southern Illinois thus far this season.
After early runs of 33 and 17 yards by senior Akeem Hunt, the Purdue offense spun its wheels, at one point picking up one first down total in a stretch of five possessions.
Quarterback Danny Etling was sacked three times in the first half and once on the opening possession of the second half. He finished 11-of-26 for only 61 yards and an interception.
Hunt was Purdue's most productive offensive player with 14 carries for 90 yards.
Iowa finished with 420 yards of offense, 404 during the final three quarters. Purdue gained 74 yards in the first quarter but finished with only 156.