The Boilermakers, trailing by a touchdown, picked up three first downs before Raheem Mostert fumbled and Iowa's Christian Kirksey recovered at the Iowa 29. Iowa drove down the field and scored after the turnover, then rolled to a 38-14 win.
"I thought we got a little momentum back to move the ball back down the field and turn it over on the fumble," Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said. "Those are hard things to overcome for the program."
Jordan Canzeri ran for a career-high 165 yards on 20 carries for Iowa. Canzeri, a sophomore who entered the game with 173 yards rushing all season, also scored a touchdown to help the Hawkeyes become bowl eligible. Jake Rudock passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten), which set season highs for total yards (509) and yards rushing (318).
Danny Etling completed 15 of 28 passes for 145 yards, Danny Anthrop caught four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown and Akeem Hunt caught seven passes for 63 yards for Purdue (1-8, 0-5). The Boilermakers were held to 266 total yards.
"It basically comes down to making plays," Purdue's Brandon Cottom said. "Offensively, we didn't make plays."
The Boilermakers have scored 31 points in five Big Ten games, with two of the touchdowns coming in the final minute of play. The Boilermakers have lost seven straight and have not beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team this year.
Early in the second quarter, Rudock found Don Shumpert down the middle of the field for 34 yards to move the Hawkeyes into Purdue territory. Eventually, Canzeri scored from the 2 to give Iowa a 7-0 lead. The touchdown capped a 90-yard drive that included a third-and-1 conversion by Mark Weisman to move the Hawkeyes to the Purdue 2-yard line.
Purdue caught its first break in a long time when Iowa's Kevonte Martin-Manley fumbled a punt and Purdue's Armstead Williams recovered at the Iowa 35.
Purdue, which had been shut out its previous two games, finally scored in the second quarter. Etling connected with Hunt for a 26-yard screen pass on third-and-6 to set up the Boilermakers at the Iowa 5-yard line. On third down, Etling found Kurt Freytag for a 2-yard touchdown pass. The extra point tied the score with 5:44 left in the second quarter.
Martin-Manley made up for his fumble with a 22-yard touchdown catch from Rudock that gave Iowa a 14-7 lead with 1:57 left in the second quarter.
Iowa gained 250 yards in the first half, yet led just 14-7. The Hawkeyes were hampered by bad field position throughout the half. Canzeri had 75 yards on 10 carries before the break.
The Hawkeyes dominated the second half after Mostert's fumble.
"We came out of the locker room with some energy and enthusiasm that we were asking the players to play with," Hazell said. "We have to make those plays. All of those critical situations help a team move forward."