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Void leads Purdue to three-way tie atop Big Ten

11/8/2003

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Iowa expected Purdue to rely on its
wide-open passing game Saturday.

Purdue changed the plan.

Jerod Void ran for a career-high 120 yards and two touchdowns
against one of the nation's top run defenses and the Boilermakers (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 Associated Press) overpowered No. 10 Iowa 27-14.

"We wanted to run the ball and we did just that," coach Joe
Tiller said. "That is the best Jerod has run, in terms of power
running, all season."

Void's strong performance gave Purdue (8-2) its first 5-1 record
in Big Ten play since 1979. The Boilermakers also moved into a
three-way tie for first with Michigan and Ohio State headed into a
showdown next Saturday at the Buckeyes (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP).

For Purdue, it was an impressive performance against the
nation's No. 4 run defense.

Void carried a career-high 34 times, frequently breaking tackles
and running over defenders. At times, he even resembled former
Purdue fullback Mike Alstott in gaining extra yards.

The Hawkeyes, who were allowing 72.0 yards rushing per game and
had not given up more than 75 yards in their previous seven games,
yielded 77 in both halves.

"We respected their pass game; that was one of our main efforts
-- to really stop the pass," Iowa defensive end Howard Hodges said.
"But they came out there today and executed the run game."

That opened things up for quarterback Kyle Orton and the results
were predictable.

Iowa (7-3, 3-3) gave up 27 points, tying a season-high, and Void
produced nearly as many rushing touchdowns Saturday as the Hawkeyes
allowed in their first nine games (three).

Iowa also had its worst regular-season defeat since a 28-point
loss to Ohio State on Oct. 21, 2000.

Purdue, which has used a more balanced offense to keep defenses
guessing this season, wasted little time in exploiting the holes.

Void set the tone on the opening series by breaking a couple
tackles on a bruising 20-yard run, then plowed over another Iowa
defender for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.

Purdue's defense took the cue.

The Boilermakers limited 1,000-yard runner Fred Russell to 35
yards on 18 carries and pressured quarterback Nathan Chandler all
day. Iowa finished with 98 yards rushing on 36 carries, while
Chandler was a mediocre 16-of-29 for 203 yards. He ran three yards
for one touchdown and threw a touchdown -- both after the outcome
had been determined.

"The common thread through all of our games has been the
consistency of the defense," Tiller said. "We have the smallest
defense, physically, in the Big Ten, but that doesn't mean anything
to them."

Instead Purdue found the perfect combination.

They got two field goals from Ben Jones, a 44-yarder to open the
second quarter and a 42-yarder to close it, to take a 13-0 halftime
lead.

And while Iowa had chances to stay close, it couldn't finish the
job.

Chandler overthrew Ramon Ochoa on what looked like a sure
touchdown midway through the first quarter. Later in the half, he
overthrew another open receiver, Calvin Davis, who could have
scored.

Not everything was Chandler's fault. An illegal formation erased
a 12-yard TD pass to Maurice Brown, and kicker Nate Kaeding
followed that by pushing a 34-yard field goal wide right. It was
his first miss in 12 tries this season.

Brown had a career-high eight catches for 126 yards but failed
to score.

"This was certainly a tough game for our football club," Iowa
coach Kirk Ferentz said. "I have to give credit to Purdue, they're
a tough team. This one's going to hurt for a while."

Things quickly deteriorated for Iowa in the second half.

Purdue's Jerome Brooks returned the opening kickoff 47 yards to
midfield. Two plays later, Orton beat a blitz with an audible and
lobbed a perfect pass to a wide open Anthony Chambers, who sprinted
45 yards down the middle of the field for a 20-0 lead.

Orton was 13-of-20 for 167 yards.

All Purdue had to do from that point was grind it out.

No problem.

On their next drive, the Boilermakers ran five straight times,
the last being Void's 1-yard, spinning TD run to make it 27-0.

But Iowa couldn't stop Purdue's ground game and the Boilermakers
held off Iowa's rally.

"They kept driving the ball and we couldn't stop them," Iowa
linebacker Chad Greenway said. "Void is one of the best that we've
seen."