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IOWA CITY, Iowa - It felt, really, like all of the other games in recent weeks.

Struggle early, fall behind, find a way to win.

It’s why Iowa built a six-game winning streak to open the season. The Hawkeyes were never as perfect as their record, but a win is a win is a win and you take it and run with it and wait until next week, hope to get better, dig out the football cliches, etc.

The formula works until it doesn’t work.

It didn’t work for the No. 2 Hawkeyes on Saturday.

The undefeated season is gone after a 24-7 loss to Purdue, a day when it was over left an uneasiness hanging over Kinnick Stadium as Iowa heads into the bye week.

The Hawkeyes did their best to paint positives after the game, and they were right in some of their assessments.

“Our goals are all in front of us at this point,” quarterback Spencer Petras said. “One thing we can't do is be undefeated, but everything else is out there for our taking.”

“We’re going to learn from this,” center Tyler Linderbaum said. “We haven’t lost — it’s been a while.”

It has been. Iowa’s 12-game winning streak, including nine consecutive in Big Ten play, was gone.

The Hawkeyes had risen to No. 2 in the national rankings, the highest spot for the program since 1985.

But there’s pressure that comes with that, and Purdue coach Jeff Brohm knew it.

“For us, let’s go out there and swing, and keep swinging, and hope for the best,” Brohm said.

Asked if the Hawkeyes felt they were a target, Linderbaum said, ““I think (every) team wants to beat a highly ranked team, but we are going to have to match that energy every week. It’s not going to be easy from here on out.”

Journeys through any season always come across thorns, and Purdue always seems to bring plenty of them.

The Boilermakers have beaten Iowa four of the last five years, always seeming to befuddle the Hawkeyes, and this game was no different.

“Bottom line is we didn’t get it done,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell, one of three the Boilermakers used throughout the day, threw for 374 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, David Bell had a career-best 240 yards receiving, setting a Kinnick Stadium record.

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Purdue outgained the Hawkeyes, 463-271. The Boilermakers were 9 of 16 on third downs. Two of their touchdown drives lasted 10 plays. They had more than a nine-minute edge in time of possession. And they only turned the ball over once against an Iowa defense that led the nation in takeaways and turnover margin.

And the Boilermakers’ defense intercepted four Petras passes, including two late as the Hawkeyes were frantically scrambling for points.

“Basically they outdid us in every category,” Ferentz said.

“We knew Purdue was a good football team,” Petras said. “We prepped hard for this game — it just didn’t go our way today. They played really well and made it tough on us and we didn’t execute well enough.”

There was this moment when it looked like the Hawkeyes’ formula of recent weeks was going to work again. Purdue appeared to have scored a touchdown that would have made it a three-score game, but after a replay review it was ruled that receiver T.J. Sheffield had lost the ball before the goal line, and when the ball hit the pylon it was a touchback for the Hawkeyes.

But there would be no comeback. Petras was sacked twice, threw an incompletion, and the possession was over.

Kinnick still had a hangover after last week’s noisy 23-20 win over Penn State, but the thought of that seeping into the Iowa locker room was dismissed after the game.

“I thought we did a good job from moving on from the game last week,” Linderbaum said. “Any time you have a big win that’s your focus point, but we are playing Big Ten football, so everyone we face is going to be good. It just came down to lack of execution and they were more ready than us.”

Bell has tormented the Hawkeyes for the last three seasons. He had 11 receptions — he now has a combined 37 catches for 558 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa in three seasons.

He was targeted 12 times, constantly finding holes in a soft coverage plan.

“Just a quiet, so destructive of a player for a defense,” O’Connell said.

“ I don't know if I can articulate it,” Ferentz said. “It seems like we've seen somebody really good week in, week out. And that's the case.

“They throw it well. Pressure them, they get the ball off quickly. But he's a very unique player and productive. I'm sure I've been around guys that got 200-plus yards receiving, but I can't remember.”

The Hawkeyes had broken this season into blocks. The seven-game block is done. Now there’s a bye week, and then the final five — at Wisconsin and Northwestern, at home against Minnesota and Illinois, and then at Nebraska.

A 6-1 record that would usually feel good has a different taste after this one.

“It would be great to be sitting here 7-0, but that’s not the reality,” Ferentz said.

The bye week is all about improvement, and the Hawkeyes needed that, win or lose.

“We have some strengths on this football team,” Ferentz said. “And we're seven games into it. So we're young. I think we're older now and we paid for a little bit of that (inexperience) today.”

“We've done a lot of good the first seven weeks, a lot of bad, most of that today,” Petras said. “We have to regroup.”