IOWA CITY, Iowa — Purdue couldn't pull off the upset that would've shaken up the playoff race.
C.J. Beathard tossed three touchdown passes as unbeaten Iowa clinched a share of the West title and a spot in the Big Ten championship game
LeShun Daniels Jr. ran for two TDs for the Hawkeyes (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 5 CFP), who'll play at Nebraska next week in search of their first 12-0 regular season — just a year after finishing a disappointing 7-6.
Iowa let Purdue (2-9, 1-6) get within 20-13 in the third quarter. But Beathard's 22-yard TD pass to Henry Krieger-Coble with 8:40 left sealed yet another victory for the Hawkeyes.
There "are situations when you're playing a good football team that you have to be right on point. Obviously, we didn't do that," Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said.
Hazell said after the game that he's unsure of Blough's status. Purdue will play for the Old Oaken Bucket next week against Indiana.
The first winter storm of the season dumped roughly eight inches of snow on Iowa City overnight. The skies cleared by kickoff, but the temperatures remained in the low 20s with wind gusts that made it feel closer to zero degrees.
The conditions seemed ideal for the run-heavy, defensive-minded Hawkeyes.
But once again, it was Beathard who made the plays that helped keep Iowa unbeaten.
Daniels opened the scoring with a 2-yard TD. He then went 13 yards to give Iowa a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and Beathard's 7-yard TD pass to Matt VandeBerg made it 20-0.
But Iowa went into a brief funk — and Purdue got going behind Appleby.
"I thought he came in and made some good throws. He created a couple of things, hit some guys and made some plays," Hazell said of Appleby.
Jones had 87 yards rushing for the Boilermakers. DeAngelo Yancey had nine grabs for 117 yards, but he dropped two straight passes that would've put the Boilermakers deep in Iowa territory down just seven.
Beathard made Purdue pay for those missed opportunities, finding George Kittle for a 35-yard TD pass and a 27-13 lead late in the third. Beathard finished with 213 yards passing and tied a season high for touchdown passes in the worst conditions Iowa had seen all year.
Senior Jordan Canzeri, in his final carry at Kinnick Stadium, ran for a 42-yard touchdown with 2:12 left that kicked off a celebration in Iowa City, with fans chanting "Let's Go Hawks!"
Next up for Iowa is a date on the road Friday with the rival Cornhuskers, a game that now means nearly nothing in the league standings but everything as far as the playoffs are concerned.
Purdue has one last shot at a win over rival Indiana, which like Iowa features a high-scoring offense.
"We had some situations on third down defensively where we didn't get off the field," Hazell said.
AP College Football site: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org