Iowa limps into Big Ten conference play

From Iowa's injury woes to Michigan State's coaching conundrums to Ohio State's upcoming cupcake schedule, the Big Ten is covered here.

Updated: October 4, 2006, 12:59 PM ET
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com
The abdominal muscle strain that kept quarterback Drew Tate out of action against Syracuse limited his practice time before Ohio State and could be impacting his sharpness. Tate threw repeatedly into coverage against OSU and suffered three interceptions. He averaged a pick every 35.1 attempts before this season, but so far this year he's thrown one every 21.2 attempts.

With Purdue coming to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, the Hawkeyes may need to find their offense fast or find themselves out of the Big Ten race. The Boilermakers average a league-best 36.8 points. Iowa languishes at seventh in the conference in scoring (25.8 per game) and hasn't produced either a 100-yard rusher or a 100-yard receiver in five games.

The Hawkeyes aren't getting many short fields to drive, either. Their defense is the only one in the league that hasn't forced at least one fumble. This week, Iowa is likely to be without senior safety Marcus Paschal, who left the OSU game with a sore shoulder and hamstring and did not return. He is not listed on the depth chart for Purdue.