Purdue takes back Bucket with 33-25 win at Indiana
Indiana wanted to salvage something from its miserable season by
hanging onto the Old Oaken Bucket.
They couldn’t even manage to do that.
Ralph Bolden ran for one score, Antavian Edison scored two TDs
and Carson Wiggs made four field goals Saturday, helping Purdue get
past archrival Indiana 33-25 and possibly into its first bowl game
”This is the worst feeling in the world, of course, having a
horrible season like we’ve had,” receiver Kofi Hughes said. ”We
thought this would be a positive feeling heading into the
offseason, but now we just have to flip this back as motivation. We
have workouts on Monday. The one thing that is still going to be on
our minds from winter workouts, spring ball and summer ball is that
we lost the Bucket, so we’ve got to get it back.”
Indiana (1-11, 0-8 Big Ten) finished coach Kevin Wilson’s first
season with nine straight losses and as the only BCS-conference
team without a victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision foe.
Worse, they lost the Bucket by helping the Boilermakers (6-6,
4-4) become bowl eligible for the first time under coach Danny
For the first time in seven games, Indiana held an opponent to
fewer than 40 points. When Purdue failed to score in the third
quarter Saturday, it marked the first time in 29 quarters, dating
to Oct. 1, that the Hoosiers defense kept an opponent
It wasn’t good enough for Wilson.
”In my short-term experience here when a player does reasonably
OK, all of a sudden we talk about how well he’s doing and we never
get to what we’re capable of being because of the entitlement and
the semi-arrogance that an average player gets when he’s playing
pretty well,” Wilson said.
Purdue wasted no time dancing around the trophy, taking pictures
with it and even kissing the Bucket.
At 6-6, including 4-4 within the Big Ten, Purdue is the 10th
league team to reach the mandatory six wins for postseason play and
with only eight bowl tie-ins, there is no guarantee the
Boilermakers will be playing in December or January.
But that wasn’t going to detract from the milestone win.
”We had some great wins this season, but nothing is quite as
sweet as beating Indiana, in Bloomington, to get the Bucket and
become bowl eligible,” linebacker Joe Holland said, grinning from
ear to ear.
Still, things could have gone better for Purdue.
The announced attendance of 42,005 didn’t come close to filling
Memorial Stadium, and a smaller-than-expected contingent made the
2-hour drive from West Lafayette to Bloomington.
That didn’t seem to matter to Paul Viglianti, a representative
of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.
”You want teams that are bowl hungry and Purdue is excited
about being in a bowl again,” he said. ”It’s only a gas tank away
to go to a bowl for anybody in the Mid-American Conference or the
Big Ten, so the proximity is really important. It’s always a better
game when there’s a Big Ten team because you get more local,
regional audiences wanting to purchase tickets.”
The other big concern is the status of running back Ralph
Bolden, who left in the third quarter with what appeared to be a
right knee injury. He ran 14 times for 54 yards including an 8-yard
TD run but he did not finish the game. Bolden missed all of last
season after tearing the ACL in his right knee, and before leaving
the field, teammates, including quarterback Robert Marve, came over
and wished Bolden well.
Purdue coach Danny Hope had no update on Bolden after the
”It’s disappointing and we’ll wait and see what the diagnosis
and the prognosis is, maybe everything’s going to be fine,” Hope
TerBush was 16 of 25 for 192 yards with one TD and no
interceptions, and Akeem Hunt ran 10 times for 100 yards after
Indiana freshman quarterback Tre Roberson was 17 of 26 for 147
yards with one interception, a call the officials decided to review
before later announcing that a dual-possession play was not
reviewable. Stephen Houston rushed seven times for 129 yards and
one score, and D’Angelo Roberts scored on two of his four carries
for the Hoosiers.
That just wasn’t enough.
”I thought the guys fought hard, but it’s disappointing,”
What started as a wild shootout turned into a defensive struggle
in the second half.
Houston opened the scoring with a 52-yard TD run, and Purdue
answered with a 14-yard TD pass from TerBush to Edison.
Roberts followed that with a 6-yard TD run up the middle to make
it 14-7, and after Raheem Mostert’s 81-yard kickoff return,
Bolden’s TD tied the score at 17 with 8:37 left in the first
The Hoosiers couldn’t get back into Purdue territory the rest of
the half, and Wiggs made field goals of 43 and 48 yards to give
Purdue a 23-17 lead. Wiggs’ fourth field goal, a 22-yarder, and
Edison’s 5-yard TD run made it 33-17 with 11:04 left in the
Indiana closed to 33-25 late, but the interception that was not
reviewed, which was also the only turnover of the game for both
teams, sealed Purdue’s win and perhaps a bowl trip.
”It was just ridiculous in the locker room, guys were jumping
around everywhere, but it’s time to celebrate,” Edison said. ”I
think we’ve done enough to make a bowl game. I’m not trying to
think negative anymore; I’m trying to think positive.”