Bucket time in Boilerland. Andy Graham’s analysis

PREGAME FROM WEST LAFAYETTE: Following directions provided us back in Bloomington, we drove north till we smelled it — the food spread for the media, that is — and turned left till we stepped in it — stepped into the gorgeous new press box that might be the nicest facility in the Big Ten. Certainly can’t complain about the amenities.

Purdue is garbed in its black-heavy home ensemble: black pants and black socks to go with the black jerseys. Appropriately funereal, perhaps.

Just heard the first train whistle of the day.

IU’s Marching Hundred has a small ensemble present to combat The World’s Largest Drum.

The Golden Girl looks cold. It’s brisk up here, but sunny.

As always, I’ll attempt analysis both penetrating and pithy, below the fold.

FIRST QUARTER: Purdue 14, Indiana 7. The first Purdue offensive play that worked very well at all worked for six points. After getting IU’s Nick Sliger to jump offsides on a 4th-and-1 at midfield, PU threw a wide-receiver screen two snaps later that looked pretty innocuous until Antavian Edison motored untouched up the east sideline to score behind fine blocking from his fellow wideouts. IU’s defense had started pretty strongly, with middle linebacker Jeff Thomas especially active, until the big-play bug bit big-time.

But Indiana responded crisply, ripping off a series of big plays to go 68 yards in five snaps for the tie. Zach Davis-Walker had an 11-yard carry, then a 29-yard gain on a screen pass to the Purdue 15. An interference call then set IU up at the 2, and Trea Burgess cruised in untouched off left tackle two snaps later from the 1.

Purdue answered right back, with Rob Henry finding backs out of the backfield open on patterns against IU linebackers. Dan Dierking beat Jeff Thomas on a crossing pattern for 19, then Tyler Replogle n a nice throw-back play for 23, then got wide open for the TD pass off a play-fake from the 2. Indiana’s defense is continuing a season-long pattern where it generally either stuffs a play or gets burned pretty badly.

HALFTIME: Purdue 21, Indiana 14. The halftime margin essentially comes down to a fumbled punt. Terrance Turner, a fifth-year senior and one of IU’s most sure-handed and dependable players, had nobody around him as he called for the fair catch. But he muffed the catch and Chris Carlino recoverd at the Hoosier 10. Keith Carlos vaulted in three snaps later to make it 21-7, home team. IU came back with an 11-play, 77-yard drive that was kept alive and abetted by two Purdue pass interference calls.

IU gets the ball to start the third quarter, so the Hoosiers are still in competitive position. Purdue has a 197-147 total yardage edge, but both offenses have moved the ball reasonably well. Purdue looks like it could pass all day, actually, with Rob Henry completing 10-of-15 throws for 153 yards and two scores. And Henry came in completing just 53 percent of his passes on the season. Not many would have guessed that Henry would have 46 more passing yards than Ben Chappell at the break.

THIRD QUARTER: Purdue 28, Indiana 21. Indiana did what it needed to do with the second half’s first possession, moving 54 yards in 11 plays and taking 5:05 off the clock in tying the score on a 3rd-and-goal completion from Chappell to a wide-open Tandon Doss from the Purdue 6. It’s definitely a ballgame, at this point.

But after IU’s defense gets a stop and IU’s offense is on the move, Terrance Turner loses his second fumble of the day following a catch that carried to the Purdue 48. It took the Boilers one play to capitalize. Cortez Smith got 10 yards beyond safety Mitch Evans for an easy 52-yard TD bomb on a post pattern for put Purdue up 28-21. Chappell, who is clearly laboring with physical issues at times, then threw three straight bad passes.

The IU defense then got another stop. If the Hoosiers can stop shooting their own feet, they might actually have a shot.

FOURTH QUARTER: TIE:  Indiana 31, Purdue 31.

Well, if Indiana does go down, it will have gone down fighting, literally. Senior defensive end Terrance Thomas lost his cool in a fracas with Purdue’s Dennis Kelly as IU had seemingly gained a stop near midfield. A personal foul and ejection for Thomas resulted, as did a PU first down at the IU 38. The Hoosier defense held again, but a Purdue punt was downed at the IU 2 WITH 9:13 left. And PU’s defense kept IU right there. After the ensuing punt and return set the Boilers up with a first down at the IU 20, the Hoosier defense held yet again, but Carson Wiggs converted a 36-yard field goal to put Purdue up, 31-28 with 5:41 to play.

IU goes 71 yardz in 14 plays to set up Mitch Ewald’s game-tying 26-yard field goal at 0:09. And now it’s the first ever overtime game in the history of the Old Oaken Bucket series. Indiana wins the toss and elects to go on defense first.


One comment

  1. Welcome to Tippecanoe County Andy. If a beagle runs onto the field during the game, he’s mine. Hopefully someone catches him and uses helmet-to-bonehead contact to control him. Stay upwind of the pig poop research facility.

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