6:14: Purdue 56, Indiana 35: Cam Coffman’s third pick of the day was especially wretched. On a 4th-and-4, with PU’s Justin Nowak clearly jumping a button-hook route, Coffman threw it right to him. He returned it to the IU 4, setting up Shavers’ 1-yard TD leap.
7:55: Purdue 49, Indiana 35. More abject failure from IU’s defense. On a 4th and 3 from the Indiana 35, the Hoosiers played soft zone in the left flat, conceding a 9-yard completion to O.J. Ross. On the next snap, nobody covered Shavers out of the backfield and it was an easy 26-yard TD pass for Marve, who was 4-for-4 on the drive.
10:31. And Coffman promptly throws a pick off Bolser’s hands.
10:40; Purdue 42, Indiana 35. Worst. Defense. In. The. Big. Ten. Indiana is out-pacing Purdue for that dubious title total. PU throws a reverse screen to Akeem Shavers and he roars down the west sideline till confronted at around the 20 bywi safety Mark Murphy, whom he promptly stiff-armed aside. 73-yard score.
12:14: Indiana 35, Purdue 35. Hoosier offense rolls, when it doesn’t stop itself. Fine 3rd-and-9 screen left to Houston for 21 yards set up a 6-yard rollout TD pass to Latimer.
END THIRD QUARTER: Purdue 35, Indiana 28.
2:30: Purdue 35, Indiana 28. Purdue’s defense looks almost as bad as Indiana’s. Two straight huge completions. To a wide-open Latimer. Then to an even more wide-open Hughes for 46 yards up the seam, which would have been a TD had not Coffman underthrown it. Coffman snuck in from the 1 for the TD.
3:54: Purdue 35, Indiana 21. And after a lost D’Angelo Roberts fumble at midfield, Indiana’s defense again adamantly refuses to rise to the occasion. An interference call negated an interception but, basically, Purdue just cruised downfield again. The TD came on a perfect call against an IU blitz, with Rob Henry throwing a wide-receiver screen right to Gary Bush, who sailed in untouched from 25 yards out.
7:44: Purdue 28, Indiana 21. This Indiana defense is truly terrible. Let’s just acknowledge that, overtly, yet again. The Hoosiers were hoodwinked by a belly fake, leaving tight end Crosby Wright amazingly open up the seam. No defender in sight. His longest career catch for 58 yards. He was ruled down at the IU 1 after carrying would-be tacklers for quite a while, and Rob Henry sneaked it in from there. Again, it’s hard to say precisely where IU is worst on its defense. Linebackers? Defensive ends? Corners? Take your pick.
8:52: After making a nice 3rd-and-11 completion to Latimer, with a good blitz pick-up, Coffman throws deep into double-coverage and is picked off by Frankie Williams, who then had a nice return back to the Boilermaker 41.
11:18: Purdue 21, Indiana 21. Hoosiers cede whatever momentum they might have had at the end of the first half with terrible start after intermission. Offense goes 3-and-0ut. Defense allows Purdue to convert off a 1st-and-20 and is just flat-out embarrassed on the 19-yard swing pass to tie the game as O.J. Ross broke tackles by both Antonio Marshall and Flo Hardin, then dragged Mark Murphy into the end zone. IU had a chance to put a hurt on a fragile-looking Boiler bunch, but instead has fired them up.
HALFTIME: INDIANA 21, PURDUE 14. Hoosiers get the ball to start the second half. Not a great IU performance, by any means, but Purdue mistakes stopped a couple of Boilermaker possessions early, then Purdue’s offense bogged down in the second quarter. Lots of dropped passes. And one deflected pass was caught by IU safety Greg Heban for what is, for now, the game-changing play. His 70-yard interception return to Purdue’s 16 set up Stephen Houston’s third TD run of the half to provide IU its halftime lead.
IU has a 264-209 total yardage edge. Houston has carried 17 times for 123 yards and the three TDs, with his 51-yard burst to start the scoring his big run so far. Coffman is 10 of 19 through the air, but has hit a couple of big ones, including a 52-yarder to Shane Wynn to set up Houston’s second TD run. IU after getting just two first downs in the first quarter got eight in the second.
2:33: Indiana 21, Purdue 14. Hoosiers capitalize on Heban’s 70-yard int. return, converting a 3rd-and-15 with a 17-yard swing pass to Houston, and then Houston got the TD two snaps later from the 1. Houston now has 15 carries for 101 yards and 3 TDs.
No ones to stand prosperity, after tying the score, the Hoosiers proceeded to give up a kickoff return to their own 37. But then Greg Heban then snags a deflected interception and returns it to the Purdue 16. He will probably take some grief from teammates, however, about getting run down by a quarterback with no ACL.
5:50: Indiana 14, Purdue 14. Big play on IU scoring drive a 52-yard crossing pattern to Shane Wynn to the PU 11.
The Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz notes there are no bowl reps listed on today’s press box seating chart. Hmmmm.
Coffman remains inconsistent. Part of that might be playing-calling, or route-running or whatever. But IU’s offense is sputtering, and usually stopping itself.
12:07. I know Houston has run the ball well, generally, but a draw to him on a 3rd-and-15 from midfield? Result: punt.
END FIRST QUARTER: Purdue 14, Indiana 7.
1:13: Purdue 14, Indiana 7: Another really easy, relaxed Purdue TD drive. No play even really seriously challenged. Marve is now 8 of 9 through the air, with an 8-yard TD pass to Antavian Edison on a flat slant to cap the second scoring drive. Indiana is playing a zone with total ineffectiveness and, somehow, one of IU’s slower linebackers, Griffen Dahlstrom, got matched up against Edison on the TD play. No chance.
5:09: IU’s second possession stalls when Coffman missed open receivers down field and dumps it to Houston for 4 yards on a 3rd-and-7. It’s as if the Hoosiers are determined for Houston to handle the rock every snap.
7:05: Indiana 7, Purdue 7: IU’s defense reverted to form on Purdue’s second possession, conceding easy completions and missing tackles. The Boilermakers go 77 yards in 11 methodical plays, capped by a quick pitch right to Brandon Cotton for a 14-yard TD run on which IU safety Mark Murphy conspicuously missed the tackle in the open field. Easy score. Easy TD drive for Purdue. The only blip was a near-pick by Greg Heban on a 2nd and 6 from the IU 35. And for whatever reason the Hoosiers played a base 4-3 on a 4th and 1 at their 30, basically gifting the key first down.
12:04: Indiana 7, Purdue 0. Three straight Stephen Houston plays, two runs sandwiching a pass, all attacking around left end — and the third one goes for a 51-yard TD gallop up the east sideline in front of an animated Hoosier bench. Purdue had gotten off a similar play on its third snap, down the west sideline, but a holding call negated it. No flag on Houston’s run. Nice start for the team in white: a stop followed by a quick strike.
PREGAME: The World’s Largest Drum has made its appearance. My life is complete.
Even before that, there was a minor bit of brouhaha when officials hustled the Hoosiers off the field (it looked like about a minute and a half before the scheduled time) so Purdue could conduct Senior Day ceremonies in the south end zone and Indiana coach Kevin Wilson conversed a bit with the State Troopers on his way to the locker room. The might have added just a little spice to the proceedings.
Not that this game really needs that.
Not much of a crowd so far today, but it’s cold and people are probably waiting till the last minute to actually enter the stadium. There are some things on the line for the home team beyond the Bucket, such as a bowl bid and possibly the coach’s job. Stay tuned on that one.
As always, I’ll supply updates and sundry thoughts here and via Twiiter on htograham. Also feel free to join my estimable H-T colleague Dustin Dopirak and his various groupies and cronies on our customary Cover It Live chat on this very web site. Thanks for checking in.