Hoosiers clinch bowl eligibility with 54-36 win at Purdue #iufb

WEST LAFAYETTE — Indiana is going to a bowl game with the Old Oaken Bucket in tow.

The Hoosiers closed the regular season with a 54-36 win at Ross-Ade Stadium, earning the program’s sixth win and clinching bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007.

Nate Sudfeld became Indiana’s career passing leader, completing 18 of his 29 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns, while becoming the school’s all-time passing leader.

With Jordan Howard unavailable, seven Hoosiers carried the ball in his absence. Devine Redding led the way for the second consecutive week, rushing for a career-high 144 yards and scoring once. The win marks the first time Indiana has won three consecutive Bucket Games since 1944-47.

The teams combined for 1,145 yards and Purdue was flagged six times for personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct. IU’s defense finished with six sacks and forced four turnovers.

Indiana never trailed and led 24-14 at halftime before Sudfeld opened the second-half scoring by diving into the end zone from three yards out.

Simmie Cobbs led IU with five catches for 92 yards. Cobbs may have had a few more of each if not for some early drops and misses, but atoned for his mistakes with a pair of big catches to cap a 99-yard scoring drive late in the first half. The first grab saw Cobbs race 32 yards downfield to the Purdue 15, where Sudfeld followed on the next play with a high and quick strike to Cobbs in the end zone.

Even after Sudfeld’s rushing score made it a 17-point Indiana lead early in the third quarter, Purdue hung around deep into the fourth.

The Hoosiers appeared to benefit from a knockout play late in the period when Purdue running back Markell Jones fumbled a carry at the IU 5-yard line. An official review determined Jones’ knee was down and Boilers quarterback Austin Appleby threw a quick, two-yard pass to Cole Herdman to cut IU’s lead to 31-21 with 4:28 to play in the third quarter.

The teams traded rushing touchdowns over the next couple possessions, beginning with IU walk-on running back Andrew Wilson’s one-yard dive. Jones closed the quarter with a 20-yard rush straight through Indiana’s defense to cut IU’s lead to 10 points.

Freshman Brandon Knight, who began this season at left tackle before moving to tight end, caught a 22-yard pass for his first career score early in the final quarter. After Griffin Oakes missed the extra point attempt, Appleby finished a 56-yard drive by diving into the end zone from a yard out. He then converted a two-point play to trim the Hoosier advantage to 44-36 early in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Andre Booker delivered the dagger, racing down the sideline to catch a 72-yard pass from Sudfeld and boost IU’s lead to 15 points.

Oakes added a 34-yard field goal — his second of the day — with five minutes remaining in the contest.

After Sudfeld snapped the final play of the game, tight end Anthony Corsaro turned and delivered a big hug to the IU quarterback. Indiana’s sideline spilled onto the field and the Hoosiers celebrated their possession of the Bucket — and the continuation of their season — on their rival’s home turf.

This story will be updated.


  1. I was firm that if Wilson did not go at least 6-6 and make a bowl game this year, he should be fired despite IU’s football progress. But this team showed its courage and determination and won the all important 6th game. So reward the Head Coach with a significant contract extension, more money, and more money for assistant coaches! Well done! GO IU!

  2. Yes, he won six, so Wilson deserves a contract extension with a pay raise. Not sure any of the defensive coaches deserve to keep their jobs, but Wilson and the offensive coaches certainly do. Glass should give Wilson, IU’s O-line coach and the running backs coach bonuses and a new contract with a big raise. Glass should do it immediately so that it can bolster IU’s recruiting for the 2016 class. Glass needs to do what is necessary to allow Wilson to keep his key assistant coaches in Bloomington, or he risks diluting the value of Wilson staying in place. Keeping Wilson, but losing two or three of his best assistants would be a huge mistake. IU Football needs stability, so I hope to goodness Glass is proactive and is not counting on his ability to match another school’s offer in a stupid attempt to keep an assistant on staff. DO IT NOW, Glass!

  3. Congrats Indiana…you will play 13 games this year! Now go and win the bowl games so that IU can have it’s first winning season in a long time. BTW, props to Andre Booker for making a difficult catch appear very easy and taking it to the house to completely demoralize the PU players.

  4. And Wilson moves into 2nd place on the all-time list of IU coaches on the number of times taking the Hoosiers to a bowl game behind Mallory.

  5. Looking back, IU could easily be 9 & 3. Guessing if those close game losses were to be play today, I think the confidence shown by the team, those losses would be wins.?

    Congrads IU Football.

  6. Having said the above, IU’s defense is just terrible. I know IU won the turnover battle today, mostly because of two fortuitous interceptions, and a few guys made some good plays, but overall, they’re still just terrible. They’re swiss cheese, they’re wet paper towels, their bowling pins. They make back-up quarterbacks look like Peyton Manning in his prime. And the problem is exacerbated by Wilson’s inability to manage the clock with a lead. For such a smart man, his clock management while playing with the lead in the second half is really stupid. With an 18 point lead and four minutes left, no IU fan could relax. Come on, admit it, you were still waiting for IU to find a way to lose that game. No matter how good the offense is, and no matter how many points Iu scores, IU fans can’t ever relax with that defense on the field. Not sure if Knorr is to blame or not, but something has to be done. The linebackers and the DBs, with perhaps the exception of Fant, are just horrific. But IU won six this year. we might go to a bowl. It should have been seven, but in relative terms, six wins represents significant progress for IU football.

  7. Podunker:
    Relax. We are 6-6 and WILL be in a bowl. Significant progress by IU football. Talent is better and sending players to the league. This should boost recruiting for this year as well! You Fred’s brother? I hope you haven’t attached your cart to Tom as well. He has 100x more talent and resources and spends his time moonlighting as “Clap & Tan” Crean!

  8. #5 recheck your facts! Coroso had multiple Bowls, Lynch 1 Bowl, Pont 1 Bowl, now Wilson 1 Bowl. I may have missed some.

  9. IU’s running back coach and Frey deserve a big raise. Even with our star running back out, IU’s back-up backs ran extremely well today. They are impressive!

    It was the best game Sudfeld has played since arriving at IU. He was excellent and really demonstrated great leadership. He deserves to showcase his talent in a bowl game and at the next level. And I had to admire the Big Ten Network’s game commentator when he said, “Sudfeld would be much more highly rated if IU had a better defense.” That statement was so true.

  10. Give Wilson a contract extension this week. For one, if any coaches decide to take a job elsewhere, Wilson and go and address it now. Also can help in recruiting. Since several job openings will be available. Recruits will open up recruitment. I think it also helps staff now that they are bowl bound to go after highly skilled players they wouldn’t have normally have access to. IU might even get inquiries from coaches they didn’t have before (if changes are made to defensive staff or if I U adds one. Wilson commented only 4 defensive coaches compared to 5 on the offensive end.)

  11. Corso lead IU to one bowl game. Just one. The Holiday Bowl against #6 ranked BYU. IU won the game in the last seconds, making Corso the first coach to lead IU to a bowl-game victory.

  12. Yes, Glass should ask Wilson, “what do you need to take this program to the next level?” Then he should move heaven and earth to fulfill Wilson’s request. No messing around or trying to pinch pennies, give Wilson what he needs to build on this modest success. And do it immediately!

  13. A good win for the team and it will be fun to see where they go to play their bowl game and who the opponent will be. IU leads the Big Ten in offense, passing, individual passing, and individual rushing/game. It is time to give coach an extension with more money and more money for some key assistants.

    The defense isn’t good but remember that Coach Knorr is calling defenses with only one group of his recruits on the field. The disaster of the first three years will take several years to overcome. IU’s reputation keeps top defenders from coming but now with a bowl game maybe a few of the better defensive players will come to shore up this porous defense. Defense is a game of athletes and it takes better athletes than IU now has at most positions. You can’t hide weak players on defense the way you can on Offense so give them time to build this defense. I hope they pick up a couple of top defensive front players from the JC level so OLs fear playing against our front. The focus on recruiting last year was the DBs and despite being without a # of those players due to injury a number of them got valuable experience this year. They will be challenged next year with some quality athletes working to gain a starting spot.

  14. PO- hats off to the Illini for lowering the bar. Bill Cubit got a two year contract for $1.2 million, announced before the NU game today. NU 21 UI 7 in 3d quarter.

  15. Congrats to Wilson and the Hoosier football team. They played some brutally tough BIG opponents this season…Four of those BIG teams have longstanding pedigree….OSU, MSU, and Iowa all have shots at being among the chosen top four for the college playoff and national title.

    The offensive line grew up this season…I never thought I’d see the day that a Hoosier football team could push around, at point of attack, some of the best of the best BIG defensive fronts. And the Hoosiers O-line simply made holes against Purdue that a truck could drive through. And don’t for a minute disbelieve just how badly Puke want to play spoilers today…This was more than the usual Oaken Bucket contest and the Hoosiers responded….

    This is a much better football team than that conference record indicates…The Hoosiers played against the elite of a conference that is getting much more national recognition. and, in most of those contests, they battled and stayed within a touchdown of victory(only the MSU game really got away in the final moments…The final score not indicative of the way the Hoosiers battled..).

    More importantly, kudos to those that didn’t choose to undermine Wilson. Kudos to Tsao and Clarion for sticking by this team and staying loyal to what they believed to be true progress. It’s easy to jump on board now, but we know the names on here that were playing defeatist roles and channeling negative energy at every opportunity. Many were amassing their bonfire wood, stakes, and preparing the torches. They parade on here with false glee after the Hoosiers back-to-back road victories, but it tastes insincere and does not line up with their repetitive spit thrown at Coach Wilson throughout the year..

    Congrats again to the Indiana Hoosier FOOTBALL TEAM!

  16. The good news is that IU is projected to play in the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, CA on December 26. The bad news is that they’ll probably play Washington State. Thinking about Washington State’s prolific and potent passing game going against IU’s pass defense gives makes me nauseous. But, IU should be able to set rushing records against Washington State’s defense. It’s going to be a track meet and a shootout. Pray for IU to improve it’s pass rush over the next three weeks.

  17. Podunker, I sure hope you are wrong about the bowl location! That is 50 miles from me and I will be in Indiana on December 26!!

  18. Congrats to the team for not tanking after the UM game and for holding on to the bucket for another year. That being said the fact remains that IU had zero quality wins again this year. The defense statistically made no progress. Meanwhile KW’s bizarre game management is not going to lead the Hoosiers to the next level. Two wins in conference play isn’t impressive, thus if a mediocre 6-6 record and a likely forgettable appearance in an off-the-wall bowl game gives some a reason to celebrate than so be it.

  19. Awesome job Hoosier Football. Enjoy the win and shoot for #7. Purdue showed how classless they really are with cheap shot penalties. Stay classy Boilermakers. Go Hoosiers

  20. HarvardforHillbillies, thanks for your thoughtful post. So many negative posters that only look at wins and losses instead of reality. Thinking IU should beat some of the best programs in the country, yes I agree the Rutgers loss sucked, instead of seeing progress in how well the team played those leading programs. Yes the defense is a liability but after three years of disaster it won’t be turned around in one recruiting class.

    Podunker, you are absolutely right about the approach AD Glass should have with Coach Wilson. Knowing Mr Glass from when I coached in Indy I expect he is having that kind of talk with him this Winter.

    I hope this season and the bowl game gives the coaches access to better athletes and helps pull some of them in. I know coach Wilson says the best player IU has is Patrick and we won’t see him until next year. He also believes a few players from other schools that transferred in and JC will bring a big impact on next year’s team. I hope this team is just the start of an improving team every year and not the pinnacle of recruiting that slips back while Maryland, PSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin gain ground each year. This team got to the point that we could see the rarified air at the top so that we don’t want to see the team slide backwards even for a year. We don’t want next year’s team to just play close to the top teams but to knock off a couple of them along with the teams we should beat [that may be too much of a dream but we can dream].

    Naysayers have pointed out IU’s recruiting rank in 2016 but it ignores the fact that IU doesn’t do most of their commitments until the Winter up through signing day.

  21. BTN cut away from the IU PU game with significant time left to start the Minnesota Wisconsin game. IU had what was hoped to be a commanding lead but PU still had some hope. This was a rivalry game and our chance to go to a bowl I would have liked to have seen the end. Would BTN have cut away if OSU and Michigan were playing a similar game?

  22. They didn’t cut away on the DirecTv feed. I saw through the end of the game and some discussion afterward. They joined the Minnesota/Wisky game in progress.

  23. 1968, I had the same problem and the same comment.

    The least they could have done is to say “We’re cutting away now to Minnesota vs. Wisconsin.”

    Instead, the game just abruptly disappeared practically mid-play.

    The Big Ten Network has no class.

    Glad to see the Hoosiers make a bowl game. Go Hoosiers!

  24. Glad IU beat Pu again. Hope they make it 4 in a row next year. Wilson will be extended, but last week’s win saw to that. And I’m not so sure 0-8 would have even gotten him fired. The fact is no other fball coach in IU history has had half the advantages as this guy. With that in mind, IU has 8 B1G wins in his 5 seasons. This is especially relevant bc 9 conference games are now a reality, starting next season. Couple that with no more FCS opponents allowed (commish Delaney) and it’s really uphill sledding for IU fball.

    The best thing Wilson has going for him is tom crean. As long as a huge CTC buyout is a real possibility, and Wilson stays under the radar and doesn’t get lost in any dorms, then Wilson should have a job for a long time. Besides, glass is the one who really needs to go. Immediately. When the time comes to get new bball and fball coaches, can you imagine that clown in charge?

  25. While at the game today all I could think about after hearing the Purdue fans and watching Purdue making bone head penalties was how this was IU so many times in the past. Today it wasn’t offense was almost flawless play calling solid and even the defense was only bad and not horrible. Nick Mangieri was on a different level today that kid played like a winner today. And made the difference. Dynamic player.

  26. Well done HOOOOOOSIERS!!!!! An awesome win and a chance to go bowling! Things are moving up and forward! Keep up the good work. Enjoy this win and then get ready for the next game!

  27. Back – to – Back road wins at the end of the seasons, going to a bowl game, for the first time since 2007 and beating Purdue three times in a row (for the first time since 1940 era)….Congratulations to Coach Wilson and his staff, this team never quit and played every game tough this year…this IU football team was competitive and compete in every game this year….this team could have easy folded or quit at the end of the year, but coach Wilson and his staff kept this football team together…hopefully this win and going to a bowl game helps recruiting and quiets all the naysayers and doubters, that do not believe the IU football program is improving under coach Wilson and his staff.

  28. Rather see IUFB in the Pinstripe Bowl. A lot easier to talk Mrs. Davis into jaunt to NYC than to Santa Clara, CA (wherever that is). Plus, we can get comped by my friend the Daily News restaurant critic (and IUSB grad)!

  29. Kicking ass in a bowl game could also boost recruiting….Just for fun, I looked up popular songs from Wilson Phillips…The titles strangely follow the essence of Podunker with each progressing week of the football season harmonizing to his Scoop persona…..

    Flesh And Blood‘…is the 10.000 empty seats of a Memorial corpse feeding my existence.
    Give It Up‘…Hoosier defensive line or I’ll kick you in the wide left Mallory pouch.
    Hold On‘….and never let go of undaunted Hoosier Defeatism.
    Impulsive‘…are my nights staring at Kevin Wilson khaki’s.
    Release Me‘…from the darkness that calls from a Tom Crean black iris trance..
    The Dream Is Still Alive‘….for Wilson to exit Bloomington as a soccer ball in a Tom Hanks film.
    You Won’t See Me Cry‘ …when Purdue loses to IU
    You’re In Love‘….but why did I get so nauseous today when we spanked a Boiler?

  30. Glass has done much to improve the facilities at IU athletics and has done a lot of good at IU. Just because some have a different opinion on coaches doesn’t mean he needs to go. Yes many of us have different views about coaches but we don’t have all the information about the situations to make the decisions. We don’t know the process or know if others have more pull in decisions. Fred Glass is a decent man that works hard to improve athletics at IU.

    IU football had one of the best seasons in a long time and proved it was competitive with the top teams in the conference. The defense will take time to correct the disaster the first co-DC made but recruiting has improved on the defensive side and I am willing to given a proven DC [he had Wake Forest defense ranked #35 in the nation] so I am sure he will get it turned around given time. It was exciting to watch this team this year even with the defense making things exciting. The third quarters showed what this defense could be like with quality depth and play that way all game.

    I can’t wait to see what Bowl they go to and who the opponent will be. What I can say is if IU plays Washington State the game will last about 5 hours with all the passing. I hope they get a Bowl game closer to Bloomington so it is easier for fans to make the game.

  31. I am hearing the Pinstripe Bowl is the favorite right now. I think they are looking at the northeast as the second largest concentration of IU alumni behind the Midwest and a good Hoosiers crowd due to that. I am also hearing Louisville as the opponent.

  32. Just finished watching the game on delay after literally being in a cave all day long. Good thing about being under the crust is no cell access.

    So happy seeing the Hoosiers unleash the fury today. Not only played with purpose, but executed so well. Happy for Kevin Wilson. He isn’t a perfect coach, but he’s great for Indiana. We needed a fella that would hold fast while the impatient would try to throw him under the bus. It was never going to be a clear and easy path to the post season for Indiana football. Wet just needed a guy who wouldn’t throw everyone around him overboard when some water got in the boat.

  33. Now after having been to the Purdue game and also after witnessing Harbaugh march his team onto the field as IU was making its way out during introductions, I truly appreciate how our band welcomes the away team by playing their fight song before introductions. I think it’s important to keep being a gracious host within the Big Ten. Indiana football, keep winning!! A.D. Glass, give Wilson the extension he deserves and watch the recruits flock. Let’s go bowling Hoosier fans…

  34. Harv, missed you and glad you’re back. Wasn’t the same around here without you. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, my friend.

  35. Chaz #21, these Hoosiers have been anything but forgettable! Have you watched the team play? IU has a great offense with the B1G leading QB and RB! Also the leading team in scoring. No deficit is too large for IU to overcome. But no lead is so large that IU can’t let it slip away. This team is exciting to watch! Your jaded pseudo-sophistication is shallow and boring!

  36. Most enjoyable IU FB season I’ve watched in over 20 years. Hard nosed FB led by coaches of the same ilk. NS and NM played up to and in many possessions exceeded expectations leading the O and D. Booker in my mind can split time evenly with Jones at WR. With IU playing 7 RB’s today makes me think we won’t see Howard again till next season. Redding gained a lot of yards today but I suspect he is not in good favor with Wilson and McCullough because of all the yards he did not gain by running E & W so much and that is a hard habit to break. Fant played an aggressive game and will display the same for the rest of his career. AD Glass’s background suggests to me he is certainly so far ahead of any of the suggested comments posted above as to be beyond silly. Bowl game in Santa Clara is 1 I’d consider traveling to. NYC is a different story. PUke proved again and again with all their defenseless penalties just how classless they are and that comes from coaching. I am betting a hard assault on borderline committed recruits to other programs is in the offing by IU coaching staff. For the 1st time in my long tenure as an IU fan IU FB is at least as important as IU BB. HAIL the Gridiron HOOSIERS!!!!!!

  37. Folks, if Indiana ends up playing in Santa Clara, would love to host drinks up in San Francisco. That includes Mike and Andy! Especially!

    Clarion, hope to see ya! Hope to see as many of you as we can get to make the trip.

  38. #22. Absolutely right classless PU. They also think they are so clever with their “IU SUCKS” on every kick, regardless of which team kicking……same in basketball, seems like every cheer ends with “IU sucks”…… Talk about major inferiority complex. … I guess they think other people cant see how jealous they are of IU.. Boiler Up. Lol…how about Banner Up!!!!!

  39. Had to do some shopping for a birthday and I only caught bits and pieces of the game on the radio…Caught some of the final quarter on the drive home…Also caught some of the Wilson postgame interview with Don Fischer. You could hear the sincere heartfelt emotions he had for his team.

    Thanks again for your kind words, Double Down. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving as well.

    IU Football presents a ton of challenges that would test any fan. I truly felt that Wilson somehow was drawn to that sort of loyalty and devotion….The seats in Memorial somehow still occupied on Saturdays spoke to him far more than those empty. He found a beautiful truth in Hoosier Football where most only cheapened it by the ease to degrade and humiliate its past. He found our hearts in doing so.

  40. Congrats Coach Wilson to you, your staff and team for a great game! Since your arrival on campus, you’ve faced a huge challenge to resurrect IU football from the ashes. You yourself have been on a big learning curve. So have our players. But you did it. And I expect you will continue to raise the status of IU football to a higher level, assuming you are given appropriate support.

    I hope IU will grant you an extension soon to help you continue to recruit more outstanding athletes. I hope IU, and Glass, will not dilly-dally around in extending you a contract and treat you as shabbily as LSU treated Coach Miles. Our thoughts and good energy go with you, your staff and team in a bowl game. Go Hoosiers! Go!

  41. Harvard, thanks for another good post; I am tired of the critics that only look at wins and losses forgetting how good the teams are we played to the end. The negative comments about AD Glass and the names he is called is ridiculous for a good man who has improved IU athletic facilities. Fred Glass will make decisions about the coaches as the seasons go by and see how they improve their programs. If critics dislike the coaches and AD they need to find a new school to criticize as life is too short to be so negative.

    I am a former coach and I understand what it is like to be criticized by people that aren’t coaches and don’t know what it is like to try and coach and motivate the players you have. IU is not an easy place to turn a program around and many coaches have proven that. This team has the #1 offense, #1 QB, #1 RB, #1 scoring offense. Our new DC has only had one recruiting class and needs time to build the defense. It was exciting to watch this team [yes frustrating at times] and see how hard they competed against the best teams in the conference/country.

    I hope the Bowl practices go well along with the recruiting. It would be great to see if some of the best/better players commit to IU [especially defensive front players] because they see how close we are to beating the top teams. This team may give us another month or two of excitement with the Bowl game and recruiting.

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