4 storylines for IU’s game at Purdue

1. Bowl eligibility on the line
This is a Bucket Game unlike any other. Saturday marks the first time in series history that both IU and Purdue need the Old Oaken Bucket to earn a bowl bid. Purdue hasn’t played in the postseason since 2012, while Indiana is looking to qualify for its third straight bowl. The Hoosiers haven’t put together a streak like that since 1986 through 1988.

2. IU’s ability to run
Indiana posted its most encouraging rushing performance of the season last weekend, recording 267 yards against Rutgers. Building off that output will be a challenge. The Boilermakers have held four straight opponents under 100 yards rushing. Last week, IU’s Morgan Ellison turned in the fourth-highest true freshman rushing total in Indiana history, running for 186 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns.

3. Bringing the pressure
Indiana has developed a nice pass rush this season. Of late, the Hoosiers have been hard to stop. IU has 12 sacks across its past two games and 27 sacks in eight conference games this season, ranking second in the Big Ten. Defensive lineman Robert McCray leads Indiana with six sacks on the year. Purdue ranks 11th in the Big Ten, having allowed 29 sacks — and average of 2.6 per game — this season.

4. Strong continued play from Richard Lagow
Lagow has played some of the best football of his two-year IU career during the past few weeks. The senior has thrown for 751 yards and six touchdowns in his past three games, giving Indiana’s offense some added punch through the air. Purdue’s secondary is allowing an average of 225.3 yards per game, ranking the Boilermakers 12th in the Big Ten.

One comment

  1. Hard to imagine how losing 2/3 of your conference games can get you into a bowl game….Only in college football. Was the bar always so low….? I hear all this talk of glorifying consecutive bowl appearances, but were the pathways to bowls this easy 15-20 years ago? And weren’t there 1/3 the bowl games during the IU heyday years under Mallory?

    Under the current “bowl eligibility parole board,” I think the Manson family could get an invite to the Helter Skelter Bowl.

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