Andy Graham’s Old Oaken Bucket notes and comments


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.



  1. Re: PU drum. Andy, here’s what I’m thinking: with that beautiful new Jacobs building at 3rd & Jordan, and one whole floor devoted to percussion, what are the chances some wealthy local journalist (hint, hint) donates enough money to the Music School to commission the construction of a new World’s Largest Drum (one inch bigger would be ideal)? Maybe that journalist could be the featured drum beater at its first appearance.

  2. Mark Murphy hahahahaha. Nice try buddy. As I said last week, he has no business playing in the B1G. He embarrasses himself week after week. For all this “great” recruiting so many of you think KW and co. are doing, I hope one of those players is a safety. #37 needs to sit next to #2 on the bench the next two seasons.

  3. Wow! The ONLY good thing about this year’s OVER! Cameron Coffman has no business playing division 1 football! Mr. Enthusiasm, Doug Mallory, needs to start cleaning out his office because he is an embarassment to coaches everywhere. Defense is just a rumor in Bloomington, hopefully we get couple new coaches on the defensive side. Can’t even begin to describe how sick it makes me to watch Coffman under center. Unbelievable!!

  4. I hope Purdue gives the game ball to Coffman..kid was lights out throwing touchdowns this season..too bad half of them was to the other team!

  5. Laying an egg in the bucket game = erasing any incremental progress made this season. This looks precisely like a Cam Cameron era defense, which means it doesn’t matter if you can score, it won’t be enough. And we’re losing our two best players off that woeful unit. Optimism has been sapped.

  6. Aruss, is there any serious “buzz” that defensive coaching changes are likely, or was your post #4 just born out of the frustration of the moment?

    The current arrangement for defense is not working (i.e., not producing the desired results). IU did not have the defensive talent it needs to compete, and the talent it has does not do the things necessary to be successful. Did they improve this year? Yes, of course, but how could they not improve from last year’s defense? They are still terrible tacklers. They’re still not big hitters. They still don’t shed blocks, they still don’t cover well, and they are still much too small for the Big Ten. I know they are young and in experienced, but a year of experience and an extra ten pounds of muscle won’t prevent them from getting run over again next year.

    So how to fix the problem? Does IU need different defensive coaches, a different coaching structure (co-coordinators), or just better talent? I don’t know, but I do know that what we had this year is not good enough.

  7. Agree about Coffman and Mallory. The defense will always be bad. That never will change. But I will not watch another season of CC. The fact that KW tried to make it seem like it was neck-and-neck btwn him and Tre is scary. I know KW is the eternal tough guy, and no one is ever good enough to be named a starter, so I assume he was just blowing smoke. But still. The fact that CC has short spurts where he looks competent is just a reflection of the fluke passing game IU employs. He throws every down. He should make a handful of good passes each game.

    And please stop the musical RBs. Houston is so much better than the others it isn’t funny. Roberts is a joke, Coleman never gets a chance, and where was Roundtree? Pretty soon it will be time to hear about the 5am workouts, how great the chemistry is, how much bigger and stronger everyone is, blah blah blah. The usual suspects will buy the fake hype, like always. I don’t care about 8 home games or how many tires Mark Murphy can jump thru at Mellencamp. Unless IU gets 10 more Hebans on defense they will be lucky to win 4 games next year. The B1G will never be as bad as it was this year.

  8. Wow. I’m really struggling to understand how IU will solve the sterotype that is IU football. They consistantly live up to what you expect from them, lack of execution and losing. Would not be surprised to see prospects de-commit after the effort and lack of execution from the last three games. Granted, we did lose are starting quarterback. That was a big blow. However the reall issue is the trenches. I’m not sure how quickly we can address this problem. It really starts with a base there. Then we have the issue of team speed. It’s just not there yet, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be next year.

    Will Kenney and Allen, is they sign, have enough of an impact to move this team forward? Will Tre coming back provide some much needed momentum on offense? Will our backs run with more power and speed?

    Not looking good right now.

  9. Go MACiu…..Except for a very very few seasons (less than 5)….Your Mac talent AS A TEAM will not make it well in the big ten by just going from 18 or 19 years old to 23 or 24 years old….they may get a little better but will still be losers on the score board and not very competitive after putting in alot of work…..thus IU tradition.

  10. IUAL88, chances are they won’t sign. It’s IU. This happens all the time, as you know. But if they do end up in Btown they will be freshmen, which means “we’ve got to be patient, we’re young,” etc etc etc. It’s a never-ending cycle.

  11. IU coach Wilson needs to take his hurry up offense and hurry the hell out of Bloomington and take that 50+ point defense with ya….. Been going to games since 1971, left after the first half of the Wisconsin game. The worst football I have ever seen at IU. Don’t make me say what really is on my mind…

  12. Not the worst ever IU football IMO, the same IU football post – Mallory (minus Hep). It’s all abjectly awful, particularly on D.

    If these 4-star guys decommit, Wilson’s rebuild loses even more steam (if that’s possible). Even if they come, I just don’t see how you fix that D to a point where it at least gives us a chance.

    The last three weeks completely undid whatever positive progress was allegedly made.

  13. I don’t think the last 3 weeks undid anything, D-Bone. IU is in no position to pooh-pooh any win, especially conference, but what really happened in terms of progress? You beat a winless conference team and a 2-win conference team. Big deal. You didn’t play particularly well in either game, and it didn’t change all the terrible coaching and playing in the Ball State, Navy, and MSU games. It’s just nice to keep our one B1G win per season average going. It was looking pretty dire after going winless last season.

  14. Note- With love and a broken heart…dedicated to brother Pooper Scoopers on this blog.

    Indiana, O Indiana- lyrics by TsaoTsuG
    (Music of Indiana, O Indiana the song)
    (accompanied by sniffs and loud wailing)


    Indiana, O Indiana
    My Indiana
    lost this one too

    We could not tackle
    gave them the run lanes
    and their passes
    were breakthrough too

    With Brian Williams
    and Murphy folding
    Florisse Hardin
    he’s puking too

    Indiana, O Indiana
    we’re now on defense
    and have no clue.


    Indiana, O Indiana
    please Indiana
    just stop them once

    We get some points scored
    but now on defense
    those three come in
    we lay a poop

    Coach Wilson, you got a vision
    but know on defense ??
    no lead is safe

    So Indiana, O Indiana
    score a hundred
    and pray they don’t score
    a hundred …and two!

    (closing flurry of Indiana, O Indiana)
    (More wailing)

  15. Writing the lyrics, a way of expressing the terrible disappointment in the defense and in its incredible capacity to bring down the rest of the football team with it.

    I’ve seen a lot of progress this year and- along with some humor for my history as a fanatic Hoosier (which I intend to continue to be and patiently so)- still feel we are headed the right way. Two years in, there is evidence of a changing culture. I really respect and assume Coach Wilson’s vision and how he articulates his philosophy of football and team in general. Absolutely right on the head.

    Change the performance (the talent included) of four positions on defense and this is a team that is challenging. Our defensive backfield is cause for nausea. Brian Williams (earlier in the year there evidently was a big question about how he would perform- my conclusion, should have trusted your initial intuition coach). Murphy…what I remember about him was the first time I saw him- a fifteen yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, delivering a blow out of bounds. And his walking away strutting. Stupidity is one thing, stupidity combined with a bad act trying to copy football players a totally different animal).

    A special paragraph for the Hardin brothers, Florisse (#4) in particular, worthy of mention by yourself. I have never- NEVER- seen him tackle anyone head on, or squaring to make the hit. NEVER. Always tries it from the side, often glancing off, usually diving from a safe 6 feet away; or dive at the feet from the back as the runner is leaving. His #4 on his back shows up on the screen; always, to the disentangling pile-up four seconds after the play. ALWAYS. I think it is a conscious ‘posing’ for the coaches’ film review (“I was there coach…see there I am”). Cowardly is an awful word. I don’t think as he plays today he could play for Kentucky Country Day. Louisville’s East side???….towards Oldham County? Are you kidding?? The only thing it proves is why Trinity or St X didn’t want the Brothers H. (BTW…these guys so remind me of watching Lawrence Barnett (from Ft. Wayne) last year).

    Sum it up…this is what was awaiting in the recruited class when CKW got here. Oh yeah, there’s been progress and significant progress. Those who had a little heart improved… a lot; but these four…Hardin, Hardin, Williams and Murphy…? Does anyone remember the reaction when CKW first evaluated the recruited class coming in two years ago and ‘advised’ some kids they were not good enough to play for him at Indiana and should consider going elsewhere? He must have sat down and cried…because it was generally too late to replace them and they were using slots (scholarships) he may have needed. If nothing else, some of these characters are a good argument for those who believe the present system of awarding scholarships one year at a time is adequate. (I still prefer to honor commitments and will hang on that belief for consistency…but it does give me pause to see the other side of the argument, a la Crean).

    No, I don’t blame this on CKW at all. He;s certainly the right guy and will get the job done, I believe beginning with success in 2013. He’s doing what he can with a group of good sophomores and freshmen, plus the sprinkled seniors that had the inner strength to stick it out because they understood and wanted the vision.

    Ask yourself, how different is this team merely by changing four positions- Hardins, Barnett, Murphy, Williams (in his case, or make him a football player) and Indiana would be at a .500 season.

    (Cameron Coffman is a decent QB who had to take over almost too quickly for his own comfort. It’s fine to criticize his performance, but the version some have taken at him here is way, way unfair. Yes, he can improve…a lot perhaps. But, he’s not the problem, at worse he is adequate). The problem is not on offense.

    I’m satisfied and continue to think this is getting done; and deal with disappointment and my tensions while I write the little ditties like Indiana O Indiana to relieve my frustration and laugh at myself while we keep firmly believing we are headed somewhere worthwhile now. Stay on course CKW. We trust you and you’ll get it done following your vision and your instincts.

  16. Tsao, good comments above in #19. I think your best point was the level of talent in the recruiting class Wilson inherited two years ago. I remember that class. specifically thinking the only significant talent we’re getting is on offense. The defensive talent was undersized and, if memory serves me, none of the those defensive recruits got any offers from any other BCS-conference schools. I also remember the uproar when Wilson discouraged a couple players from signing with IU that winter. He was doing the kids a favor, but he was roundly criticized for it.

    I would take exception to laying the blame on just four defensive players. You are correct in your assessment of those four, but it goes much deeper than four players. IU is about ten players short of a competitive Big Ten defense. You need quality starters and depth to be competitive in the Big Ten. IU lacked enough of both this year.

    I agree that the offense was not the problem this year. Losing Tre hurt us bad, but we continued to move the ball and score points in almost every game. But Wilson needs to understand that as the season goes on, the other teams have ample time to scout your offense and develop tactics to defend against it. I did not see anything new in the second half of the season that would keep opposing defenses off balance. The hurry-up offense is nothing new anymore.

    Coffman was not ready to be a Big Ten starting quarterback and I fear that his “issues” are not things that will be improved with experience or maturity. He has adequate physical ability, but lacks the poise necessary to win in crunch time. Coffman gets worse the closer the offense gets to the goal line. From what I witnessed, the freshman is a much better passer, has more poise and confidence, and has much better upside in the long term. He should have been the starter for the last two games. We have to hope Tre returns fully healthy and that he has learned a lot from watching from the press box. His running ability will be an essential weapon in 2013.

    Bottom line, Wilson needs a lot more defensive talent. He needs to focus on big, fast, fearless defenders. Unfortunately, he needs to pick up a significant number of JC recruits this winter if he wants to improve his defense. The freshman that have verbally committed are great (if they sign), but they’re not going to be enough to transform this defense into something that can win Big Ten games in 2013.

  17. TTG, nice song. Well done.

    Podunker, your penultimate paragraph says it all. Especially the part about not getting Sudfeld more snaps. You had to burn his redshirt, so why not use him more? If Sudfeld is dinged I understand him not playing the last two weeks. But how could KW, to name just one example, watch CC pass for 20 yards and lead the team to 2 first downs in the 2nd half against MSU and just sit there and take it? I know the company line is the freshman wasn’t ready yet (like anybody knows that for sure) but clearly CC wasn’t either! What’s the worst that can happen, he comes in and plays as bad as CC? It defies common sense. Coffman at best is an adequate BACKUP QB. Sudfeld has a chance. You can just see on so many read plays how much room Tre would have to pull the ball and run. He has to be healthy next year.

  18. Podunker, my point is we have to address the defense. Maybe there are issues elsewhere, but the defense has to be pulled by the roots and replanted pulling in seed from wherever we can get it. Don’t forget, the three seniors are 90% of whatever effectiveness that defense has. Otherwise, we’ll have to put a “1” on the front of Heban’s shirt and a “11” on his back and let him run around playing every position at once. (But, hey…we’ll save on lunch money)

    Dunbar, thanks.

    To your point, I think we just need to leave it to the staff and Wilson’s eyes. A month ago I bought a trimmer Wahl brand, a professional brand I’m told. I now have a corn row leading from my chin to the nostril, and one side of it is raw. Then, I decided I’d do my own taxes… I should be out in 11 years.

    And, the last surgery I had, I thought I heard the guy go “oops!” I wanted to say something, but then I thought better, ‘this guy’s the professional, I’ll let him figure it out and do his job’. All I can do is b_tc_ and fiup. I’ll trust the pro.

    Especially in Wilson’s case.

  19. HC, right there with you. We performed better than almost everyone predicted and, with a break here and there (or better performance) we’d be a bowl team while playing almost exclusively freshmen and sophomores. We also have better quality recruits coming in than I can remember.

    This is what progress looks like.

  20. Yes Chet, in 3 years everyone will recognize what the beginning looks like.

    40 lb. of smoked gobbler?

    4 possibilities

    You must be ravenous.
    Preparing for 12/21/2k12
    Will be UPS’ed as gifts to relatives in KY.
    My invite is in the mail.

    Have you ever eaten wild turkey?

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