Indiana’s season ends in 56-35 loss to Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue tailback Akeem Shavers rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 99 yards and two scores while quarterback Robert Marve threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Boilermakers to a 56-35 win over Indiana in front of 42,638 at Ross-Ade Stadium to maintain control of the Old Oaken Bucket.

The Boilermakers improve to 6-6 overall, 3-5 in the Big Ten and qualify for a bowl game for the second straight season. Indiana junior tailback Stephen Houston rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns and also caught 12 passes for 95 yards, but the Hoosiers fell to 4-8, 2-6 and head into the offseason having admittedly lost a significant amount of the momentum the program had gained in late October and early November with wins over Iowa and Illinois.

“It’s really hard on us,” redshirt junior safety Greg Heban said. “Coming after the Illinois and Iowa game, we had some momentum. Coming back to Wisconsin, Penn State and this game, I feel like we just lost it all. We blame a lot of that on the defense.”

Considering the Hoosiers’ performances in those games, it’s hard not to. After Indiana’s 24-21 win over Iowa on Nov. 3, they gave up 45 points or more in each of their last three games and a total of 163 points in those three contests — an average of 54.3 per game. They surrendered at least 540 yards of offense in each of those games, giving up 558 to the Boilermakers on Saturday.

Purdue had something to do with that, but so did lots and lots of missed tackles at critical times.

“It’s just our technique and fundamentals,” Heban said. “Overpursuing on the ball, not staying where you need to be on his inside hip. It’s something I know we’re going to work on in the offseason a lot. It’s something that if we want to be successful as a defense, we have to tackle. We’ve had way too many missed tackles these past two or three weeks. … It’s something we have to stop.”

The Hoosiers also had issues taking care of the ball. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Coffman threw for 348 yards — the most every by an Indiana quarterback in the Old Oaken Bucket game — but he also threw three critical interceptions. The Hoosiers gave the ball away on another occasion with a fumble by sophomore tailback D’Angelo Roberts to finish with four turnovers.

“Stat wise, you can make some numbers look good,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said. “But bottom line, when you turn the ball over four times on the road, you’re not gonna win.”

Said Coffman: “You can’t win football games when you turn the ball over, especially in the second half. I couldn’t tell you for sure really what happened on all of them. I have to go back and watch the film, but you can’t win football games turning it over that many times.”

The most critical came shortly after the Hoosiers had lost the opportunity to claim momentum.

Indiana took a 21-14 lead into the second half, but surrendered three straight touchdowns — a 19-yard pass from Marve to wide receiver O.J. Ross, a 1-yard plunge by wildcat quarterback Rob Henry and a 25-yard pass to wide receiver Gary Bush from Henry — to allow the Boilermakers to take a 35-21 lead.

However, the Hoosiers tied the game early in the fourth with a 1-yard run by Coffman and a 6-yard scoring throw from Coffman to sophomore wideout Cody Latimer. On the ensuing kickoff, Purdue returner Raheem Mostert fumbled the kick and had to fall on the ball at the 1-yard line.

The Boilermakers got out of the shadow of their own end zone, however, and after they reached their on 27-yard line, Marve found Shavers wide open on a screen pass for a 73-yard touchdown to make it 42-35.

On the first play of the ensuing possession, a pass from Coffman ricocheted off the hands of junior tight end Ted Bolser and was picked off by Purdue safety Max Charlot at the Indiana 42. Five players later, Marve hit Shavers on another screen pass for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 49-35.

Coffman threw another interception on Indiana’s next drive. Safety Antoine Lewis returned it all the way to the Indiana 4-yard line and Shavers scored from 1 yard out to provide the final tally.

“Momentum’s a big thing in college football,” sophomore quarterback Cameron Coffman said. “Obviously, that got the momentum going their way a little bit. Like I said, it’s tough to win having turnovers.”

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson

AUDIO: Greg Heban

AUDIO: Cam Coffman

AUDIO: Kofi Hughes

AUDIO: Will Matte


  1. They only have 8 seniors so most of the team will return plus a good crop on incoming freshman. Coach may need to move some of his wide receivers to defensive backs to help on defense were we are terrible. Also all the freshman that started this year should be older and stronger if they work hard in the off season. We will have Tre back and our offense is solid. I know the last 3 games were awful but we did lose some games we can win next year. IMHO I think we win 7 games next year and go bowling. Cameron has seen his last game at quarterback as have some of the guys on defense. I don’t know I guess I have hope and I am not as down as in past years. I do agree we need new leadership on defensive. Wilson is an offensive Coach and he needs a strong defensive set of coaches to match up with his offense. I’ve read all the negative stuff but just like last year when I said the basketball team would win 26-27 games I feel the same about the football team getting to a bowl game next year. It is a long way off so back to basketball!

  2. I think you correct. While I agree that we’re gonna be a lot better off with Tre under center, having an experienced backup (who should also be improved by next year) or two, for that matter, is quite a luxury. Considering the jump from JUCO to Big Ten, I thought, overall, he did pretty well.

    From the ‘you just never know’ department, did you realize Greg Heban, IMHO our best DB by several levels of magnitude, walked on at IU and didn’t get a scholly until CKW gave him one last season? If we had 4 Hebans back there we’d have 3 more wins. Replogle and Black are big shoes to fill but, as you said, older, wiser, bigger, and stronger may cure much that ails us defensively.

    That and 3 more Greg Hebans.

  3. Southport, Chet…I agree with both your takes except Southport’s on Cameron. Most important, I have a lot of faith in Wilson’s intelligence, eye and standards. I think he knows (heck, even we know) how absolutely inept, helpless and embarrassing it is to field this defense on a field wearing our shirt. I would bet he stayed home today and is driving the Mrs. nuts as he argues back and forth with himself knowing there are few choices for him re: defense.

    Chet has it right, Cam has made a decent transition from JUCO to real college football… both he and Sudfeld have skills. Making QB’s is Wilson’s bread and butter. Tre probably learned more upstairs at the scouting box and overhearing the back and forth between Wilson and the field coaches than he ever would have down stairs high fiving. This might have been a blessing in disguise. When we get him back, he’ll be Wilson02. Cam will be focused on speeding up his ‘reading and judgment’ and Sudfeld on just learning the complete offense and role of the QB. I would not be surprised to see him get held back (as long as he’s not actually needed)to extend his career and add a year between Sudfeld and Tre.

    On defense (and since the seniors have no more eligibility ), I agree that Heban is the only recyclable piece. Absolutely nothing else. In fact they are so inept, that in a sense in inflated Heban’s value and led manu to see Greg as the new Charles Woodson. He’s good, do not misunderstand me, but standing next to Barrett, Murphy, Williams and the Hardin brothers the man should go to the NFL Hall of Fame even before he graduates.

    They’ll have to do a through search for athletes, any athletes and try to find about 6-7 among what they have who are not important to the offense now (I don’t believe you weaken the offense given the level we play at). And you look at the new class for your key position 2 solid prospective linebackers, 2 minimum mediocre linebackers, 3 solid, strong, fast attacking D-linesmen, 2 very good DE’s and 10 kids who can run, jump and tell the difference between number in a sequence of 1-10, tie their shoes and not cry during recess to find 3 to compete against the in-coming freshmen. We also need to consider that several of those who have played this year (I go back to the Three Stooges) need to perhaps be told “we’re afraid you don’t fit into our plans for 2013, but we are indeed grateful for you attempting to make a go of it with the Hoosiers. Let us know if you decide to stay at IU without a scholarship, we’ll help you in whatever we can). Even if that dumb___ TsaoTsu goes into an ‘ethical/how can you disappoint a 20-year old kid rant’ (just show him the video of the last half of the Purdue game again). (Hint, you take IND46 going east to Columbus, turn south and some 70 miles later you go by CHet’s old house in Jeffersonville and cross the river into Louisville. Pull out your cellphone, call your mom and tell her you’re back).

    It’s got to get better. I do trust Wilson to do what he needs to do. He’ll get it done…he’s already accomplished a whole lot…more than anything, our expectations are based on his.

  4. Something we have to be prepared for. You’re right about BL’s recruits, in general, not being up to the task (interesting that Heban wasn’t recruited) but that means for the next year or two we are going to be relying on a lot of freshmen and sophomores.

    The defense is not gonna be ‘fixed’ next season.

  5. I see Chet and Tsao have posted here and especially Tsao I would like to put the past behind us and I am curious as to what you guys think about my take on the season. This is not about going back and forth in a mean or negative way…I care about the program big time, any reader knows that. With that said…I watched the last two games with my dad who is in his mid 60’s and after listening to family and friends and the 2 families that sit around us at the games….everyone has many different takes/views on the season. Some think the defense is as bad as it has been while some think improved, some think we were competitive and more so than in years, some see improvement all around, some see recruiting as wonderful, some think the Big 10 is just down this year, some think the clock management is bad, some think the hurry up hurts more than helps, some think Tre would have won us more games…these are all things I listened to the last half of the season. My dad who traveled way back to watch OJ beat IU in the Rose Bowl has a take similar to mine. We see the team play harder and more tough minded on both sides of the ball and recruiting is through the roof but the Big 10 is down for sure…more than ever. Ex. If Ohio St played in the Champ game they would get killed by ND or Alabama or Georgia..just my opinion. I guess my conclusion is I see things looking up in a couple ways but not as much as I would if the Big 10 was as powerful as usual! No reason to lose to PU like we did, that is unacceptable and I was disappointed by our performance and 2nd half play. This season was better than a one win season but is still miles away from where we should/can be. I am willing to give Wilson and staff two more years to see what happens. I think 6 wins is a must next year though…to keep me supporting and trust me, I hung in there this year as I saw the wheels come off at the end. I am thrilled IU basketball is where it is and I am happy PSU got a win vs Wisky…for the players and fans!!!

  6. JP,

    I actually think the Bucks could stay with either of the 3 in the Champ game as I think it is just not the B10 who is down a little but all of the other major conferences as well. ND is no doubt a good FB team as they win every close game which is a good indicator but they sure are not great. Can’t wait for 2013 FB.

  7. At the outset of the season, I felt that we needed to accomplish 3 goals this year as a “test” to determine if we are making progress. First, we needed to win at least 3 games, one in conference..acomplished. Second, we needed to be competitive in all of our games as in no blow outs…more or less accomplished. Third, we needed to improve basic skills on defense such as playing in position and tackling…certainly improved. Accordingly, I believe we are making progress and I applaud all involved for their efforts and dedication. IU football has a future.

  8. Clarion, I like it!!! I have not met many people that feel that way though. I feel bad for OSU…undefeated and cannot play so we will never know, shame!

  9. I think OSU could hang withing a TD of anyone if they play well. The have the horses and they have the coach.

    While the D was bad, here’s something I haven’t seen much of in the past. These guys hit people. No more of this grabbing and pulling BS. They will come up and smack you in the face and stand over you for that fleeting second as if to say ‘there’s more of that’. If we are ever going to be a solid program that’s what we need on defense. Guys that not only hit, but LIKE to hit. We’ve got some of those now.

    I think the offense will do fine. Consider this. How many points might we have put up this season if the defense was registering some 3 and outs instead of spending all that time on the field? The Hoosiers did pretty darned well with a tandem of unproven quarterbacks. We will have three experienced QBs on the roster next year. (On a related note, I wonder if they’ll give Gunner a ticket to the championship game.)

    I thought the team showed stark improvement this season. We were a handful of plays from going to a bowl game.

    We have a LOT to work on but CKW was fielding a team of freshmen and sophomores and he’s got some studs in the pipeline.

    It’s good. It’s all very good.

  10. Chet, the recruiting is amazing, I agree. Also, the defense starting with that Illinois game played smash mouth football…I mean bodies hitting the ground and flying to the ball. I agree with what you wrote sincerely!

  11. I don’t feel bad for the OSU team. The fans, maybe, but it was no secret what was going on with that team. It was just a matter of time.

    I do wonder how Tressel had such a great rep with the sports world when he had a terrible record as far as that stuff goes. His Youngstown State team was as bad as OSU.

  12. J Pat,

    My opinion, the team is heading in the right direction and next year will be as tough as the come on offense. The defense will continue to improve and will be solid enough to get us those 3-4 wins we barely missed this year. I’m counting on a 6 wins next year, but this team can win 8 games next season.

  13. Mike P, I say 6 wins…if they get 8 or more I will treat you to a steak dinner!!! You are more optimistic than me for sure…I think I have let the last 20 years kill me with this football team!!!

  14. J Pat,

    You’re on, but I really don’t think it is that far out of the question. This team won 4 games this year, should have beat MSU, Navy and BSU, that is 7 wins.

  15. JPat- if any of the gang sitting around the TV at your house opined that the co-defensive coordinator scheme has to go in 2013, I’d have to agree with them. I can’t agree that the defense palyed smash-mouth football from the Ill. game onwards (lots of blown tackles v. PU), but it did show a marked improvement over 2011 and even the first half of 2012.

  16. There is no question that the primary concern and area for improvement is defense and specifically tackling technique which is coachable if you have the right talent. Right now, we are way too small and too slow to be really effective. This is why we see so many half hearted arm tackle attempts…you have to be pretty brave to square up against someone barreling down at you to whom you give up 60 lbs! There aren’t a lot of folks willing to sign up for that on a regular basis. As we beef up and speed up, coaching can refine technique. Our penetration, while improved, still needs a lot of work. Again, hard to displace an OG that outweighs you by 50 lbs (and probably runs faster). I think with the talent being recruited (hopefully, they sign), we’ll see good stuff in 2013.

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