The Old Oaken Bucket will stay in Bloomington for the second consecutive year after the Indiana Hoosiers (4-8,1-7) came back from a 10-point deficit to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers (3-9, 1-7), 23-16 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
This is the first time in 20 years that the Hoosiers have possessed the Bucket two years in a row. Purdue took a 6-0 lead into halftime after an ugly 30 minutes that featured a combined two missed field goals, four turnovers, and no touchdowns. The Hoosiers finally broke the seal on a 23-yard Griffin Oakes field goal to cut the Purdue lead to 6-3; but on the first play of the ensuing drive Purdue’s Akeem Hunt (19 carries, 171 yards TD) put the Boilermakers up 10 with an 82-yard sprint to the end zone. That touchdown must have woken up the Hoosiers because they went on to outscore the Boilermakers 20-3 over the final 24 minutes.
The play of the Hoosier seniors carried them in the second half. Wide receiver Shane Wynn (88 total yards, TD) breathed life into the Cream and Crimson, taking a reverse 41 yards to get the Hoosiers to within three points. Oakes would add another field goal to tie the score as the game moved into the fourth quarter.
Indiana gave the lead away when a Tevin Coleman (29 carries 130 yards) fumble set up a short field for a Purdue field goal. Coleman became the 18th player all-time to hit the 2,000-yard mark on Saturday. At 16-13, the Indiana defense would come up big again, holding Purdue scoreless over the last 11:24.
The Hoosiers were given a chance by their defense and the offense picked an opportune moment to have one of their better drives of the year. With good field position off a bad Purdue punt, the Hoosiers went to work with 3:19 left. On the game winning drive IU’s seniors did the heavy lifting. Nick Stoner had a big six yard grab on a third and two, and running back D’Angelo Roberts got the Hoosiers down to the one-yard line on two runs that totaled 29 yards.
Roberts looked as if he was going to will himself and the offense to win the Bucket. Indiana would take their first lead of the game when true freshman quarterback Zander Diamont, who said that he “never wanted to win more in his life” last week, took the read option play into the end zone for the 23-16 lead. Purdue would move the ball to the IU 44-yard line but a last second heave sailed out of bounds and the Hoosiers stormed the field.
The win sent the Hoosiers off into the recruiting season on a much-needed high note, while Purdue, who improved from 2013, head back to West Lafayette bucketless for the second straight year. Purdue’s offensive woes started and ended with quarterback Austin Appleby, who finished throwing 19/35 for 123 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns.
*Section Photo credit to Mike McGinnis, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Chris Howell, Herald-Times