Indiana–The Indiana Hoosiers are coming off their best victory of the season. A double overtime thriller on the road at East Lansing beating the Michigan St. Spartans 39-31. Dominating on the ground with 257 yards, the Hoosiers only completed two passes for 31 yards last week. Could they repeat such a performance?
The Purdue Boilermakers with a win and an Iowa loss would give the Boilermakers their first appearance in the Big Ten championship game. Purdue leads the all-time series 75-42-6 and would love to spoil the Hoosiers seniors last home game and they did.
The Boilermakers are smoking hot. They’ve won three straight and six of eight games, beaten Illinois and Indiana to keep both trophies, posted back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 1997-98 and can win their first league crown since 2000.
Aidan O’ Connell threw for 290 yards and two scores, Devin Mockobee ran for 99 yards and another touchdown and the Boilermakers (8-4, 6-3) dominated rival Indiana(4-8, 2-7) 30-16, to clinch their first Big Ten West Division title and a date in next week’s Big 10 Championship game.
O’Connell ignited Purdue’s high-octane offense with connecting with sophomore WR Andrew Sowinski for 21 yards, to setup up Mitchell Fineran 29-yard field goal to go up early 3-0.
“It’s a dream come true, and it took a lot of work from a lot of us,” O’Connell said on Purdue’s postgame interview. “I’ve been through some really tough years here. Hopefully, we can celebrate again next week.”
The Hoosiers’ first possession got the crowd on their feet with an electrifying 71-yard touchdown run by freshman speedster Jaylin Lucas taking the lead 7-3. The Hoosiers defense came to play in the first half but fizzled out in the second.
IU begun the second quarter with a missed 28-yard field goal. The defense continue to play superbly, as Demarcus Elliott sacked O’Connell for the second time of the game forcing another three and out. The Hoosiers went into the break with a 7-3 advantage.
“It’s a heck of a job by our football team,” coach Jeff Brohm said. “This is a goal and dream that you never really think is going to happen. We had some luck go against other teams in our division, but I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.”
For the Hoosiers, not much went right this season after a promising 3-0 start of the season. The Hoosiers lost eight of their last nine — and starting quarterback Dexter Williams II with a right leg, non-contact injury late in the first quarter Saturday.
“It was a devastating loss,” coach Tom Allen said. “He did great job last week. Just a freaky, non-contact injury that I can’t put into words. You try to play to the strengths of our room and I thought we had a great plan. It’s tough, just tough. Hate it for him.”
O’ Connell opened the third quarter with a TD pass to Payne Durham to take a 10-7 advantage. Mockobee fooled the Hoosiers’ defense on the next series, sprinting around the end on third-and-1 and going 27 yards to make it 17-7.
Purdue sealed it on O’Connell’s 60-yard TD dime to Charlie Jones and Cory Trice’s 8-yard interception for a score in the closing minutes.
“I’m proud we could do it, proud of my teammates,” O’Connell said.
Head Coach: Tom Allen
Big Ten 2-6
Passing Leader: Connor Bazelak 2,111 yds 12 TDS 9 INTS
Rushing leader: Shaun Shivers 127 att 534 yds 4.2 avg 6 TDS
Receiving leader: Cam Camper 46 rec 569 yds 12.4 avg 2 TDS
Tackles leader: Aaron Casey 85 tackles 1.5 sacks
Sacks leader: 46 tackles 4 sacks
Interceptions leader: Tiawan Mullen 54 tackles 2 INTS
Head coach: Jeff Brohm
Big Ten: 5-3
Passing Leader: Aidan O’Connell 2,834 yds 20 TDS 11 INTS
Rushing Leader: Devin MocKobee 150 att 750 yds 5.0 avg 7 TDS
Receiving Leader: Charlie Jones 93 rec 1,056 yds 11.4 avg 11 TDS
Tackles Leader: Sanoussi Kane 56 Tackles 1 sack
Sacks Leader: Jack Sullivan 30 tackles 5 sacks
Interception leader: Cam Allen 38 Tackles 3 INTS
Purdue: The Boilermakers face Michigan for the first time since September 2017. The Wolverines have won the last four since Purdue produced back-to-back wins in 2008-09.
Indiana: Coach Tom Allen’s first task in another challenging offseason is sorting out the quarterback situation.