The Boilermakers retained the Bucket with a senior-tastic 38-21 win down in Bloomington, in front of many Purdue fans and a smattering of IU students who got lost on their way to the cafeteria.
Joey “The Duke” Elliott went 20-29 with no picks, four TDs, and reached 3,000 passing yards for the season, Jaycen Taylor had 170 total yards and a key early TD, and Torri Williams had an INT, in just a few examples of Boilermaker seniors making it clear that they were not relinquishing the Bucket.
Winning on the road is never easy. Wait, was this a road game? Let me check my notes… ah, yeah, yeah it was.
It was simply terrific to see the seniors play like they did. As per usual, Purdue played well in the first half before the opposition began to gain some confidence. IU scored just before the half and Bill Lynch appeared to be ready to wet himself with excitement.
However, apparently the pasta and turkey meal usually served in Purdue locker rooms at halftime was accidentally served in the Hoosier clubhouse, as Al-Terek McBurse took the opening kick of the second half to the house. The 28-7 lead essentially put the game away, though IU showed a lot of heart by continuing to fight. I have to admit, I have a lot of respect for Ben Chappell – dude played hard and is pretty slippery for a big guy. This game did not look like the joke of a mismatch it’s been at other times, including last year. And that’s a good thing. Would anyone mind if Purdue and IU were playing for their 8th, 9th or 10th wins in these games?
The two programs finished with overall records only one game apart (5-7 for Purdue; 4-8 for IU), but Purdue’s 4-4 conference mark is something to be proud of (IU was 1-7). This season didn’t go perfectly, without a doubt – and we’ll have more on the season in the coming weeks – but it always feels good to see a Bucket win and, let’s be honest, 5-7 (4-4) is better than most of us expected heading into this season.