Purdue falls at home to wrap up disappointing season
Expectations were high for Purdue football this year. With Coach Brohm coming back for his third year and All-American Rondale Moore entering his sophomore year, it looked like Purdue would finally be able to accrue their first winning regular-season since 2007. However, that plan went awry from the start, as Nevada hit a 56-yard, game-winning field goal to cap off a comeback from a 24-7 halftime deficit and a series of devastating injuries against TCU severed their chances at a good year. Thus, with Moore and QB Elijah Sindelar hurt, it was no surprise that they were sitting at 1-4 following a 35-7 loss to Penn State.
After going 1-2 over the next few weeks, Purdue won two straight games and improved to 4-6. With hopes of remaining bowl-eligible, the Boilermakers marched into Madison, WI only to get blown out and handed their seventh loss, effectively eliminating any chance at a bowl win. Nevertheless, the Boilermakers had a chance for hardware: the Old Oaken Bucket.
Purdue hosted Indiana for this year’s contest. Marred by wet conditions and low attendance, the rivalry appeared to be in peril of being a blowout. After intercepting a pass in the end zone to stifle Purdue’s first possession, Indiana came out hot. Backup RB Sampson James ran for 54 yards on the first drive and QB Peyton Ramsey connected with WR Whop Philyor for the touchdown. Eight minutes later, the Hoosiers found the end zone again, this time on a keeper by Ramsey. Purdue fought back though, scoring ten points on a field goal and a 72-yard touchdown pass to TE Brycen Hopkins. After an IU touchdown and a pair of missed field goals, IU was up by 11 at the half.
The second half was where the game got interesting. For fans who braved the cold, IU scored quickly to go up 28-10. However, Purdue fought back again, as RB Zander Horvath punched it in from the 1-yard line to bring the game within reach. Though IU’s offense wasn’t slowed down, kicker Logan Justus couldn’t get the job done, missing two key field goals and giving Purdue a chance. Purdue used this opportunity, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth and outscoring IU 14-3 to tie the game at 31 at the end of regulation.
Indiana scored on their first possession of overtime on a 14-yard pass, going up 38-31 and giving Purdue the ball. After forcing 4th and goal from the 6, IU’s defense left a gap just wide enough for Hopkins, who continued his career outing with his second touchdown. With the extra point, the game was still tied and was sent to a second overtime, where Purdue was held to just a field goal. IU’s Ramsey converted a third down on foot, barreling down to the 1-yard line. Ramsey ran it in the next play, putting IU up 44-41 and reclaiming the bucket for the Hoosiers.
The Indiana Hoosiers (8-4) will now wait and see who they play for their bowl game. Their explosive offense should be formidable against most foes in their talent pool. As for the Boilermakers (4-8), they will look forward to next season. Though they are losing a few seniors, such as star safety Markus Bailey, they will return the basis of their offense. With versatile wideouts Rondale Moore and David Bell, as well as the experience of Elijah Sindelar, the offense should be among the best in the Big Ten next year.