WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –This season hasn’t gone the way Indiana expected, but there is one last chance to make a statement on Saturday in the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry game with Purdue.
The Hoosiers are just 2-9 this season and have lost all eight Big Ten games. It’s Bucket’s first game in two years because COVID pulled last year’s game from the schedule. Indiana won in 2019 and still has the Bucket.
But for how long?
Indiana has invited speakers to talk about the Old Oaken Bucket game, including former coach and player Mark Deal, and former running back Anthony Thompson and quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
“Mark Deal, I’m not sure there is a more passionate Indiana Hoosier on this planet. It’s part of the Deal family,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said Wednesday. “He’s naturally very proud of his family and dad who play here, and himself and his brother being part of Buckets that they were able to win and all the I’s are on the channel they have at the inside this Bucket is a powerful thing.
“Our guys were excited when he finished speaking. He does a great job of making sure they understand how important this game is to us, our fans and our university. We have alumni other than we even use Anthony Thompson here on campus every day. He’s another guy that talked to our guys, and we’ll have more. We make a video every week with the alumni so we can share and we have another one coming up this week. We have some former players (who will be talking to the squad). Nate Sudfeld is going to share with our guys. We are just trying to take advantage of everyone who has an interest in this great game and have had an amazing experience playing the game, and obviously it’s personal, and it’s passionate, which makes it special. ”
Here’s how to watch the Indiana game with the Purdue Boilermakers, with game time and TV info, the latest point distribution information, and coach and game information.
- *** LIVE BLOG: And once the game starts, follow all the action on our live blog. To read this story, CLICK HERE.
How to watch Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers
- Which: Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers
- What: Old Oaken Bucket Rivalry Game
- When: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Or: Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.
- TV: FOX Sports 1
- Advertisers: Chris Vosters (play-by-play) and Devon Gardner (analyst)
- Flux: Watch FuboTV
- Radio: IU radio network; XM 382, SXM App 972
- Radio announcers: Don Fischer (play-by-play), Buck Suhr (analyst) & Joe Smith.
- Point spread: Purdue is a 15 point favorite over Indiana according to the SIsportsbook.com website Saturday morning. The plus / minus is 50.5 points.
- This year’s records: Purdue is 7-4 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten; Indiana is 2-9, 0-8 in the Big Ten
- Records from last season: Indiana was 6-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten, losing to Ole Miss 26-20 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida; Purdue was 2-4 overall and ended the season with a four-game losing streak.
- History of the series: Purdue leads the 74-42-6 all-time series. Purdue’s last victory came on November 24, 2018. The game was not played last year due to COVID-19 issues at both schools.
- Last meeting: The teams last met on November 30, 2019, with Indiana winning a fierce 44-41 double-overtime battle at West Lafayette. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey scored the winning touchdown for Indiana and had 339 yards and three touchdowns that day. Then-back running back Sampson James had 118 yards and one scorecard for Indiana, the only 100-yard outing in his 15-game Indiana career in two years. He transferred to Purdue during fall camp and will not be competing in the 2021 season.
- Coaches: Jeff Brohm is in his fifth season as head coach at Purdue. He is 26-29 overall. He previously spent three seasons as the head coach of Western Kentucky. Tom Allen is in his fifth season as head coach of Indiana. He is 26-31 years old as the Indiana football head coach.
- Weather: According to weather.com, it will be cloudy in West Lafayette, with a temperature of around 44 degrees at kickoff and a 12% chance of rain.
Three things I want to see from Indiana
Generate offense at last
The Indiana offense has struggled throughout the year, and injuries to quarterbacks Michael Penix Jr. and Jack Tuttle are one of the main reasons. Real freshman Donaven McCulley struggled to shift offense, so much so that we might see more walk-in quarterback Grant Gremel on Saturday, simply because he knows offense better and is a better pitcher.
Indiana’s offense just needs to be better, which means converting third downs and getting down the field. And, of course, when you step into the red zone, score touchdowns instead of field goals.
“We have to be able to stay on the pitch,” Allen said. “It’s essential to be able to make manageable third downs, to be able to drive the football and convert third downs, whatever they are. Obviously, the more manageable the better. There is no doubt that that’s the goal, just trying to be able to do it and help the football team. ”
Finally, create turnover
Outside of injuries, the biggest difference between the 2021 Hoosiers and the 2020 Hoosiers has been their inability to create turnovers in defense. This has been a problem all year round, and Saturday would be a good day to finally flip that switch.
The Indiana defense has had a good time this year, led by senior linebacker Micah McFadden, who is second in the Big Ten and seventh nationally with 15.5 tackles for loss. He’s suffered at least one tackle for loss in 15 of the last 16 games.
“The turnovers create a position on the ground, and we have to try and steal some possessions,” Allen said. “It’s essential so that we can have that mindset in the whole group. In some ways it’s not that different from every [week], but obviously it’s more critical when you have fewer guys available to play. ”
Just find a way to win somehow
Ending the season on a high note would make a huge difference, obviously. It comes from making a few big plays, in all three phases of the game.
“To get a win would be huge with everything we’ve been through,” Allen said. “Sometimes when you’re there you don’t have the chance to step back and realize what you’ve been through. It was tough. So getting a win would be huge for our program and for our players. just want for these guys. I want them to end this way: to end. ”
Indiana Football Related Stories
- BIG TEN UPDATE: Here is the latest information on the points differences of the seven games of week 13 as of Saturday morning. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here’s the full Indiana football schedule for 2021, with links to game stories and columns by Tom Brew for every game this season. CLICK HERE