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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Indiana 2-4, Purdue 3-3. Away Record: Indiana 2-3, Purdue 2-3. Neutral Record: Indiana 0-0, Purdue 0-0. Conference Record: Indiana 2-5, Purdue 2-5. Series Record: Purdue leads 71-37-6.
GAME NOTES: The Old Oaken Bucket will be up for grabs this weekend when the Indiana Hoosiers and the Purdue Boilermakers renew their longstanding rivalry at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday.
With a 45-22 loss on the road to Penn State last weekend the Hoosiers slim postseason hopes were officially put to rest. At 4-7 overall Indiana have missed out on a bowl for the fifth straight season. The loss also moved the Hoosiers to just 2-5 in Big Ten play this season while being the second- consecutive loss following a two-game winning streak.
As for Purdue, it's postseason dreams are still alive, though hanging on by a thread. Purdue is 5-6 overall this season after fending off Iowa (27-24) and Illinois (20-17) in consecutive weeks. Those two wins came after Purdue dropped five straight games. Despite having a chance at bowl eligibility, the Boilermakers are also just 2-5 in league play.
This instate rivalry game dates back to 1891 although the Old Oaken Bucket trophy was not introduced until 1925. Since that first meeting Purdue leads the all-time series 71-37-8, including a 57-27-3 edge since the inception of the trophy. The teams have split the last two meetings, with Purdue taking a 33-25 decision last season.
Offense hasn't been the issue for the Hoosiers this season. Entering play Indiana has been the most productive team in the Big Ten in total yards (435.6 ypg) and the fourth best in scoring (30.4 ppg). With that scoring average, Indiana is in the company of nationally-ranked squads Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan as the only teams in the Big Ten putting up more than 30 points per game.
When Tre Roberson went down for the season in the second game, Cameron Coffman as called on to lead the Hoosiers. The sophomore quarterback has done a good enough job in Roberson's stead throwing for 2,386 yards and 14 touchdowns to just eight interceptions, while completing 61.0 percent of his pass attempts. In the loss to Penn State last week, Coffman did all he could to keep Indiana in the game, throwing for 454 yards and two scores, while completing 33-of-54 pass attempts.
Coffman has a great selection of receivers to get the ball to. Chief among the pass catching threats is Cody Latimer who has hauled in 46 passes for 738 yards and five scores on the season. Shane Wynn is more of a possession receiver with a team-high 63 catches for 571 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. Also in the mix are Kofi Hughes (39 receptions, 563 yards, 3 TDs), Ted Bolser (39 receptions, 429 yards, 3 TDs) and Stephen Houston (25 receptions, 286 yards 4 TDs).
Houston's primary contributions have come in the running game though. The redshirt junior running back has tallied a team-high 591 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground for a Hoosier's team that ranks second to last in the conference in rushing yards.
It is on the other side of the ball that Indiana has had its shortcomings. The Hoosiers have surrendered the most yards (454.9 pg) and points (33.4 pg) in the Big Ten this season. In fact the Hoosiers are the only team in the entire conference to be giving up more than 400 yards of total offense to its opponents. Indiana has managed to accumulate a conference-leading 81 tackles for loss on the season.
Greg Heban (82 tackles,. 7.0 TFLs, 2 INTs) is the lead tackler with David Cooper (79 tackles, 9.0 TFLs) right behind him. Adam Replogle (13.0 TFLs, 5.0 sacks) and Larry Black (10.0 TFLs, 4.0 sacks) have accounted for a bulk of the team's pass rushing production.
Purdue is near the middle of the pack in the Big Ten in offensive production this season. While the Boilermakers rank seventh in total offense (391.8 ypg) they are scoring the eighth most points per game (27.5). The Boilermakers, like Indiana, rely on the pass more than the run with Purdue the third-best prolific passing team in the conference (228.7 ypg).
Robert Marve came in at quarterback for Caleb TerBush during a game against Minnesota at the end of October and hasn't given up the starting job since. On the season, Marve has thrown for 1,174 yards and nine touchdown, while completing 65.8 percent of his pass attempts. Most important though is how Marve has limited his mistakes with only two interceptions.
Marve's stable of wide receiver is less stocked than that of Coffman's, but nonetheless has some reliable options. Antavian Edison (52 receptions, 575 yards, 7 TDs) is the top target this season. Edison is the only receiver with at least 20 receptions to be averaging more than 10 yards per reception. O.J. Ross (49 receptions, 397 yards, 1 TDs) and Gary Bush (37 receptions, 299 yards, 6 TDs) have caught a fair amount of passes but have been limited in producing yards.
Three different running backs on the roster have rushed for at least 300 yards. Akeem Shavers (652 yards, 5 TDs) is the primary ball carrier while Akeem Hunt (333 yards, 2 TDs) and Ralph Bolden (310 yards) have been able to pick yards at a solid rate in more limited action.
Deficiencies on defense have also plagued Purdue. The Boilermakers are better than Indiana but not by a whole lot. In terms of the conference rankings, Purdue is the 10th best team in both total yards allowed (397.3 ypg) as well as scoring defense (28.5 ppg). Purdue has not created much pressure on opposing quarterbacks with only 20 sacks this season, but has remained competitive by forcing 21 turnovers which is tied for the most in the Big Ten.
Landon Feitcher not only leads the team in tackles (71) but has pulled in four interceptions. Josh Johnson has also been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks with three interceptions and 14 passes defended, the second most in the conference. Kawann Short (14.0 TFLs, 6.0 sacks) is a solid pass rusher on an otherwise ineffective frontline.
Purdue doesn't have the type of defense that will be able to shut down Indiana's potent offense. However the Boilermakers' ability to create turnovers should prove invaluable against a young quarterback. If the Boilermakers can force Indiana to cough up the ball they will be in line for a bowl after Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 24, Indiana 21
11/21 11:00:17 ET
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