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(Saturday, November 24)
Final Score: Purdue 56, Indiana 35
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Akeem Shavers scored three fourth- quarter touchdowns as the Purdue Boilermakers retained the Old Oaken Bucket with a 56-35 rout over the Indiana Hoosiers in Big Ten play from Ross-Ade Stadium.
Shavers finished with 126 yards and one touchdown on the ground, in addition to 99 yards and two TDs receiving. Robert Marve completed 20-of-29 passes for a career-high 348 yards and four scores in the victory. The Boilermakers (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) shook off a five-game losing streak to win their final three games and become bowl eligible for the second straight year amidst wide speculation about coach Danny Hope's job security.
Stephen Houston ran for 158 yards and three TDs and also caught 12 passes for 95 yards for the Hoosiers (4-8, 2-6), who concluded their fifth straight season without a bowl appearance. Cameron Coffman threw for 348 yards and a touchdown, but he was also intercepted three times.
IU struck first as Houston broke free for a 51-yard touchdown burst less than three minutes into the game.
Purdue answered with an 11-play, 77-yard drive, capped by Brandon Cottom's 14- yard TD scamper. Later in the opening frame, Marve gave the Boilermakers a 14-7 lead on his eight-yard touchdown pass to Antavian Edison.
However, Houston came through with two more touchdown runs in the second quarter to send the Hoosiers into the locker room with a 21-14 halftime advantage. His second TD of the day came on an eight-yard run with 5:50 to play in the half, and he scored again on a one-yard run with 2:33 remaining. Greg Heban set up the go-ahead score with an interception and 70-yard return down to the Purdue 16.
The Boilermakers responded in the third quarter. Marve found O.J. Ross for a 19-yard scoring strike at the 11:18 mark of the third quarter, and Rob Henry tacked on a one-yard touchdown plunge midway through the frame to put Purdue back on top, 28-21. Henry added another score on a 25-yard pass to Gary Bush with just under four minutes to play in the third to put the Boilermakers on top, 35-21.
IU finally stopped the bleeding on its next series, as Coffman capped a five- play, 71-yard drive with a one-yard TD plunge. Coffman hooked up with Cody Latimer for a six-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter to make it a 35-35 game.
However, that's when Shavers started to take over the game as Purdue answered with a touchdown drive that started from its own 1-yard line. Shavers took a screen pass from Marve and scored from 73 yards out, breaking a couple of tackles toward the end of the run.
But Shavers was not done yet. His 26-yard touchdown catch from Marve made it a 49-35 game with 7:55 to play, and he scored again on a one-yard run with 6:14 remaining to put the game out of reach.
Purdue held a slim 23-22 edge in first downs for the game while out-gaining IU, 558-512. The Hoosiers converted 10-of-19 third downs and came away with touchdowns on all four of their trips inside the red zone, but they were simply unable to contain Shavers late in the contest.
11/24 17:09:42 ET
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