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IU Football Game Day: Purdue Primer and Prediction

It’s a game that needs no introduction in the state of Indiana.

Indiana.  Purdue.  The Old Oaken Bucket.

For the 122nd time overall, and the 95th time for the Bucket, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers will take their rivalry to the football field.

IU is already bowl eligible, and the Hoosiers can win eight games and achieve a winning Big Ten record for the first time since 1993.  Indiana will try to enhance its bowl resume and win back the Bucket for the first time since 2016.

With no chance to get to six wins, Purdue is firmly in the spoiler role.  And that’s a never a bad spot to be in when it comes to a rivalry game.

INDIANA (7-4, 4-4) at PURDUE (4-7, 3-5)

  • Kickoff:  Noon Eastern Time
  • Location:  Ross Ade Stadium (57.236), West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Television:  ESPN2
  • Series:  Purdue leads the series 74-41-6.
  • Odds:  Indiana is a 7 point favorite
  • Weather at kickoff:  40 degrees, wind 11 mph, 75% chance of precipitation.

Tom Allen is 17-19 and now in his third full season as the head coach at Indiana.

Jeff Brohm is 17-20 (.460) in his third season as Purdue head coach. Brohm guided Western Kentucky (2014-16) to a 30-10 mark (.750) and carries an overall record of 47-30 (.610)


See Also:


TALE OF THE TAPE 

Stats via NCAA

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WHEN PURDUE HAS THE FOOTBALL

Despite being down to their third string quarterback, Purdue has done an admirable job with their passing game.

Against a tough Wisconsin defense on the road last weekend, sophomore Aidan O’Connell completed 26-of-43 pass attempts for 289 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

On the season Purdue is averaging more than 300 yards a game, and O’Connell has the best completion percentage on the team at 65.2 percent

True freshman and former IU recruiting target David Bell is leading the way with 77 receptions for 899 yards and six scores.  Tight end Brycen Hopkins is also heavily involved in the passing game and has 53 receptions for 688 yards and five touchdowns.  Four other Boilermaker receivers have at least 250 yards including Rondale Moore, who has not been ruled out of this game.

An inability to get anything going with the running game has somewhat offset the prolific passing attack.  Purdue averages just 2.65 yards per carry and only 74.4 yards per game on the ground.  King Doerue and Zander Horvath lead the way with 429 and 213 yards, respectively, but both are well under four yards per carry.

Of course with Purdue and head coach Jeff Brohm, Indiana will need to be on the lookout for the trick play.

“He does a great job,” IU head coach Tom Allen said of Brohm’s propensity for trick plays.  “It makes for a lot of sleepless nights when you’re getting ready for the variety of things he may do… That’s why they do it. I’m sure they have a lot of fun trying to make our lives miserable defensively because of all those things.”

WHEN INDIANA HAS THE FOOTBALL

A recent run of injuries has left question marks for IU.

Of course starting quarterback Michael Penix was lost for the season.  Leading rusher Stevie Scott is questionable for this game, as is left tackle Matthew Bedford, who is filling in for senior Coy Cronk.

The good news is that Indiana playmaker Whop Philyor is expected to return.  The junior receiver leads the Hoosiers with 61 receptions for 863 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey took some big hits against Michigan, but Allen indicated that the redshirt junior is good to go on Saturday.  Ramsey has thrown for 1,890 yards, 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on this season.

Including Philyor, IU has six receivers that have compiled at least 10 receptions and 100 yards on the season.  The Hoosier offense also looks for the tight end and running backs regularly in the passing game.  Peyton Hendershot has grabbed 42 passes for 506 yards, while Scott has caught 26 for 211.

Scott was in and out of the Michigan game with his undisclosed injury which suggests it isn’t serious.  With 178 carries for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns, the New York native leads the IU backfield by a wide margin.  If Scott cannot go, Ronnie Walker, Jr. and Sampson James are likely to split the carries.

Irrespective of who gets the carries, IU’s ability, or inability to run the football might be the difference in this game.  Purdue has been exposed against the run, and the weather conditions might necessitate a heavier than normal dose of the ground attack from Indiana.

PREDICTION

The weather could play a big role in this one.  Rain is expected during the entire game, and wind could be a factor as well.  With both teams better through the air, the offenses could struggle and turnovers could play a major role.

The point spread feels like too much.  This game has been within in a touchdown in each of the last three years, and 2019 should be no different.

With IU playing on the road, in bad weather, and with injuries on offense, this game feels like a coin toss.

The Hoosiers pull out a tight contest to regain the Bucket.

INDIANA 24

PURDUE 21


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