Coming off a two-game losing streak, the Indiana Hoosiers travel to Ross-Ade Stadium to take on their longtime in-state rivals, the Purdue Boilermakers. While Indiana (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten) is smarting from the recent 39-14 home loss to Michigan, nothing would be more pleasing to Hoosier coaches and players than ending the season on a winning note at Purdue and taking possession of the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time in three years.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen admits that Purdue's offensive creativity will add to the stress level in preparing for this game. Speaking of Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, Allen stated, "He does a great job. 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."
At 4-7 (3-5 Big Ten), Purdue's 2019 season has been a disappointment. In a 45-24 loss at Wisconsin, the Boilermakers gave up more than 400 rushing yards to the Badgers. Worst of all, the loss made certain that the Boilermakers would be sitting at home without a bowl game this season.
Purdue was briefly in the lead against Wisconsin, only to fade down the stretch. The motivating factor for the Boilermakers in this game is being able to retain the Old Oaken Bucket, while also putting a damper on the Hoosiers' 2019 season.
Indiana at Purdue
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Indiana -6.5
When Indiana Has the Ball
Indiana was battling Michigan tough until quarterback Peyton Ramsey took some hard shots from the Wolverines that forced him from the game. Ramsey completed 17-of-29 passes for 217 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. It will be essential for the Hoosiers to establish their running game, as the Wolverines effectively bottled up Indiana last week, limiting the team to only 97 yards on the ground. A key Boilermaker defender to keep an eye on is defensive end Semisi Fakasiieiki, who had eight tackles against Wisconsin, seven of them solo.
When Purdue Has the Ball
As poorly as Indiana fared running the ball against Michigan, Purdue was even worse against Wisconsin. Collectively, the Boilermakers were only able to muster 50 rushing yards, with Zander Horvath's 34 yards leading the way. Purdue's Aidan O'Connell completed 26-of-43 pass attempts for 289 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. It will be crucial for Purdue to establish some type of offensive balance against an Indiana defense that is only giving up about 23 points per game.
Purdue's season has been riddled with inconsistency and injuries, while Indiana is assured of going to a bowl game. While the Boilermakers will do what they can to make this game interesting, look for the Hoosiers to get back to their winning ways in West Lafayette, adding another level of animosity in this longstanding rivalry.