A bowl bid is on the line in this matchup of in-state rivals
Ever since Purdue handily defeated Ohio State 49-20 on Oct. 20, the Boilermakers have lost three of their last four games, the most recent a 47-44 three-overtime defeat at home to Wisconsin. The Boilermakers sit at 5-6, needing one win to secure a second straight bowl bid under Jeff Brohm. Brohm's future in West Lafayette is murky at best, as numerous media reports and rumors have Brohm as the top target to replace recently fired Bobby Petrino at the University of Louisville, Brohm's alma mater.
Indiana also is battling a comparable stretch of futility, having also lost three of its last four games. With an identical 5-6 record, the Hoosiers know that the Boilermakers are what stands between them and their first bowl bid of the Tom Allen era in Bloomington. When asked about the game versus Purdue, Allen said, “Winner moves on. Loser goes home.”
Purdue at Indiana
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 24 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Purdue -4
Three Things To Watch
1. Indiana's running offense vs. Purdue's run defense
Indiana was able to rush for 190 yards at Michigan, led by Stevie Scott's 139 yards and one touchdown. Purdue gave up 385 yards to Wisconsin, as Jonathan Taylor ran for 321 yards and three touchdowns in the triple-overtime win. It will not be surprising if Indiana tries to control the clock against Purdue, as Wisconsin eventually wore down Purdue's defense.
2. Purdue's Rondale Moore vs. Indiana's defense
The sensational freshman Moore had a tremendous game against the Badgers, catching nine passes for 114 yards and two TDs, rushing four times for 27 yards and adding a 33-yard kickoff return that helped lead to another Purdue score. While completely shutting down Moore may be impossible, Indiana may try to spy Moore with different coverages in an effort to try and slow him down.
3. Purdue's focus
The rumors of Jeff Brohm's departure may have an impact upon the Boilermakers, as the news seems likely to intensify as the game approaches. While Brohm has done his best to block out all the noise, it may be more challenging for his players to do the same.
The Old Oaken Bucket is a classic rivalry game that allows the winner to claim bragging rights for the year, while the loser sulks and plots for a chance at redemption in the next season. Even with Purdue's background noise surrounding Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers may have too much offensively for Indiana to keep pace, and Purdue seems likely to have enough in the tank to win its sixth game of the season.
Prediction: Purdue 35, Indiana 31