Final score: Indiana 44 Purdue 41 (2 OT)
Brief recap: The Old Oaken Bucket was on the line in West Lafayette and both teams fought like their lives depended on it. Indiana jumped out to an early 14-0 lead thanks to excellent play from quarterback Peyton Ramsey, taking control of the contest early. Purdue was able to put together consecutive scoring drives to make the score 14-10, but a hard-nosed touchdown run by Sampson James late in the second quarter gave the Hoosiers a 21-10 advantage going into the locker room. Indiana built on that lead, taking a 28-10 lead with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter on a 37-yard strike from Peyton Ramsey to Whop Philyor. It looked like the game might be over. But Purdue was able to battle back, scoring on back-to-back drives by Zander Horvath to make the score 28-23. With under three minutes left, Aidan O’Connell found David Bell in the end zone for a tying score, forcing overtime. Both teams reached the end zone in the first overtime, but the Boilermakers were held to just a field goal in the second overtime. The Hoosiers were able to score on a 1-yard one from Ramsey to claim the Bucket.
Key moment: On a 3rd-and-10 in the second overtime, Ramsey connected with Peyton Hendershot for a 14-yard gain, setting up Ramsey’s game-winning score. A stop on that play for Purdue would’ve forced the Hoosiers to kick a field goal.
Key stat: A lot of numbers could be used in this one, but in a double-overtime thriller, Purdue’s two turnovers to Indiana’s zero proved to be huge.
Key player: Ramsey accounted for 379 yards of offense and five total touchdowns, including the game winner. He didn’t throw an interception and completed 23-of-39 pass attempts in the win.
What it means for Purdue: It was another valiant effort from the Boilermakers, but they just couldn’t make enough plays when they needed them. With so many injuries this season, Jeff Brohm did a heck of a job coaching this team on a weekly basis and having the Boilers in the bowl conversation so late in the season. With so many youngsters getting experience this year, Purdue is going to be a real player in the B1G West next season.
What it means for Indiana: Check another goal off Tom Allen’s wish list. This is the first time in his career as a head coach that he’s going bowl and has won the Old Oaken Bucket. It wasn’t pretty, but IU found a way to get the job done on the road without playing their best game of the season. Next on the list is for the Hoosiers to win their bowl game next month.