Indiana has wound up on the wrong side of the Old Oaken Bucket game the last two years. In 2017 and 2018, the Hoosiers dropped the final game of the season to Purdue, falling one win short of bowl eligibility. Those losses have stung Tom Allen.

This season, a postseason appearance doesn’t hinge on the outcome of the Old Oaken Bucket game. Indiana locked up bowl eligibility in October and Purdue was eliminated from eligibility last week in a loss to Wisconsin. But that doesn’t make this Saturday’s game any less important.

Losing the last game of the season is something that hasn’t sat well with Allen the last two years.

“Absolutely is something that has bothered me,” Allen said while meeting with the media on Monday.

Indiana has been playing good football all year long, but is expecting a hard-fought game at Ross-Ade Stadium this weekend. Just because the Boilermakers have a 4-7 record, Allen expects Purdue to bring plenty of fight to the field.

“We’ll have to play our very, very, very best to get a win on the road,” Allen said.

One of the things Allen is concerned about, though, is Jeff Brohm’s play-calling ability and style. The innovative Purdue head coach is known for his ability to mix things up and throw in a few trick plays throughout the season.

That aspect of Saturday’s game keeps Allen up at night.

“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,” Allen said of Brohm. “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.”

Allen is 0-2 against Purdue, but brings his best team in his three seasons to West Lafayette. This could be the year he gets over the hump.