The Last Word: Reversal of Fortunes

This game has the 'over' written all over it. Last year Indiana and Purdue combined for 89 total points and more than 1,000 yards of total offense. Here's my prediction for today's outcome.

Indiana football fans are hoping for a reversal of fortunes today against Purdue.

The odds makers have installed Indiana as a 21-point favorite this week. I can't remember the last time Indiana was favored by three touchdowns to win a Big Ten game. I'm sure it has happened and I'm just not remembering it off the top of my head but it hasn't happened many times.

When I speak in terms of a reversal in fortunes though, I'm thinking of one recent IU-Purdue game in particular.

Last year's Old Oaken Bucket match up to be exact.

Last year Purdue beat Indiana 56-35.

For some reason, I just think that could be the kind of score that we see today but with the Hoosiers coming out on top.

But I clearly expect a wide open affair. I know Purdue has struggled all season long but it hasn't faced Indiana's defense either. You could make the same claim if you wanted that the IU defense hasn't had the benefit of facing the Purdue offense but unfortunately the Hoosiers just haven't shown enough consistency at any point on the defensive side of the ball to provide a great deal of optimism.

At the same time, Indiana's offense has put up big numbers against pretty much everyone except Wisconsin and Ohio State the last two weeks, and you just have a feeling that the Hoosiers are going to erupt offensively in this one.

A year ago, IU put up 512 yards of offense against the Boilermakers. And that was with Cam Coffman throwing for 348 yards and Stephen Houston running for 158 and three scores.

My expectation today is that Nate Sudfeld is going to riddle the Purdue defense and get a lot of different receivers involved. I would think the chances of Indiana scoring 50 points or more in a game like this one will be really good.

The question, as always, will come down to the IU defense. If the Hoosiers can just have an average performance and give up 40 points or less, IU should bring the Bucket back to Bloomington.

So I'll stick with my prediction from above, which is a reversal of last year: Indiana 56, Purdue 35.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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