Indiana vs. Purdue

Part of the tradition of college football is the great rivalry match-ups that have taken place over the years. Everyone knows the great match-up of Ohio State and Michigan will produce memories for years to come, but in their neighboring Hoosier state, the rivalry game has just as much meaning and impact behind it. The Indiana Hoosiers will travel to West Lafayette this weekend to take on the Purdue Boilermakers in a battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.<

For Indiana, their season will come to a close when the scoreboard reaches 0:00 on Saturday, but for a team with nothing to lose, the Bucket is their goal. All year, the football team locker room has had a clock in it that counted down to the kickoff of the Purdue game. The players are ready to face the Boilermakers, and after a disappointing loss to Penn State, the team feels they have something to prove.

The group of seniors that will be playing their final game in an Indiana uniform on Saturday have tasted a Bucket victory before, when Indiana defeated Purdue in the MudBowl of 2001. The underclassmen would love to help the seniors to win their second "I" link on the bucket, and mark the first for themselves. Senior WR and IU's all time leading receiver Courtney Roby is ready for the game. He had this to say. "It's my last (Old Oaken Bucket) game. I got one coming in, and I want to get one coming out," IU's all-time leading receiver said. "(The clock) is a big reminder of how close we are. There are a lot of memories, and it's definitely counting down."

Indiana will have to find a way to stop Purdue's high powered passing attack led by Kyle Orton to find a way to win. Orton will be looking for favorite receiver Taylor Stubblefield who is only 6 catches away from setting the all time NCAA mark for receptions. The young Hoosier corners and safeties will have to do an excellent job of coverage and not allow the big play. A big part for Indiana to succeed on defense however will be getting pressure on Orton. When he is pressured, Orton will make mistakes and throw interceptions. This is no easy task for the Hoosier front line, as the Purdue offensive line is one of the best in the Big Ten, but they will be playing for more than just a win.

Indiana's typical offensive scheme of running up the middle will not work against a Purdue team that's defensive strength is against the run. Indiana will have to run to the outside more, and try to avoid strong safety Bernard Pollard, who creates havoc for the Purdue defense. Indiana will be able to pass the ball against the Purdue defense however, and should look to find receivers downfield on running situations. The boilers can be caught off guard easily, and their corners are their weakest point. The Hoosiers will have to come out throwing the ball early, and making sure that playmaker Roby gets some receiving touches.

Purdue will have the advantage in this game on both offense and defense, but in the Bucket, that doesn't ever matter. The games are always hard fought, and no matter how good one team or the other is doing, the Bucket game could go either way. Purdue will have the advantage of the home field at Ross-Aide Stadium, but Indiana will not go quietly into the winter. This should be one of the most entertaining games of the year, its truly a shame that the game will not be on television.

Purdue is considered a heavy 20 point favorite, but if history is any indication, the score will be much tighter than that. The games are typically decided by less than a touchdown, and each team will play with a tenacity that their fans may have been looking for all year. The Hoosiers will be looking to finish their season strong, but it may not be enough, as the Purdue passing attack will probably overwhelm the Indiana secondary. Indiana will stay in this one if they use the pass effectively, but their defense will really have to play to the top of their ability to beat Purdue.

Injury Updates: CB Tracey Porter may see action again on Saturday, it will be a game time decision. TE Aaron Halterman may play after hurting his knee, he was on crutches during the Penn State game, it should be a game time decision. OL Chris Mangiero and Isaac Sowells are both out for the season.

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