Boilers Keep Bucket

The Purdue Boilermakers knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers 41-14 in front of 50,023 fans at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. to keep the Old Oaken Bucket in West Lafayette. Purdue used a 27-point second quarter that featured four Indiana turnovers to seal the win.

Bloomington, Ind. – The 17 seniors on the Indiana Hoosiers will graduate without ever holding the Old Oaken Bucket and first-year Indiana Head Coach Terry Hoeppner now knows what the rivalry is all about. Purdue capitalized on several early Hoosier turnovers and kept the Bucket in West Lafayette, knocking off Indiana 41-14 in front of 50,023 fans at Memorial Stadium.

"Coach Tiller said to me after the game that this is always a game of turnovers," said Hoeppner. "Obviously I learned that the hard way today."

Indiana opened the scoring on the second Hoosier possession of the game. Sophomore Blake Powers led the Hoosiers on an 11 play, 61-yard scoring drive before taking the ball in himself on a 9-yard quarterback draw. Purdue would respond on the next drive, taking the ball 64 yards on 14 plays to setup a 26-yard Ben Jones field goal.

The Boilermakers pulled ahead for good early in the second quarter after a series of Indiana turnovers. The bleeding started for the Hoosiers after Powers threw his first of three interceptions. The Hoosiers were trying to setup a screen pass when Powers threw the ball right into the chest of Purdue's defensive end Ray Edwards. After the turnover, the Boilermakers took the ball 52 yards on just two plays to take a 10-7 lead after a 25-yard touchdown run by sophomore Kory Sheets. Sheets would finish the day with 137 yards rushing on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns.

On Indiana's ensuing possession a Powers' pass was picked off after senior Jahkeen Gilmore bobbled what should have been a routine catch. Gilmore batted the ball into the air twice before Purdue's defensive tackle Brent Grover came up with the interception giving Purdue the ball on the Indiana 34-yard line.

Purdue then took an 8-play drive to the end zone before Sheets scored his second touchdown of the game and gave Purdue a 17-7 edge.

The turnover spree was not quite over for the Hoosiers however. On the very next drive, senior running back Yamar Washington fumbled as he tried to cut up field. Purdue recovered the ball on the Indiana 36-yard line and once again would take advantage of the short field and punch it into the end zone. Washington finished the day 44 yards on eight carries. Chris Taylor led the Hoosiers in rushing, picking up 97 yards on 13 carries.

"We had too many turnovers at the beginning of the game," said freshman James Hardy who was held to four catches for 38 and also had a fumble. "We came out with high expectations and a lot of energy but turnovers killed us early."

Purdue sophomore Dorien Bryant took the ball in on a reverse for a 9-yard score, giving Purdue a 24-7 lead. The Boilermakers would add a field before the half to take a 27-7 lead into the locker room.

Powers finished the first half connecting on 5-of-12 passes with two interceptions and just 54 yards passing. He finished the game 11-of-24 for 150 yards and three interceptions. Powers had no passing touchdowns, but score both Indiana touchdowns on quarterback keepers.

Indiana came out in the second half and picked up two first downs and crossed the 40-yard line for the first time in over a quarter. However the drive ended with all too familiar of results. After completing a first-down pass to freshman James Hardy for 11 yards, Powers was sacked for a loss of 11 and threw an interception on the next play. Graeme McFarland would relieve Powers on the next drive, but to no avail. McFarland completed just one of three passes for 19 yards.

Purdue added another touchdown in the third quarter as Curtis Painter led the Boilers 65 yards on 12 plays before Bryant scored his second rushing touchdown of the day. That score made pushed the Boilermaker lead to 34-7. Bryant finished with 96 all-purpose yards, picking up 22 rushing yards on six carries and 74 receiving yards on six catches.

Painter was not brilliant by led his team to victory none the less. He finished 14-of-27 for 124 yards, one interception and no touchdowns. He also had 10 rushes for 60 yards.

Powers led Indiana on a four play, 66 yard drive before Powers capped off the Hoosier scoring with an 8-yard run. However Purdue answered back three minutes later on a Sheets 53-yard run to make the final score 41-14.

"It's difficult that this is my last game and last time playing with these guys," said senior linebacker John Pannozzo. "It's tough, but you have to stay strong for the younger guys. Hopefully they see this and they're not going to want this for their senior year. Hopefully it'll mean something to them."

Pannozzo was expected to sit out the game because of a hand injury he suffered in the loss to Michigan State, but he was in full pads and entered the game on special teams to cover a punt.

Indiana has now lost four straight Bucket games to Purdue, winning the last one back in 2001 at Memorial Stadium.

"I want to congratulate Purdue," said Hoeppner. "Everybody thought they were a great team coming into the season and they recaptured whatever they were missing and played well today. This loss gives me great resolve, great motivation for the winter, spring and summer."

Hoeppner's first season as head coach for Indiana ends with a 4-7 record and one Big Ten win. After starting the season 4-1, Indiana lost the last six games in conference play.

"I have no buyer's remorse," said an emotional Hoeppner after the game. "If I knew then what I know now however many days ago I was named the head coach, I wouldn't change a thing. We're doing things the right way. I love this university. This was a very emotional week for us. I got to coach a senior class that I fell in love with quickly and I'm proud to be here. I can't wait to get to play again. The worst thing for me is we don't have a game next week." Top Stories