Five Days and Counting...

Indiana's bowl hopes rely on a win Saturday in West Lafayette against Purdue (7-4/4-3). How long has it been since IU's bowl hopes were determined by the Old Oaken Bucket battle? We have that answer, along with other numbers to note about this weekend's match-up...

11- Purdue's rank in the Big Ten in rushing defense. After being limited to 26 yards on 20 carries by Michigan's top-ranked rush defense, the IU attack gets a more manageable assignment this weekend against the Boilermakers. Purdue is surrendering 185.2 yards rushing/game, which ranks 108th out of 119 Division I-A programs. Purdue has been even worse in Big Ten games, giving up 227.0 yards/game during its conference slate. That includes a 42-carry, 316-yard effort last week by Illinois and a 40-carry, 286-yard performance earlier this season by Iowa. Purdue has given up 240 yards rushing or more in four Big Ten games, and every league foe has rushed for at least 144.

11- Missed field goals by Purdue kicker Chris Summers this season, who is just 8-of-19 on the year. Summers is also only 3-of-13 since Sept. 30, and two of those four conversions were 18-yard attempts. He's struggled from just about every distance, going 2-2 inside 20; 1-2 from 20-29 yards out; 3-8 from 30-39; 3-7 from 40-49; and 0-1 from 50 yards or more.

Summers' struggles haven't cost Purdue a game yet, but it's the biggest reason why the Boilermakers are the Big Ten's worst in the red zone. Purdue is putting points on the board on only 69 percent of their trips inside the red zone (29-of-42), compared to Indiana's 90 percent (27-of-30), which ranks fourth in the league.

14- Years since the last time Indiana's bowl hopes relied on a win in West Lafayette in the regular season finale. That was 1992, when the Hoosiers lost to Purdue 13-10. Purdue entered the game 3-7 while the Hoosiers were 5-5, but the Trent Green-led Hoosiers came up shot, bringing an end to a six-year run that saw the Hoosiers earn bowl trips in five out of those six years.

While this is the first time in awhile the Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket has had bowl game implications, each game from 1989-92 determined IU's postseason fate. In 1991 Purdue missed a last second-field goal and Indiana escaped 24-22 in Bloomington, giving IU a 6-4-1 record and earning them a berth in the Copper Bowl. In 1990 IU also entered the Bucket game with a 5-4-1 record, and a 28-14 win in West Lafayette earned Mallory's team a berth in the Peach Bowl. The 1989 season ended in heartbreaking fashion, though, when IU's Scott Bonnell missed a last-second field goal and gave Purdue a 15-14 win in Bloomington, a loss that ended IU's season at 5-6 and possibly cost Anthony Thompson the Heisman Trophy.

202- Yards rushing for Purdue in Saturday's 42-31 win over Illinois. That ended a four-game streak where the Boilermakers had failed to rush for at least 100 yards as a team. Purdue also had a season-high four rushing touchdowns against Illinois, which ended a three-game streak where they failed to score a rushing touchdown.

While Purdue is best known for its ability to spread the ball around in the passing game, Coach Joe Tiller's team is at its best when they have offensive balance. In Purdue's seven wins it's averaging 142.4 yards rushing, but in three or its four losses Purdue has managed less than 100 yards rushing as a team and they're averaging just 113.8 yards rushing in those four contests. Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor are the primary ball carriers, with Sheets totaling 667 yards and 10 touchdowns and Taylor chipping in 519 yards, three touchdowns, and a 6.2 yards/carry average.

3,104- Passing yards for Boilermaker quarter Curtis Painter. The junior from Vincennes joined some elite company last week by becoming only the sixth quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season (Drew Brees, Jim Everett, Mark Hermann, Billy Dicken, Kyle Orton are the others). Painter's total currently ranks eighth on Purdue's single-season list, and with two regular season games and one bowl contest remaining, he has a shot at becoming the first player in school history to throw for 4,000 yards in a single season. Brees holds the single-season record with 3,983 yards in 1998, and Painter would have to average 293 yards/game to catch him. Painter is currently averaging 282.2 yards/game.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Matchups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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