PURDUE: Five Days and Counting

When rivals Indiana (3-8/1-6) and Purdue (3-8/1-6) clash on Saturday at Noon at Ross-Ade Stadium, the teams will be battling for the Old Oaken Bucket and also trying to avoid finishing in the Big Ten cellar. HoosierNation.com kicks off its day-by-day preview of this weekend's match-up with "Five Numbers to Note" about the contest…

86 - career wins for Purdue Coach Joe Tiller, who will be coaching his final game as the Boilermakers' head coach Saturday afternoon. Tiller is the winningest coach in Purdue history with an 86-62 mark, and he's compiled a 9-2 record against Indiana. While Purdue has struggled to a 3-8 record in Tiller's final campaign, the success he's had in West Lafayette is worth nothing. In the 12 years before Tiller's arrival in 1996, the Boilermakers had just one winning season and zero bowl invitations. During Tiller's tenure he's guided Purdue to 10 bowl games in 12 seasons, including the 2001 Rose Bowl.

3 - games Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter had missed before returning in Saturday's 22-17 loss at Iowa. Painter suffered a partially separated shoulder the first quarter of Purdue's Oct. 22 game against Minnesota and had been sidelined ever since. But the senior led Purdue enter in the final two minutes of the first half and led Purdue on a scoring drive just before intermission, and then nearly orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback. Painter entered with 12 minutes remaining and threw one touchdown pass to cut the lead to five, and then had a potential game-winning throw sail out of the back of the end zone as time expired. Painter was 24-of-30 for 190 yards in just 14 minutes of action against Iowa, and figures to play against IU. He's listed as the co-No. 1 on Purdue's depth chart along with Justin Siller, but odds are that Tiller will go with his senior on Senior Day.

4 - times that Purdue has been limited to seven points or less during the Big Ten season. After averaging 31 points/game in its three non-conference games, Purdue is mustering only 16.1 points/game in conference contests. Ohio State limited Purdue to a field goal in a 16-3 game, while Penn State (20-6), Minnesota (17-6) and Michigan State (21-7) also shut down the Boilermaker offense. Purdue's problems have revolved around their inability to move the chains, where they rank 10th in league games with a 31.8 percent success rate. Unfortunately for IU fans, the Hoosiers are the only team that's worse than Purdue in scoring offense (15.1) and third down conversions (22.3 percent) in conference games.

6 - times in the last 15 years that either Indiana or Purdue has finished last in the Big Ten. Purdue went 0-8 to finish last in 1993, and IU has finished in the conference cellar in 1995 (0-8), 1996 (1-7), 2000 (2-6), 2002 (1-7) and 2004 (1-7). With the two teams tied for 10th in the Big Ten with identical 1-6 marks, the loser of the game will finish all alone in 11th in the Big Ten. With a win, Indiana would avoid the Big Ten cellar for the fourth straight season, which would be its longest such streak since it went nine straight years from 1986-94.

-3,280 – career rushing yards for Purdue tailback Kory Sheets, ranking him third on Purdue's all-time list behind eventual NFL standouts Mike Alstott (3,635 yards) and Otis Armstrong (3,315 yards). While Sheets won't eclipse Alstott's career rushing record, he's already become Purdue's record holder in career touchdowns with 51. He also has a chance to break Purdue's school single-season touchdown mark, which is 14 and shared by Tony Butkovich, Alstott, and Leroy Keyes. Sheets has 13 touchdowns entering the game.

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


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