PURDUE: Five Days and Counting

Bloomington - Indiana's 21 seniors have a chance to do something that the last seven senior classes have been unable to do - win their final game as a Hoosier. Hoosier Nation looks at that and other numbers to note as we begin our countdown to the Old Oaken Bucket battle...

10 - straight offensive possessions that Purdue scored against Indiana a year ago in the 62-10 Boilermaker rout in West Lafayette. With the exception of the game-ending drive when Purdue's reserves marched 51 yards while simply trying to run out the clock, Purdue scored on each and every possession last season, including eight touchdowns. In Joe Tiller's final game, the Boilermakers piled up 35 first downs, 479 passing yards, and 596 yards of total offense while posting the series' most lopsided win since 1893. It was a grand send-off for Tiller and an embarrassing performance for the Hoosiers, who were forced to hand the Old Oaken Bucket back over to their rivals.

86 - receptions for Purdue wideout Keith Smith this season, good for 1,015 yards and five touchdowns. That total already ranks 10th in the history of the Big Ten Conference, and he's on pace to climb to climb into the top-five (he needs eight catches to tie Northwestern's Richard Buchanan with 94). The 6'2", 226-pounder from Ft. Hood, Texas, is coming off the biggest game of his career against Michigan State when he totaled 15 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. He had 11 catches for 84 yards the previous week against Michigan, giving him 26 receptions in the last two weeks.

107 – Purdue's rank nationally in turnover margin. Coach Danny Hope's team is a -9 this season, ranked then 107th out of 120 Division I teams and last in the Big Ten. Purdue has lost 15 fumbles this year and quarterback Joey Elliott has thrown 13 of the team's 14 interceptions, while the defense has 20 total takeaways. Indiana, in contrast, ranks eighth nationally with a +11 in takeaways. Indiana's defense has recovered 13 fumbles and interception 16 passes while the offense has 13 interceptions but only five lost fumbles. One would probably think Indiana's edge in takeaways would mean a much better record, but both teams head into this weekend's contest with identical 4-7 records and out of bowl contention.

21 – Hoosier seniors who will be on hand for the final game of their Indiana careers on Saturday. Among those 20 are nine who will likely start – offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and Pete Saxon; tight end Troy Wagner; defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton; linebackers Will Patterson and Matt Mayberry; and safeties Nick Polk and Austin Thomas. This group of seniors will try to become the first senior class to conclude their IU careers with a win since the Antwaan Randle El-led 2001 squad beat Kentucky 26-15 on Dec. 1 in a game that had been postponed and rescheduled to the December date due to 9/11. In the seven years since, the Hoosier seniors have concluded their careers with six losses to Purdue (2002-06, 2008) and a loss to Oklahoma State in the 2007 Insight Bowl.

3 opposing running backs that have run for at least 100 yards against Purdue in the last three weeks. Illinois' Mikel LeShoure (15 carries, 122 yards), Wisconsin's John Clay (21 carries, 123 yards, 3 TDs) and Michigan's Brandon Minor (19 carries, 154 yards, 3 TDs) have all had huge games against a Purdue rush defense that had allowed only one opposing running back to go over the century mark in the season's first seven games. Purdue ranks 92nd nationally in rushing defense (171.4/game), and its allowed the last four teams on its schedule to average 203.8 rushing yards/game.

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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