For the second year in a row (and only the second time ever) the Boilermakers and Hoosiers met at the end of their respective seasons with only the other standing in the way of a possible bowl berth (oh, and possession of the Old Oaken Bucket). And once again Purdue emerged victorious, winning 28-21.
"With all this team has been through, our guys have continued to work hard no matter what was ahead or behind," Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm said after the game.
With the season that Purdue has endured -- starting with three tough losses, then bouncing back to defeat three ranked opponents -- the ending is something Brohm says he feels the players earned.
Fifth year senior quarterback David Blough finished the day going 27-35 through the air for 310 yards and three touchdowns. His Hoosier counterpart, Peyton Ramsey, was just as good, going 36-51 for 345 yards and accounting for two touchdowns, one passing and one while rushing 23 yards on an apparently injured knee (albeit past the suspect Purdue tackling that has cropped up from time to time this year).
However, it was a Ramsey interception late in the fourth quarter that helped seal both teams' postseason fates, as Boilermaker safety Navon Mosley stepped in front of a receiver Ramsey locked onto as soon as he took a snap deep in his own territory.
Standout freshman wideout Rondale Moore surpassed the 100 catch mark for the season and scored his 12th and 13th touchdowns on passes of 56 and 33 yards, respectively. His finished the day with 154 yards of total offense and moved up to 4th in receiving yards in a season all-time for the Boilermakers.
Despite occasional lackluster tackling, the Boilermaker defense responded to the criticism heaped on them after a complete breakdown last week against Wisconsin. They came up with multiple 4th down stops, though the pass rush that's been an issue all season often gave Ramsey abundant time to find his targets.
Purdue ends the regular season at 6-6, and IU at 5-7.
Purdue players will take Sunday off while coaches throw themselves into recruiting for the next few days.
All the while, speculation continues to swirl about whether Brohm will be at the helm next year, with many outlets reporting everything from mere interest by his alma mater, Louisville, to rumors a deal need only be signed by both parties to become official.
Next Sunday brings news of whether, where and when his current team might go holiday bowling for the second straight year.