Purdue Football

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Examining the history of Old Oaken Bucket game outcomes can provide some context to the ebb and flow of the football histories of Purdue and Indiana Universities.

Gone are the days of Purdue posting a 14-game unbeaten streak from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

Here is a seven-year stretch where IU has won five of seven games, broken only by two one-touchdown squeakers going Purdue's way in Jeff Brohm's first two years as coach.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

Taking on a hot Wisconsin team led by their record-breaking running back would be a tall order for any team in the Big Ten this late in the season, but for the Purdue football team, riddled with injuries and misfortune all season long, was too much.

While they were surprising and held their own in the first half, Wisconsin had their number in the second half and won, 45-24, thus ensuring Purdue cannot reach the six wins needed to qualify for a bowl game berth.

Casey Abbett / WBAA News

Early in the preseason, a matchup between Northwestern and Purdue in early November might have been thought of as a must-watch game, with serious implications for the Big Ten West standings.

Fast forward to Saturday and the two teams have played like anything but contenders -- both having been plagued with injuries and misfortune all season long.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It's been a while since any non-freshman scored a touchdown for Purdue. Not since week four in a loss to Minnesota, in fact. Since then, some 30 redshirt and true freshmen have suited up for the Boilermakers. Saturday, that crew was largely responsible for keeping the team's slim bowl game hopes alive in a 31-27 win over Nebraska.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

When it rains, it pours. It rained from start to finish on the Boilermaker football team Saturday, and it was the Illinois Fighting Illini that poured it on from beginning to end.

With the storm grounding the Boilermaker offense and the defense ill-equipped to stop an Illinois team picking up momentum, Purdue fell to Illinois for the first time in three tries, 24-6 -- even though the Illini gained just 26 yards through the air.

It's common on a crisp afternoon in early fall for the gusts blowing across Ross-Ade Stadium to travel as fast as 30 mph.

But it had been a foul wind blowing against the Purdue football team in the weeks leading up to its breezy homecoming game against the Maryland Terrapins Saturday.

The Purdue team that took the field -- still with many freshmen seeing significant minutes -- looked more experienced than the group that was overmatched in last week's loss to Penn State. When the final horn blew on this day, Purdue emerged victorious 40-14.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

The Purdue football team faced a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances in their game Saturday. Both of their best offensive players were out with injuries. The weakest pass defense in the confrence went up against a strong air attack. And a generally inexperienced team with ten freshman in the starting lineup was forced to try to pick up the slack.

All of those challenges, compounded with a road trip to the home of the 12th-ranked team in college football in Penn State. As a result, Purdue was dominated 35-7 by the Nittany Lions.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

Purdue's leading tackler and defensive captain was lost to a season-ending knee injuree in practice earlier this week.

The team's senior starting quartertback -- a question mark all week -- was kept out of the game due to a consussion.

So perhaps it was little surprise that, playing another team from a Power Five conference, the Boilermakers proved not to have nearly enough to keep pace with TCU Saturday night, losing to the Horned Frogs 34-13.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

In football, the only time a team really needs the lead is when the clock runs out. 

Purdue didn't trail Nevada at any point in the first 59:57 of the game Friday. And yet it's the Wolf Pack who've started the year 1-0.

It was the Boilermakers' first true road season opener since 2015 -- and the welcome was not warm from Nevada freshman kicker  Brandon Talton, whose 56-yard field goal as time expired sealed a 34-31 comeback win.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

Though two teams were selected to play in this year's Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, for all intents and purposes, the Auburn Tigers were the only team to show up. 

From the opening drive where Auburn quarterback Jerrett Stidham completed a 66-yard pass for a touchdown, it was clear that Purdue was in for a long game.

Stidham carved up the Boilermaker secondary for five touchdowns and 373 yards -- and that was in just a single half of play. But that one half was an offensive outpouring college bowl games have never seen before.

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