The Big10 West leading Purdue Boilermakers knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers 30-16 on a dreary day in Bloomington, Indiana. The win secures the Old Oaken Bucket and the Big10 West for Purdue. They face Michigan in the Big10 Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, December 3rd (8 P.M).
The first half was on the verge of being unwatchable. Coach Brohm decided the best way to knock off a team that can’t defend the run was to throw the ball. Star running back Devin Mockobee was limited to 5 touches by inexplicable play calling, and Aidan O’Connell’s right arm wasn’t properly calibrated, with most passes sailing high. The Indiana defense was able to get into the backfield and disrupt plays before they had a chance to develop. It was ugly, but not totally unexpected.
Indiana had upset on their mind when Hoosier running back Jaylin Lucas took a hand off, found the corner, and didn’t stop until he crossed the goal line 71 yards later. Those thoughts evaporated when quarterback Dexter Williams dropped to the cursed field turf with a non-contact leg injury on a simple roll out. He was carted off the field, and the hopes of the Indiana football team rode beside him. College football rivalries are fun, but no one (at least no one I care to associate with) wants to win a game because of a potentially career altering injury to the opponent. Here’s hoping it’s not as bad as it appears and Dexter makes a fast and complete recovery.
Indiana took a 7-3 lead into the locker room, but it was clear Indiana had nothing for the Boilermaker’s defense with Williams out of the game. Purdue came out of the locker room, Jeff Brohm remembered that handing the ball to your best player is a legal football strategy and it was only a matter of time before Purdue took control of the game.
Once Devin Mockobee started getting the rock, it was all over but the Purdue fan angst. Not only did the running game chew up yards; it loosened up I.U.s down field coverage. Safeties started creeping into the box, and once that happened, Charlie Jones found himself in single coverage. That’s never a good thing for the opponent.
Mockobee finished the game with 99 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, for a 6.6 yard per carry average, and 5 receptions for 58 yards. Not to be outdone, uncrowned Biletnikoff winner Chuck Sizzle broke loose to the tune of 143 yards and a touchdown on 4 receptions, averaging a robust 35.8 yards per reception. O’Connell finished his regular season career with a 290 yards, completing 18/29 passes, for two touchdowns.
The defense remained stout throughout the game. Corey Trice scored a garbage time touchdown on a fumbleception (or was it an interumble?) to pad Purdue’s margin. I.U. scored a sad touchdown with no time left on the clock to remove that padding. Jalen Graham was all over the field. His return to health has buoyed the Boilermaker defense down the stretch. All-in-all, Indiana wasn’t good, but Purdue didn’t bust anything and were tough inside the 10. The defense was the M.V.P. for Purdue, and has been in several games.
It’s been a wild season fraught with soaring highs and crushing lows, and it’s going to end in Indianapolis. It’s wild to think that this team is 2 4th quarter collapses away from playing for a chance at the CFP next weekend, but I’ll enjoy this win none-the-less. The Wolverines are riding hide off their annihilation of Ohio State, and that’s when the Spoilermakers are most dangerous. Purdue has a punchers chance in the dome, and that’s all you can ask for.
Boiler Up and SEE YOU IN INDY (in spirit, I sadly won’t be in attendance unless some benevolent donor with more money than sense wants to sponsor my trip)!!!!!