Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Hoosiers are primed to win the Bucket Game for the second straight year for the first time since 1993-94 as they host the hated Purdue Boilermakers on Thanksgiving weekend again.
Week 13: Purdue Boilermakers
Time & Date: TBA, Saturday, Nov. 29th
Venue: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN)
Boilermakers at a Glance:
Head Coach: Darrell Hazell 2nd year at Purdue (1-11, 17-21 Overall)
Last Season: 1-11 (0-8)
Boilermaker Returning Leaders:
Passing: Danny Etling (55.8%, 1690 Yds, 10 TD, 7 INT)
Rushing: Akeem Hunt (464 Yds, 3.8 Avg, 1 TD)
Receiving: DeAngelo Yancey (546 Yds, 17.1 Avg, 2 TD)
Preseason Magazine Predictions:
Phil Steele: 7th in the Big Ten West
Lindy’s: 7th in the Big Ten West
Athlon’s: 7th in the Big Ten West
Sporting News: 7th in the Big Ten West
Why the Boilermakers could win:
Purdue is coming off their worst season in history, however this is a team that has some offensive talent and could surprise some people if they’re not careful in how they approach the game. DeAngelo Yancey, Akeem Hunt, and Danny Etling should be a formidable offensive trio for the Boilers. Add in the speed from Rasheem Mostert and the power of Brandon Cottom and it could be a recipe for disaster for the Hoosiers. Purdue did put up 36 points in the loss in 2013 while averaging only 14.9 points per contest.
Why They Won’t Pull it Off:
Purdue was awful in 2013 and it doesn’t look like major improvements are going to be made in 2014. While their offense may be better, Boiler fans and coaches have to be very concerned about the defense which finished 104th in the nation in total defense. To make matters worse, the Boilers lose their two best defenders in Ricardo Allen and Bruce Gaston. Purdue may not have the weapons on offense to make up for their lack of a defense. The Hoosier defense looks much improved from the unit that gave up 36 points in 2013 and you can count on Wilson not taking his foot off the gas this year as well.
The Bucket Game always has its twists and turns. Hopefully, the 2014 edition has some post season implications for one or both of the teams. The Hoosiers have not won back-to-back Bucket matchups since 1994, and you can bet the farm that Wilson wants to start a streak of putting I’s on the chain. The Hoosier offense will be too much for the Boilermakers to handle, while the IU defense should show improvement and hold what was a bad offense to more respectable numbers. The game is also being played in Bloomington for the second year in a row due to a scheduling quirk when the conference expanded. All the little early breaks are falling Indiana’s way and that could lead to an extended stay in Bloomington for the Old Oaken Bucket.