Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Welcome to the final piece of our Throwback Series as we take a look to the past for a review of the 2012 Bucket Game between the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers.
Opponent: Purdue Boilermakers
Location: Saturday November 24th /12pm/ Ross-Ade Stadium/ (West Lafayette, Indiana)
Why They Played: Indiana and Purdue meeting in the annual Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket every year on the last week of the regular season.
What The Game Meant:
No matter what the two combatants come into the game with a real hatred of each other. It does not matter if they are 11-0 or 0-11 this rivalry game can make or break the season for one of these teams. Coming into the 2012 version of the Bucket Game the Hoosiers had already been eliminated from bowl contention, while Purdue need a win to reach the six win mark. Anytime there is a trophy being played for it has plenty of meaning, especially in an in-state rivalry like this one.
Top Offensive Performers:
Stephen Houston, RB, Indiana- The junior running back ended the season on a personal high note shredding the Purdue defense on the ground as well as through the air compiling 253 total yards and three touchdowns. It was too bad that the effort was wasted in a loss.
Robert Marve, QB, Purdue – The oft injured Boilermaker quarterback left his mark on this rivalry has he took control of the game after a shaky start. By the time the final gun sounded Marve had thrown for 348 yards and four scores.
Top Defensive Performers
Greg Heban, S, Indiana- The heart and soul of the secondary did all that he could to try and make a difference in stopping the Boilermaker offense as Heban netted nine tackles and took an interception back for 70 yards.
Will Lucas, LB, Purdue- The junior linebacker turned the tide of the game in the third quarter as the Hoosiers were driving into Purdue territory trying to get back in the game, when Lucas forced a D’Angelo Roberts fumble. Lucas also added nine total tackles.
Special Team Performance:
The special teams performance against Purdue was not bad, but it was not great either. Nothing stood out as Ewald did not attempt a field goal and connected on all five of his extra points. Punter Erich Toth averaged a low 37.8 yards on his six punts. The game did not come down to a battle of the special teams units.
The story of the game and the box score was the turnover battle, in which Purdue held a 4-1 advantage over the Hoosiers. Neither defense really stopped the other’s offense, but Purdue came away with four huge turnovers in what was Cam Coffman’s worst performance.
The contest was already turning into a game of runs as both teams scored in bunches early. Purdue had just taken a 28-21 lead off of a Cam Coffman pick. As Indiana was driving for the tying score D’Angelo Roberts got upended in the backfield and fumbled the ball. The play could have been overturned, however the replay official did not rule that he was down by contact. Purdue took over and promptly scored another touchdown to go ahead 35-21. Although the Hoosiers would eventually tie the game at 35, they spent all their energy trying to dig out of this hole.
I Knew it was over when…
Akeem Shavers ran it in from a yard out to give Purdue a 56-35 lead with 6:14 left.
Players of the Game
Indiana– Stephen Houston, Running Back- The Hoosier running back gave it his all in trying to help Indiana battle back in the Bucket game but it just was not enough to overcome four turnovers.
Purdue- Akeem Shavers, Running Back- The Hoosiers could not tackle this guy. He torched a hapless defense for 225 total yards and three touchdowns, as the Boilermakers took full advantage of the Hoosiers’ willingness to give a way the ball.
What I took away from the game
The game was closer than the final score indicated, but this is not a game in which moral victories are counted. The Hoosiers were careless with the ball all day and Cam Coffman just was not sharp. In the second half it seemed as though Purdue scored every time they touched the ball, as the Hoosier defense just looked as if they had ran out of gas. This game will leave a bad taste in the mouth of every Indiana fan until the team hits the field again in August.