Purdue routs Indiana in Oaken Bucket Game, wins Big Ten West Title

Entering this year’s Old Oaken Bucket Game, Purdue controlled their own destiny after Iowa was unable to defeat Nebraska on Black Friday. So, when the Boilermakers made their way into Bloomington, the Hoosiers were looking to play spoiler and keep Purdue from heading to Indianapolis to face Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game. 

Purdue started by marching down the field early but were held to just a field goal by the Hoosier defense. Indiana turned right around and answered with a touchdown and then sacked Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell but also missed a field goal down the stretch. 

The changing tide of the first half came when Indiana QB Dexter Williams II went down with an injury and was forced to leave the game, bringing in Junior QB Connor Bazelak. While the Hoosiers went to the air a few times, they opted to run the ball, with Shaun Shivers being virtually unstoppable. The Hoosiers were unable to find the endzone again in the first half, keeping it a 7-3 game at halftime with all Indiana needing to do was stop the Purdue offense for the 2nd half. 

It was a completely different game in the 2nd half, though. Indiana struggled to find the endzone and Purdue flourished- hitting paydirt multiple times- O’Connell throwing two TD passes and RB Jaylin Lucas rushing for one as well.

Penalties carried Indiana through the 2nd half and kept them in the game but they were unable to capitalize on almost every opportunity while Charlie Jones was the major element for Purdue as he finished the game with 143 yards receiving, including a huge TD catch to extend the lead in the 4th quarter with the defense pulling off a spectacular pick six later in the 4th quarter to seal the win.

-Reggie Edwards

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