On Saturday, the Purdue Boilermakers (7-4) will host the Indiana Hoosiers (2-9) in a battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. This rivalry dates back to 1891, and Purdue holds a 74-42-6 all-time edge in the series. Last season Indiana beat Purdue 44-41 in an overtime thriller, but the Boilermakers covered as the seven-point dog.
This will be the last game of the season for Indiana. Purdue will likely accept a bid for a bowl game and participate in one more contest this season.
Indiana winless in the Big TenWhat a disappointing year 2021 has been for the Indiana Hoosiers, who will head into their last game with a 0-8 record in the conference. Last season was shortened due to COVID-19, but Indiana went 6-1 in the Big Ten. With only two wins this season, regardless of Saturday's outcome, the Hoosiers are guaranteed to finish with their fewest amount of wins since 2011. The Hoosiers have played a demanding schedule that ranks 29th according to teamrankings.com, with losses to five teams currently in the College Football Playoff Ratings Top 25 (Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa). Indiana's wins have come outside of the Big Ten (Idaho 56-14 and Western Kentucky 33-31).
Last Saturday, the Hoosiers lost their final home game 35-14 as an eight-point underdog to Minnesota. They were outgained 391 to 218 in total yards for that game. Indiana has been atrocious offensively on the season, averaging 18.2 ppg and 299 total yards, both in the bottom-10 nationally.
At the beginning of the season, Micheal Penix Jr. was the starting quarterback but only played in the first five games before suffering a season-ending injury. Since Penix went down, Jack Tuttle and Donaven McCulley have split time at quarterback. Both have only thrown two touchdown passes this season, neither leading the team to any wins. Tuttle is questionable for Saturday's game, meaning McCulley, who is a freshman, will likely be the man. McCully completed 3 of 7 passes for 17 yards against Minnesota but did rush for 72 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts.
If Purdue can win back the Old Oaken Bucket, this season will be considered a successThe Purdue Boilermakers are 5-3 in the Big Ten and have faced the seventh most challenging schedule in the nation. The Boilermakers' resume includes wins over two teams (Iowa and Michigan State) who were ranked in the top-4 when they played Purdue. Purdue has won three of its last four games, with the last blemish coming in a 59-31 loss at now No. 2 ranked Ohio State on Nov. 13. Purdue bounced back last week and covered with an 11-point win with a 32-14 win over Northwestern. The Boilermakers held a 474 to 303 yardage advantage in the game.
Purdue has also defeated Oregon State, UConn, Illinois, and Nebraska this season. The other losses have come against No. 6 Notre Dame, Minnesota, and No. 14 Wisconsin.
Purdue has been solid on both sides of the ball, averaging 26 ppg and 422.6 total yards while holding opponents to 21.7 ppg. Offensively Purdue is one of the most prolific passing teams in the nation, ranking seventh with 346 yards per game, led by Aidan O' Connell, who has completed 72.7% of his passes and thrown for 19 touchdowns. O' Connell's top target, David Bell is having a tremendous year at wide receiver. Bell has five touchdown receptions and leads the Big Ten with 87 catches and 1,207 yards. Purdue doesn't run the ball much, ranking 127th in the nation picking just 76.6 yards per game on the ground.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Purdue has covered the spread in the last four head-to-head games against Indiana. The Hoosiers still managed to win two of those games outright, and each contest was decided by seven points or less. Although the games in this rivalry are usually close, I think Saturday's game is likely to break the trend and be a blowout. Indiana has failed to cover the spread in eight of its last nine games this season, but Purdue has covered in three of their last four. The Boilermakers lost to Indiana last season, and they want to bring the Old Oaken Bucket back home. Expect Purdue to come in highly motivated and take this game by 17 points or more.
Full-Game Total Pick
Offensively Indiana has been a disaster, scoring 15 points or less in six of their last seven games. Don't expect the Hoosiers to do any better in this game against a Purdue defense that has been solid against better competition than them. I seem most of the offense is coming from Purdue. With the Boilermakers averaging 21.8 ppg at home this season and Indiana allowed 31.2 ppg on the road, I expect the total in this game to stay relatively low. I recommend taking the under, predicting Purdue to come away with a 34-14 win.