Saturday, November 26, 2011
Halftime: Purdue 23, Indiana 17
By Brian Bennett
All Purdue has to do to get bowl eligible is to beat a 1-10 team that hasn't defeated an FBS opponent all year.
Ah, yes, but this is a rivalry game. And as we've seen already with some scores across the country Saturday, those are never as easy as they may seem.
Indiana is giving the Boilermakers everything it has in the Old Oaken Bucket game. The Hoosiers came out quite feisty, taking a 17-10 lead early while gashing Purdue's defense often. Stephen Houston had a 52-yard touchdown run and Danny Hope's team looked like it might be ripe for an upset in this rivalry for the second straight year.
But special teams -- which have been up and down for the Boilers all year -- played a big role in turning the tide in the half. Freshman Raheem Mostert, who's had a sensational season, returned a kickoff 80 yards to set up a touchdown. Carson Wiggs also drilled three field goals.
Defensive lineman Bruce Gaston also came up with a big sack of Tre Roberson in the red zone to hold IU to a field goal. Purdue's defense played better in the second quarter after giving up too many big plays right up the middle early on.
The Boilers aren't out of the woods yet by any means. But they withstood an early storm and now just have to hold on for 30 more minutes to go bowling for the first time since 2007.