For the first time since 2007 and just the second time since 1993, Indiana is going to a bowl game.
The Hoosiers had their usual explosive offensive afternoon against an easily exploited Purdue defense, winning the Old Oaken Bucket and their sixth game of the season, 54-36.
Win No. 6 means Indiana will go to the postseason for the first time under head coach Kevin Wilson. The Hoosiers went to the Insight Bowl in 2007, their last bowl appearance and only one since going to the Independence Bowl in 1993.
As has become a weekly occurrence, Indiana had a monstrous offensive day, totaling 659 yards. Nate Sudfeld completed 18 of his 29 passing attempts for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Devine Redding rushed 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown.
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Purdue hung around in this one. After Indiana scored the first 10 points in the first quarter, D.J. Knox set off some fireworks for the Boilermakers, bursting away for a 31-yard run to set Purdue up on Indiana’s one-yard line. But Austin Appleby fumbled the snap on the next play, turning the ball back over to the Hoosiers and blowing a golden scoring chance.
Purdue did score on its next drive, Markell Jones rushing 27 yards to set up Appleby’s touchdown carry. But quick-strike Indiana answered immediately with a touchdown drive, Redding scoring from six yards out.
On their next drive, the Hoosiers converted a third and 10 from their own one-yard line and went on a 99-yard scoring drive, Sudfeld tossing to Simmie Cobbs for the score. The Boilers answered with a touchdown, Appleby hitting Jordan Jurasevich from 11 yards out for the score to again make it a 10-point game at 24-14.
The two teams traded a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter: Sudfeld and Andrew Wilson had scoring runs for the Hoosiers, while Jones ran in and Appleby threw a touchdown for the Boilers.
Still just a 10-point game with a quarter to play, Indiana out-scored Purdue, 16-8, in the fourth to pull away for the big win.
Indiana finished the regular season with a .500 record, but it's good enough for a postseason berth. The Hoosiers will await their bowl destination.
Purdue finished its season at 2-10, 1-7 in conference play, and is now 6-30 (2-22) in three seasons under Darrell Hazell.