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Indiana players celebrate with the Old Oaken Bucket after beating Purdue 56-36 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers set a program record with 692 yards of offense.

Hoosiers put ‘I’ on Bucket

Boilers’ control of series halted in record fashion

– It might have been cold comfort, but Indiana got some redemption in the form of an Old Oaken Bucket on Saturday.

The Hoosiers set a program record in scoring against Purdue, ran up a program-record 692 yards on the Boilermakers and beat their in-state rival 56-36 in the season finale at Memorial Stadium.

“Their time in on task is extremely high,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said of his team, which honored 21 seniors who played their final home game Saturday. “You play minimal minutes and second and reps versus the time on task to get there. For those guys to taste that victory, to put an ‘I’ on the Bucket and to get that thing means, I think, as much for me, for them.”

IU (5-7, 3-5 Big Ten) won’t go to a bowl this season, but it got its first Bucket victory with Wilson at the helm. Purdue (1-11, 0-8) set some more unenviable marks.

The Hoosiers got out to a 14-0 start thanks to a 53-yard touchdown run from senior running back Stephen Houston and a 2-yard touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Shane Wynn. Those scores gave Purdue a new program record for points allowed in a season (456) and set the tone for a Hoosier-dominated day.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson had 234 yards of total offense on his own as well as three touchdown passes as IU sprinted out to a 35-9 halftime lead. He hit Wynn for another score and junior wide receiver Cody Latimer for a touchdown with 44 seconds left in the half.

“It was a great win, great feeling – it was just amazing,” said Latimer, who became the fifth IU player with more than 1,000 receiving yards in a single season after getting 110 yards against Purdue. “We needed it, and we wanted that Bucket back here.”

The Hoosiers didn’t let up after halftime.

Along with two interceptions, Roberson finished 25-of-37 passing for 273 yards and tied a program record of six passing touchdowns in a single game. He also ran for a career-high 154 yards on 21 carries.

The Hoosiers converted 16 of 18 third downs and were nearly unstoppable in the season-ending rout of a rivalry that Purdue has historically dominated. On top of that, IU had three 100-yard rushers in a single game – Roberson, Houston and junior running back D’Angelo Roberts – which was another first for the program.

IU did incur one blemish Saturday thanks to their still-shabby defense.

The Hoosiers set a Big Ten record for yards allowed in a season (6,335) after giving up 516 to the Boilermakers. They also let Purdue back in the game with a 21-0 run that made it 49-30 with 10:13 to go in the game.

But that proved a backdrop to one of the best offensive performances by IU in Bucket Game history and got the Bucket back for the first time since a 34-31 overtime win in 2010.

“It’s a good way to go out,” said Houston, who had two touchdowns. “I have nothing left here, so this was my bowl game. This was my national championship game, you know? I just emptied my whole clip.”

smorrison@jg.net

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