INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue beat Indiana 30-16 in the 97th Old Oaken Bucket Game in Bloomington to win the Big Ten West and advance to the conference title game against No. 3 Michigan on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It’s a heck of a job by our football team,” Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm said. “This is a goal and dream that you never really think is going to happen. We had some luck go against other teams in our division, but I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.”
The Hoosiers led 7-3 at halftime, but the Boilermakers took control of the game in the third quarter. Aidan O’Connell connected with Payne Durham for a 15-yard touchdown to put Purdue ahead, then Devin Mockobee ran for a 27-yard score to make it 17-7.
Indiana cut it to 17-10 on a Charles Campbell 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but the Boilers answered right back with an O’Connell to Charlie Jones 60-yard touchdown.
The Boilermakers sealed the game with an interception return for touchdown by Cory Trice.
O’Connell finished 18 of 29 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Mockobee ran for 99 yards and a TD, while Jones had four catches for 143 yards and a score.
After scoring on their opening possession on a Jaylin Lucas 71-yard touchdown run, Hoosiers’ quarterback Dexter Williams II was carted off the field after a non-contact injury to his right leg late in the first quarter. He was taken to Bloomington Hospital for further evaluation.
“It was a devastating loss,” said Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “He did great job last week. Just a freaky, non-contact injury that I can’t put into words. You try to play to the strengths of our room and I thought we had a great plan. It’s tough, just tough. Hate it for him.”
Purdue finishes the regular season 8-4 and will play in its first Big Ten Championship since the title game’s creation in 2011. Indiana finishes the year 4-8.
The Boilers take the Old Oaken Bucket for the second straight year and fourth time in the last five years.
Michigan won the Big Ten East title with a 45-23 win in Columbus earlier in the day. Kickoff next Saturday is at 8:00 p.m. on FOX59.