Purdue (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) at Indiana (4-7, 2-6), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EST (Big Ten Network)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Purdue to 10 1/2
Series record: Purdue leads, 75-42-6.
WHAT’S AT Stake?
Since the trophy was first awarded in 1925, the addition of an “I” or a “P” to the Old Oaken Bucket’s chain has motivated virtually every player or coach associated with these programs. But this year’s rivalry could involve higher stakes. An Iowa loss to Nebraska on Friday means a win could give Purdue its first Big Ten West division title and a conference title game date. Curiously, the Boilers, who once prided themselves on being called “Spoilers,” face a squad of Hoosiers hoping to end this season by finding success in the same role Regaining a second straight win in a trophy game.
Purdue WR Charlie Jones vs. Indiana CB Tiawan Mullen. Yes, it’s unclear how often these two will be hooking up one-on-one this weekend, but if they do, it will be worth watching. Jones has been Aidan O’Connell’s favorite target all season and has done so responded with All-American caliber stats. Mullen has been one of the Big Ten’s top cover cornerbacks for years and will be proud to win this matchup whenever it comes.
PLAYER TO SEE
Purdue: DB Reese Taylor. Nobody understands this rivalry better than the Indianapolis native, who spent four seasons at the other side. The former Hoosier has a lot to prove to his old coach and former teammate, and the few guys with resumes like Taylor usually make a big game or two in this game.
Indiana: Shaun Shivers, Josh Henderson and Dexter Williams II. Williams can shoot more times than in four quarters and double overtime last week (seven tries). Still, it’s clear that coach Tom Allen plans to end this season by relying on the run. Shivers rushed for 115 yards and two TDs last weekWilliams added 86 yards and another TD and Henderson has been solid all season.
FILES & FIGURES
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has been 3-1 with Indiana since taking charge ahead of the 2017 season. … Five of the last seven games in this series have been decided by seven points or fewer. … Indiana went on a seven-game losing streak with last week’s win at Michigan State. … O’Connell has 63 career TD passes and is tied for No. 5 in school history with former NFL starter Kyle Orton. … The last time Indiana won both trophies in the same season was in 2016. … Allen is the seventh coach in Indiana history to record 30 career wins.
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