Purdue topples Indiana, earns Big Ten title game spot
Purdue clinched its first Big Ten West Division in school history by rallying for a 30-16 victory over host Indiana on Saturday at Bloomington, Ind.
Aidan O’Connell went 18-of-29 passing for 290 yards with two touchdowns for the Boilermakers, who took home the “Old Oaken Bucket” for the fourth time in the past five years.
Purdue (8-4, 6-3) advanced to the Big Ten title game on Dec. 3 at Indianapolis, where it will face No. 3 and defending conference champion Michigan (12-0, 9-0). The Wolverines clinched the East Division title with a 45-23 win over No. 2 Ohio State at Columbus, Ohio.
Purdue’s Devin Mockobee rushed for 99 yards and a score on 15 carries and caught five passes for 58 yards. Charlie Jones had four receptions, including a 60-yard touchdown catch, for 143 yards.
Trailing 7-3 at halftime, Purdue took a 10-7 lead it wouldn’t relinquish on O’Connell’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Payne Durham with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
After forcing Indiana to punt after just three plays, Purdue extended its lead to 17-7 on Mockobee’s 27-yard touchdown run with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Indiana (4-8, 2-7) pulled to within 17-10 on Charles Campbell’s 28-yard field goal with 11:06 left in the game.
But Purdue put the game away three plays later, when O’Connell threw a 60-yard scoring strike to Jones for a 24-10 lead with 9:38 left.
Cornerback Cory Trice’s 6-yard interception return made it 30-10 after a missed extra-point with 2:17 left.
After Purdue took a 3-0 lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 29-yard field goal with 11:49 left in the first quarter, the Hoosiers found the end zone just 47 seconds later on Jaylin Lucas’ 71-yard run that ended the first-half scoring.
Indiana had a major loss on its next series, when quarterback Dexter Williams II was carted off the field and transported to a hospital after sustaining what appeared to be a severe injury to his right leg.
Williams came away with the injury when he planted his foot to throw a pass during the first quarter. He wasn’t hit on the play.
Wiliams was replaced by Connor Bazelak, who finished 24-of-42 passing for 201 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Lucas ran for 100 yards on nine carries. Josh Henderson had five catches for 35 yards and a touchdown for the Hoosiers.
–Field Level Media