IU outgained the Boilers 505-435. Kellen Lewis was 26-42 for 290 yards and no interceptions. Curtis Painter was 18-32 for 260 yards and 4 interceptions. IU, quite uncharacteristically, outrushed an opponent, 215-175. IU gave the ball back to Purdue a bunch (4 fumbles, all lost, as opposed to 1/1 for Purdue). The Hoosiers managed one of the strangest plays of all time when IU's Tracy Porter recovered a Purdue fumble, returned it nearly for a touchdown, but Purdue forced a fumble that went out the back of the endzone for a Purdue touchback. IU gained 284 yards in the first half and had three points to show for it. Purdue wasn't much better, gaining 190 yards and scoring only one touchdown, but the story of the game was IU's failure to hold onto the ball and thereby capitalize on an absolutely dreadful first half performance by Painter, who threw three interceptions on Purdue's first six possessions.
And so it was. Tiller's boys retained the Bucket for the 10th time in 11 years. During that time, Purdue has defeated the Hoosiers in nearly every way imaginable, but the 2006 version was unlike any game I have ever seen, Bucket game or otherwise.
- Iowa: IU won comfortably on the road, Purdue won comfortably at home;
- Michigan State: IU lost badly on the road, Purdue lost badly at home;
- Minnesota: IU won comfortably at home, Purdue won comfortably on the road;
- Penn State: IU lost a close one at home, Purdue lost a close one on the road;
- Northwestern: IU lost a close one on the road, Purdue won a mostly competitive game at home.
Other than the Northwestern game, the outcomes against common opponents are strikingly similar. Neither team played a formidable non-conference team. Statistically, the teams are fairly even in points per game (33.7 for Purdue to 32.0 for IU). Purdue averages 429 yards per game to IU's 389. Purdue is the second most pass-happy team in the conference, with over 3100 passing yards and 1500 rushing yards. IU has 2637 passing yards and 1648 rushing yards. The Purdue and IU passing attacks have been fairly similar: while Purdue has generated more yards, the completion percentages (61.8 for Purdue, 60.9 for IU) and TD/INT ratios (26/10 for Purdue, 25/10 for IU) are similar. Purdue averages 4.4 yards per carry to IU's 4.1/
Defensively, Purdue has a slight edge in scoring defense (24.1 to 27.0). Both teams allow lots of yards per game: 380 for Purdue, 397 for IU. The Hoosiers do lead the league with 17 interceptions compared to 14 for Purdue. Both allow plenty of passing yards per game: 235 for IU, 237 for Purdue. Purdue allows 57 percent completions compared to 60 for IU. IU allows 162 yards rushing per game compared to 143 for Purdue. Yards per carry allowed is nearly identical: 3.8 for IU, 3.9 for Purdue.
In sum, these two teams are quite similar statistically. Neither team has a signature win. Both teams lost as favorites last week. I am pessimistic about this game, but that's because of history. Considering 2007 only, this is a tough game to call. Gamblers beware.