The Indiana Hoosiers were chasing their third straight Old Oaken Bucket and their first bowl appearance since 2007 coming into their matchup with the Purdue Boilermakers, who tried to play spoiler.
Indiana's offense was humming all day long, but they couldn't quite put the game out of reach until late in the fourth quarter.
They started the game scoring on their first two drives with a touchdown followed by a field goal. After two Indiana touchdowns to open up the second quarter, the Hoosiers were out in front 24-7, but the Boilermakers weren't going to make this easy for the Hoosiers to capture their third straight Old Oaken Bucket.
The Hoosiers offense has looked good all year, but Saturday at Purdue, they ran up and down the field with 659 total yards on offense and looked like the superior team against their in-state rival.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld became the Indiana Hoosiers' all-time leading passer as he wraps up his final season at Indiana. He had a solid game for the Hoosiers, as he was 18-for-29 for 350 yards and four touchdowns through the air while also getting a touchdown on the ground.
Indiana was without their leading rusher in Jordan Howard, but that didn't stop the Hoosiers from rushing for 309 yards with Devine Redding leading the way on the ground with 144 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
To start the third quarter, the Hoosiers opened up a 31-14 lead after a Sudfeld rushing touchdown, but Purdue came back to a 10 point lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Indiana's defense left the door open after Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby rushed in for a touchdown with 11:21 to go in the game, and Purdue was down just 44-36.
With the season hanging in the balance and Purdue knocking on the door, Indiana scored the final 10 points of the ballgame to capture their third straight Old Oaken Bucket and also became bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
Purdue tried their best to play spoiler, but in the end, the Indiana offense was too much. The Boilermakers did put up 486 yards, but four turnovers including two in the redzone was costly on this day where finishing drives was a must against a Hoosiers offense that was scoring almost at will.
After starting off the season 4-0 followed by a six game losing streak, a lot of hard work has paid off after two straight wins to get to a bowl game for Indiana.
"To me, you want those kids to taste some of the rewards for putting in their energy," coach Kevin Wilson said. "Our mantra has been 'You gotta fight, you got go for it."
Well, Indiana went out and fought for it and it has paid off as this program takes another step forward. The Hoosiers now will await where they will be headed off to for their expected bowl game.