IU turned in one of its better efforts of the 2011 season, but it wasn't enough to keep the Old Oaken Bucket in Bloomington. The Hoosiers failed to fully take advantage of Purdue's vulnerability in the first half, and an attempted fourth quarter comeback fell short, thanks in part to a very strange call that was reminiscent of IU's 2009 loss to Michigan. I have to admit that I am to some degree flying blind on the joint possession issue. I am out of state and watched much of the second half in a restaurant with no sound on the TV, so until catching wind of it online I didn't even realize that the play was deemed unreviewable. I don't understand it, and I thought the IU receiver caught it and hit the ground with it, but I'll defer judgment until I have a chance to read more about it.
I thought the key sequence of the game came in the middle of the second quarter, when IU had the Boilermakers on their heels. IU led 14-10 and had the ball first and goal at the 8. Increasing the lead to 21-10 would have put Purdue under some serious pressure. Instead, Tre Roberson was sacked for a 15 yard loss, IU settled for a field goal, gave up a huge return on the kickoff, and one play later Ralph Bolden jogged into the end zone to tie the game at 17. That was a nice microcosm of the season, with breakdowns on offense, defense, and special teams within a 30 second window.
All that said, it was a reasonably competent performance compared to some we have seen this year. The offense, at least, seems to be in reasonably good hands with Roberson at QB, Stephen Houston and D'Angelo Roberts at running back, and Kofi Hughes at WR. The defense was brutalized once again, giving up 508 yards, including 292 on the ground. We will have to see if the juco fix works for the defense.
I don't have time to give a full post-mortem of the season at this point. With some Saturday to Saturday gaps in basketball coming up, I'll take a look back at the football season in the near future.