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Game Preview: Purdue Boilermakers

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The de facto bowl game for two bitter rivals is here. But unless the Old Oaken Bucket comes filled with bourbon, I'm not sure how much relief it can bring either team finishing up seasons that didn't quite go as planned.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

GAME INFO:

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-8 (0-7), #87 F/+) v. Purdue Boilermakers (3-8 (1-6), #69 F/+)

Where / When? Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana; Noon

TV / Radio? Big Ten Network, IU Radio Network

Vegas? INDIANA -3, 58 o/u

_______________________________________

THE OLD OAKEN BOWL GAME

Ah yes, the all-too-familiar scenario for the Boilermakers and the Hoosiers in the last few years. There is nothing on the line outside of the Bucket itself and while rivalry games are fun regardless of the records possessed by the belligerents, Saturday will serve as another tough reminder of how poorly this season has gone for Indiana. Zander Diamont will get his (statistically) easiest test of the season, and should he get his first career win as Indiana's quarterback, it'll only be the team's fourth win of the season and first in Big Ten play.

Regardless, it will be the last time some great seniors will be suiting up for the Cream and Crimson. Shane Wynn, Mark Murphy, Bobby Richardson, Nick Stoner, and D'Angelo Roberts, to name a few, will be taking the field for the final time on Senior Day. Likewise, while unofficial, it will assumedly be Tevin Coleman's final game, and his final campaign with Indiana was something truly special to witness. In fact, let's look back on some of his finer moments this year:

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Great player. Great person. And hopefully Indiana's next great pro.

TALE OF THE TAPE

While F/+ likes the Boilermakers more than the Hoosiers this year, the teams couldn't have looked more different last Saturday, as Indiana hung tough against one of the best teams in the country on the road and Purdue was curb-stomped by Northwestern in front of a raucous home crowd.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is pathetic. <a href="http://t.co/gG4x2cMucG">pic.twitter.com/gG4x2cMucG</a></p>&mdash; Chris Emma (@CEmma670) <a href="https://twitter.com/CEmma670/status/536199209343787008">November 22, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Purdue football fans: THERE ARE DOZENS OF US. DOZENS!

Seriously, though, I don't want to hear a word about Indiana's football attendance from the folks up north ever again. When the team is bad, people aren't going to show up, doesn't matter what school you are. Unless you're talking about the University of Miami, in which no one shows up because the stadium is in the middle of nowhere and it's probably a billion degrees inside the bowl.

So how do the squads look, statistically?

THE FIVE FACTORS
Efficiency (25%) Explosion (35%) Field Position (15%) Drive-Finishing (15%) Turnovers (10%)
INDIANA 39.5% (92nd) 0.85 (68th) 81st 83rd 13.3% (34th)
PURDUE 37.5% (109th) 0.83 (76th) 108th 77th 21.2% (114th)

So, as we can see, both offenses are pretty terrible. Tevin Coleman single-handedly is keeping Indiana's IsoPPP somewhat respectable, which is crazy-good for the Doak Walker finalist considering how poorly Indiana moves the ball through the air. The difference is borderline hilarious, as Indiana ranks 24th in rushing efficiency and 98th in passing efficiency. Purdue's splits are similar: 36th in rushing and 90th in passing.

The big difference between the teams is on defense, as Indiana remains a woeful 90th and Purdue has climbed to a not-as-bad-but-still-definitely-bad 62nd. They're far better against the pass (40th) than the run (80th), but certainly not excelling at either. Indiana ended up being equally bad at both, 71st defending the run and 80th defending the pass.

So it breaks down to Indiana's bad offense going up against Purdue's bad defense and Purdue's really bad offense going up against Indiana's really bad defense. It's positively puzzling that this game isn't getting more hype or being played in prime time!

Tevin Coleman is the only thing that keeps Indiana's offense out of the "very bad" category, and there will be few reasons for him to come off the field against a Boiler defense that should struggle to stop him all day long. I would assume Purdue will do what most teams have tried to do this season since Diamont became the starter and load up the box to stop Coleman, but he'll still get his, as he typically does.

Yeah both teams suck, wrap this up with some trash talk.

I can't imagine the hopelessness of being a Purdue fan, I really really can't. You have an AD and a President who have straight up said, multiple times, that they do not care about being competitive in high-major athletics and their actions back up those words as they refuse to spend any large amounts of money on their athletics programs. For the love of God, this is a program that WENT TO A ROSE BOWL AS RECENTLY AS 2001 and their stadium, in the YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO-THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN, does not have permanent lighting fixtures. Sometimes I'll drive by Memorial Stadium at night and the stadium lights will just be on for no discernible reason. I like to think they're just showing off for any Boilermakers spending some time in Bloomington.

Like, I'm frustrated with the football (and basketball) struggles this year and in the recent past, but I know our AD is really good at raising funds, partly thanks to a large and willing donor base. All the renovations and new facilities going on across all 24 Indiana sports is impressive, and the entire department seems to know that there is no problem in collegiate athletics that can't be solved with enough fistfuls of dollars. Meanwhile, Morgan Burke is erecting a pergola on a concrete slab in Ross-Ade Stadium and will likely lean on that as his example of investing in the program for the next several years.

Also: West Lafayette is a dump. Go Hoosiers.