Purdue has long held an advantage in its rivalry with Indiana on the football field.
From 1997 to 2012, the Boilermakers won 13 of the 16 matchups for the Old Oaken Bucket. But since then the series has leveled off a bit; Indiana is 5-3 in their last 8 games, including a 4-game winning streak from 2013-16.
Overall, Purdue leads 75-42-6, including a 61-32-3 run since the introduction of the hiking trophy – the bucket – in 1925. Let’s take a deeper look at the rivalry below, specifically the 10 biggest ones Surprises in Purdue vs Indiana History:
Indiana 19, #3 Purdue 14
Nov. 25, 1967 • Seventeenth Street Football Stadium (Memorial Stadium)
In 1967, Purdue was considered the class of the Big Ten, but the Boilermakers were ineligible for a trip to the Rose Bowl because teams weren’t eligible to go to the “grandfather of them all” back-to-back seasons at the time. It left the door open for Indiana, who also had a good season but got into the rivalry game after an ugly loss to Minnesota a week earlier that kept the Hoosiers from winning the bowl trip.
Instead, IU would have to turn Leroy Keyes and the Boilermakers upside down to earn a trip to Pasadena. Indiana took control in the second half, thanks in large part to a long touchdown run from Terry Cole that gave the hosts a 19-7 lead. The Boilermakers clawed back into possession, but turnovers were a gigantic problem as Purdue fumbled three times. The last was crucial for the Hoosiers when linebacker Ken Kaczmarek hit Boilermakers fullback Perry Williams near the goal line in the 4th quarter, causing him to fumble and prevent Purdue from taking the lead.
With the win, the Hoosiers earned their first trip to the Rose Bowl.
Indiana 38, Purdue 31
Nov. 20, 1971 • Seventeenth Street Football Stadium (Memorial Stadium)
Nobody is going to write a book about the 1971 season for Purdue and Indiana since neither team in the Big Ten made much noise. The Hoosiers came into the bucket game with just 1 Big Ten win, although it came the week before when IU upset Iowa in Iowa City.
Indiana made it 2nd in a row when Purdue, who had had their 3-game Big Ten winning streak (Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern) followed by 4 straight losses in October, called. It was an ugly game for the Boilermakers, who turned the ball over four times, each resulting in an Indiana touchdown. The win marked something of a revival for Coach John Pont’s program, which had peaked with the Rose Bowl trip a few seasons earlier, but it didn’t last. 2 seasons later he was gone.
Indiana 20, Purdue 14
Nov. 20, 1976 • Ross Ade Stadium
In 1976, under fourth-year coach Alex Agase, Purdue had a chance to finish over .500 for the first time, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, coach Lee Corso brought his Hoosiers to West Lafayette for an upset over the Boilermakers in Agase’s final game as Purdues boss.
Indiana 20, Purdue 17
Nov. 21, 1981 • Memorial Stadium
Indiana didn’t have much to offer at the end of 1981 other than pride and a chance to knock the Boilermakers out of the bowl picture. But that was plenty of motivation for Corso’s Hoosiers.
The game was a tie before Doug Smith kicked the 39-yard field goal left 8:30. The Boilermakers had a few chances late on, but both drives ended in interceptions. It was the end of a disappointing season for Jim Young’s Boilermakers who started the season 5-2 only to lose 4 straight games including the bucket contest.
Purdue 17, Indiana 15
Nov. 22, 1986 • Ross Ade Stadium
Purdue pulled off a rare upset in the series — and the first of two in the ’80s — when a 3-win team coached by Leon Burtnett defeated a key-bound Bill Mallory squad to retain the bucket for a fourth straight season. The game sent Burtnett out as the winner after being forced to resign a few weeks earlier.
But the man of the day was Rod Woodson. In a game that Burtnett would later describe as the “greatest game I’ve ever seen a single player play.” Magazine & Courier, Woodson finished with 10 tackles, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble, plus 93 yards rushing, 67 yards receiving, 2 kickoff returns, and 3 punt returns (76 yards total). Woodson, an All-American, played 137 snaps and had 236 all-purpose yards.
But it was a late Special Teams game that sealed the Boilermakers victory. With a minute left, Purdue newcomer Scott Schult blocked Pete Stoyanovich’s potentially game-winning 34-yard field goal attempt.
Purdue 15, Indiana 14
Nov. 25, 1989 • Memorial Stadium
Indiana had a lot to play at the end of the 1989 season and needed a win against Purdue to qualify for the Bowl and give star running back Anthony Thompson a save game to add to his already impressive Heisman Trophy résumé. The Boilermakers, meanwhile, had no such incentives, but Purdue was poised to anger IU at Memorial Stadium.
Under coach Fred Akers, who was at West Lafayette his penultimate season, the Boilermakers were going nowhere. But Purdue clinched the No. 3 win in 1989, claiming a 15-14 win at Memorial Stadium. It was a particularly disheartening loss for the 2-touchdown favorites Hoosiers, who saw their bowl hopes end along with Heisman chances from Thompson, who finished 2nd in the vote against Houston quarterback Andre Ware.
Indiana 33, Purdue 16
Nov. 23, 1996 • Ross Ade Stadium
Neither Purdue nor Indiana had much success in 1996, but the Boilermakers at least built some momentum in the final weeks of the season, even after Jim Colletto became a lame duck coach.
Colletto might be able to earn his job back after Purdue upset No. 3 Michigan at Ross Ade Stadium two weeks before the bucket game, but that wasn’t going to happen. And for the Boilermakers, the end of the Colletto era came with a thud. Bill Mallory’s last IU team came to West Lafayette after losing 8 straight games and going under-.500 for a 2nd straight season.
The Hoosiers dominated and won their first Big Ten game in two seasons. Mallory was replaced by Cam Cameron after the season, while Colletto was replaced by Joe Tiller.
Indiana 13, Purdue 7
Nov. 24, 2001 • Memorial Stadium
It might come as a surprise to many, especially Purdue fans, but the 2001 game was no surprise, at least by Vegas standards. But boy did it feeling like one.
The Boilermakers had been four consecutive game winners in the series, but in monsoon-like conditions — the game was played in Bloomington in a near-complete downpour — the Hoosiers, who were 3.5-point favorites, seemed better equipped with the adverse conditions. Indiana took an early 13-0 lead and scored touchdowns on runs by running back Levron Williams and quarterback Antwaan Randle El. The Boilermakers tried to collect themselves in the second half, scoring a touchdown pass from Kyle Orton, making his first career start, to John Standeford, but twice their drives were thwarted inside the 20-yard line, including once when Purdue was filled on the 1st.
The win helped IU finish with a conference record .500 for the first time since 1994.
Indiana 27, Purdue 24
17 Nov 2007 • Memorial Stadium
Prior to the 2007 season, coach Terry Hoeppner promised his Hoosiers to “play 13,” meaning they would be promoted to a bowl game if they won at least 6 regular season games. Unfortunately, the popular manager wasn’t there to pull it off after dying of complications from a brain tumor before the season.
But his team came through. Austin Starr’s 49-yard field goal with 30 seconds left was the difference – Purdue was a narrow 1-point favorite at Memorial Stadium – as IU earned its coveted 6th win of the season and signed for a for the 1st time in 14 years Bowl game qualified .
It was a hell of a performance from Bill Lynch, who took over as coach, and an offense led by quarterback Kellen Lewis and wide receiver James Hardy.
Indiana 34, Purdue 31
27 Nov 2010 • Ross Ade Stadium
With an overtime win at Ross Ade Stadium, the Hoosiers ended a string of streaks: 12 straight losses in the Big Ten and a 15-game loss at Memorial Stadium. And they managed to win a Big Ten game, avoiding a winless conference season for the first time since 1995.
It was also IU’s first win at West Lafayette since 1996.
Purdue wasn’t great in 10 – it ended with just 4 wins – but the Boilermakers were a 4-point favorite. However, the Hoosiers scored two late field goals from Mitch Ewald to secure the win, the first to send the game into overtime, the second to win it.