It has finally come down to the last week of what has been a dreadful Indiana football season with Hoosiers capping things off with a trip to Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette to battle the Purdue Boilermakers for the Old Oaken Bucket. Both teams enter this game as the bottom two teams in the Big Ten with a 3-8 record overall.
The 98th Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket between Indiana and Purdue will commence at noon on Saturday (Nov. 25) from Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana, with the Hoosiers looking to snap a two-game skid versus the Boilermakers.
The game will air on Big Ten Network.
Below is the full game preview of everything you need to know about Saturday’s matchup.
Is this the last game we see Tom Allen as Indiana football head coach?
This is THE Storyline of this game, if nothing else.
Going into a season where it was going to be critical for Tom Allen to show improvement in the Indiana football program, when it comes to wins and loses, he has not done that this season as the Hoosiers come into this game 3-8 with a chance to have one less win than from a season ago.
For any coach that currently stands 3-13 in his last 26 Big Ten games, the writing would be on the wall for his job dismissal. However, the problem that Indiana has ran into is the $20M buyout if Indiana were to let Allen walk vs the $8M if they were to wait a season.
Let’s face it, the Big Ten is getting a big shot in the arm next season with additions of USC, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA. The Indiana football program is in desperate need of a change in order to compete at that level. You can feel confident in saying now based on his track record, other than that fluke 2020 season, Tom Allen is not the guy to lead Indiana football into this new age Big Ten.
Allen has lost the fanbase, has not won the amount of games needed, and has not shown any improvement since the 2020 season.
If Indiana athletics is serious about having a sustainable football program, a change is needed at head coach sooner than later.
Build Momentum for Next Year
From a player standpoint, coaching staff aside, there have been some positives on the field this season for the Hoosiers. This game coming up is a chance to build some momentum for the guys heading into next year, whether they are on the Indiana football roster or not.
On the defensive side of the ball, it will be the last chance you get to see a player like Aaron Casey, who has been the glue and foundation of this team for years. All the other young guys will have a chance to get some last reps ahead of the offseason.
Offensively, Indiana has built a strong core of guys that they can hopefully lean on heading into the 2024 season. They may have found their QB in Brendan Sorsby, their WR group of Donovan McCulley, Omar Cooper Jr., and Cam Camper, and an improved running game as well.
This game is about pride at this point. You are going up against your rival and in need to go out on this awful year with a major win. The fight of this team on Saturday will be telling of what the Indian football program is at this current state.
he 2023 contest marks the 125th overall meeting between the two programs, who met for 100 straight seasons between 1920 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 game.
Both teams enter the meeting with 3-8 overall marks and both teams have played a handful of one-score games. Indiana is 2-3 in its five games decided by eight-or-fewer points, while Purdue is 1-3 in four one-score contests.
With the 125th meeting between the two programs is No. 7 among the most played FBS rivalries in the history of the sport.
WR Cam Camper: Tom Allen announced that the Indiana football wide receiver will be out for the rest of the season due to a procedure done on his leg.
WR Omar Cooper Jr.: Cooper missed last week’s game. He is questionable for this week.
DB Noah Pierre: No status update on the senior DB. He has missed the last few games. He is questionable, but not expected to play.
DB Nic Toomer: Missed last week’s game. He is questionable for this week.
Who?: Indiana (3-8, 1-7 Big Ten) at Purdue (3-8, 2-6 Big Ten)
When?: Saturday, Nov. 25 | Noon ET
Where?: Ross-Ade Stadium (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Radio: Indiana Hoosiers Sports Network
Spread: Indiana football is a 3-point underdog per DraftKings SportsBook
SEE ALSO: Coach Q&A: Tom Allen recaps loss to Michigan State, previews Old Oak Bucket game vs Purdue
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