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Purdue keeps the Old Oaken Bucket with 35-31 thriller over Indiana

Purdue QB Hudson Card (1) runs with the ball during a college football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers on Nov. 25, 2023, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. (James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — The Old Oaken Bucket is staying in West Lafayette.

For the third year in a row, the Purdue Boilermakers (4-8) defeated the Indiana Hoosiers (3-9) to claim the Bucket, winning 35-31 at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The win came 364 days after Aiden O’Connell and Jeff Brohm’s Purdue team clinched a trip to the Big Ten title game with a dominant win over Indiana.

This time, Hudson Card and Ryan Walters led the Boilers to the win.

The former Texas quarterback put in his best day as a Boilermaker, throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns while running for the game-winning score with 12 carries for a team-leading 85 rushing yards.

All the more impressive considering Card missed Purdue’s game last week. Head Coach Ryan Walters admitted postgame that his QB was not at full strength as he played through a rib injury.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of him, and how excited I am for him next season,” Walters said in the postgame press conference. “You see how he’s played his last two games, and you see such a big jump from year one to year two.”

The stakes for Saturday’s Bucket game were much smaller than last season’s affair in Bloomington.

Both teams came into the game with just three wins, so with bowl implications out the door, these two teams were simply playing for pride.

“This is just the beginning,” Walters said. “Hopefully this is the last time I’m sitting home for the holidays while I’m here as the head coach at Purdue.”

The game started slow for both offenses, as IU’s Brendan Sorsby threw an opening drive interception that Dillon Thieneman took back to the IU 12, but Purdue went 3-and-out and missed the field goal.

Then, the two teams combined for six straight punts before Sorsby and the Hoosiers’ offense got going.

Three straight touchdowns ensued between the two teams, giving IU a 14-6 lead midway through the second quarter.

Purdue punched in a score at the end of the half to make it 14-12 heading into the locker room.

Purdue quickly took the lead with a field goal out of the third quarter, but Indiana’s Jaylin Lucas took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the touchdown and the 21-15 lead.

A Boilermaker field goal and an Indiana touchdown gave IU the 10-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Purdue had a quick answer, however, as Devin Mockobee took a Card pass 38 yards for a Purdue touchdown, making it a one-score game at the start of the 4th.

A field goal from each team put the score at 31-28 with less than 5 minutes left.

Then Hudson Card and Deion Burks went to work, as 44 and 14-yard completions gave Purdue the ball inside the 10.

And Card did the rest.

A 10-yard touchdown scramble from the former Longhorn put Purdue ahead 35-31 with 2:39 left in the game.

That was the fourth touchdown of the day from Card, three through the air, and one on the ground.

A defensive stand on Indiana’s two-minute drill gave Card the ball for for three kneel-downs, and the Boilers won the 98th Old Oaken Bucket Game.


Purdue’s quarterback Hudson Card completed 21 of his 34 passes for 275 yards, launching three passing touchdowns while adding the game-winning score on the ground.

Card was electric when scrambling on Saturday, taking 12 carries for a team-leading 85 rushing yards.

Indiana’s QB Brendan Sorsby went 17 for 31 through the air, passing for 226 yards and throwing three touchdowns, but his three interceptions made the difference.

Sorsby also led his team in rushing, with 15 carries for 44 yards.

Lucas added another special teams touchdown to his resume, returning a kickoff for 100 yards and a score in the third quarter.

Purdue’s wide receiver Deion Burks caught seven passes for 87 yards to lead the Boilermakers in receiving.

IU’s WR E.J. Williams Jr. caught six balls for 97 yards.

Dillon Thieneman intercepted a pair of Sorsby passes, setting the Purdue freshman record for interceptions in a season with 6.

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