The Bucket Game: Give Me Something To Brag About! (Indiana-Purdue pregame thoughts)

The Old Oaken Bucket was first awarded in 1925. After Chicago based alumni of both Indiana and Purdue decided to establish a rivalry trophy in honor of sportsmanship or whatever. Both Alumni chapters met and drafted the following resolution to make said trophy:

“an old oaken bucket as the most typical Hoosier form of trophy, that the bucket should be taken from some well in Indiana, and that a chain to be made of bronzeblock “I” and “P” letters should be provided for the bucket. The school winning the traditional football game each year should have possession of the “Old Oaken Bucket” until the next game and should attach the block letter representing the winning school to the bail with the score engraved on the latter link.”

And thus the bucket and the length of chains made by the letters sitting inside of it. While this game doesn’t mean much in the national narrative each year. It means something to those of us in the great state of Indiana.

While the Boilermakers will be playing for a better bowl game, the Hoosiers are playing for pride at this point in the season. The 7-4 Boilermakers by all measure should be able to waltz into Bloomington, handle their business, and bounce with a bucket. Unfortunately for them, after the spark that was the Battle for the Old Brass Spittoon, this Indiana Hoosier team is not going to go softly into the nights. Here’s hoping Indiana can continue to find a way to win in this one.

Purdue is entering this game on the back of Aiden O’Connell. He’s a true gamer. With a line of 20 TDs, 2834 yards and 11 interceptions, their offensive production mainly comes from O’Connell and receiver Charlie Jones. Jones has an incredibly impressive 11 Touchdowns on 1,056 receiving yards this season.

Tom Allen and the Indiana Hoosier defense is in for a tough test. While we had entered the season with the Indiana secondary being a strength in our mind, they have underperformed for much of the season. Mullen and company are going to have to step up and deliver an uncommon performance if the Hoosiers want to shut down the Purdue passing game.

Dexter Williams II didn’t do much against Michigan State to intimidate the Boilermaker secondary. 7 passing attempts is far too few to be throwing in a football game in this, the year 2022. While his legs add quite a bit to what our offense is able to do, I would like to see Walt Bell look to air it out a bit more in this one. While we want to win the bucket, I still want to personally see if Dexter Williams can calibrate his range a bit and begin to find his receivers. We can not enter next season with a one dimensional offense. While Walt Bell and the Indiana staff shouldn’t ask of Dexter more than he’s comfortable doing, I have to believe that he is up for it. The confidence garnered from the win in a frigid East Lansing may go a long way in him finding a way to produce against the Purdue Boilermaker defense.

Shaun Shivers gained a large portion of his 115 yards on his 79 yard run against the Spartans.

Again with Shivers and the run game, I am optimistically hopeful that the win in Michigan State has greatly buffed the confidence of this entire offense. Indiana’s offensive line didn’t look great by any measure, but at times they looked competent against Michigan State. Competent protection is more than Indiana has afforded all season. With any time to work given by the Hoosier offensive line, I believe the Hoosiers can bludgeon the Boilermaker defense for enough large plays to make the difference here.

I will be tailgating this one with the family. My brother is currently a student at Purdue (et tu Brutè) and this game is a highlight of my smack talk year with him, looking forward to it and looking forward to the Hoosiers ending their season with 5 wins and a huge moral cap on the season, hoisting the bucket Saturday.

All in all, what could I really type for a Hoosier fan to read and have any different mindset heading into this Bucket Game. This team has largely let us down this season, but have given us reason to perk up this week, with a grinded out victory over the Spartans. This team still wants to display good, tough football. Here’s hoping that is exactly what they are able to deliver on Saturday.

Thank you Hoosier fans for taking the time to read these short thoughts of a fanboy. Check back in for a recap of the Bucket Game. Interested in our basketball program, give some of my thoughts a read there. I also recently started casting my thoughts on the OFTEN DAUNTED podcast. You can give me a listen anywhere you get your podcasts. Down with Purdue!

LUX ET VERITAS!

-Burke

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