Instead of Drew Brees' passing, it wasPurdue's defense and special teams that put an end to Indiana.
Vinny Sutherland returned a punt 66 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and the No. 19 Boilermakers twice stopped the Hoosiers on downs in the fourth quarter Saturday for a 30-24 victory.
"The defense did a great job," Brees said. "I felt bad for them because they were on the field most of the game. I thought IU did a good job offensively, sustaining drives, and really kind of trying to wear out our defense."
Brees, who passed for four touchdowns in a 52-7 victory last year, had a modest 197 yards and moved past Scott Campbell into second place in Purdue career passing, behind Mark Herrmann, with 7,746 yards.
Indiana's Antwaan Randle El ran for one touchdown and passed for 329 yards and another TD, finishing the season with an Indiana-record 3,065 yards total offense.
Indiana (4-7, 3-5 Big Ten) led 24-23 starting the fourth quarter. But Sutherland took a punt by Drew Hagan and ran back for his second TD return of the season to give the Boilermakers (7-4, 4-4) the lead.
"They didn't get down there and I saw a lot of field in front of me and I was just able to get the ball vertical right away," Sutherland said. "This was a big game for me, but it was a team effort and I was just happy to make a play."
A 33-yard pass to Jerry Dorsey took Indiana to the Purdue 12 on the next series. Three plays later, the Hoosiers were at the 3, but Levron Williams was tackled for a 2-yard loss on fourth down to end Indiana's first threat.
"That play, I feel like I should have got us something different," Randle El said of the option pitch tWilliams. "As the play developed, I should have kind of kept the ball a little bit."
Indiana started its final drive after a Purdue punt with under five minutes remaining. Randle El completed passes of 21 and 20 yards to Williams and 9 yards to Dorsey, taking the Hoosiers to the Purdue 19. But Randle El then slipped for a 2-yard loss, threw an incomplete pass and was sacked by Matt Mitrione as he tried to get to the sideline.
"Somebody dropped back and I just had to get out of there because they brought the corner off the back side," Randle El said. "I tried to buy the little I had before I attempted to run."
The Boilermakers then ran out the final 1:14 for the victory in the annual Old Oaken Bucket game.
Brees passed 26 yards to Tim Stratton to set up a 41-yard, third-quarter field goal by Travis Dorsch that broke a 17-17 halftime tie. After a 7-yard touchdown run by De'Wayne Hogan put the Hoosiers back on top, Dorsch kicked a 19-yard field goal to cut the Indiana lead to 24-23 at the end of the third period.
"It's the way all great rivalry games should go," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "Either team had a chance to win it. Both teams could lament over the missed opportunities. We're just glad that we got out of here with a W."
The victory all but clinched a third straight bowl bid for the Boilermakers.
"I think this is significant because the expectation level has changed for us," Tiller said. "We ourselves expect a lot from our football team. ... I feel good going into a bowl game with seven wins."
Randle El had 201 yards passing in the first half, including 134 on the Hoosiers' first two possessions. A 36-yard touchdown pass to Derin Graham gave Indiana a 7-0 lead, then late in the first period a 41-yard pass to fullback Jeremi Johnson set up a 1-yard TD run by Randle El.
"We played well enough to win," Indiana coach Cam Cameron said. "There is nobody in there pointing fingers. We are just obviously disappointed."
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