IU fans saw the Hoosiers go from a one-win team in 2011 to a team that played a meaningful game in November, but IU still ended the season with three consecutive losses by more than 20 points, as the Hoosiers fell 56-35 at Purdue on Saturday.
After falling in West Lafayette 56-35, IU head coach Kevin Wilson is now 0-2 against Purdue.
“It’s really hard for us," junior safety Greg Heban said. "Coming after the Illinois and Iowa game, we had momentum coming back to that Wisconsin, Penn State and then this game, I feel like we just lost it all."
The Hoosiers led Purdue 21-14 at halftime behind the performance of junior running back Stephen Houston, who had 123 rushing yards and all three touchdowns in the first half. He ended the game with 158 on the ground.
In the second half, however, the Boilermakers were able to put up 42 points on the IU defense, breaking tackles and putting together big play after big play.
The biggest came with 10:40 left to go in the game, as Purdue quarterback Robert Marve hit running back Akeem Shavers for a 73-yard touchdown pass. The drive had begun at Purdue’s one-yard line, and the score gave the Boilermakers a 42-35 lead and all the momentum.
Purdue continued to exert its will on IU for the remainder of the second half, outscoring IU 42-14 in the second frame. IU head coach Kevin Wilson said the final three games of the season weren't what he envisioned.
“It’s disappointing the last three games," Wilson said, "to let the scores get up the way they did, to let the turnovers get the way they did and not tackle and play as good defense the last three weeks.”
The game was the final contest for key Hoosier contributors such as defensive tackle Adam Replogle and center Will Matte. Wilson said the players in their final season didn't see the success they deserved.
“We're sad for the seniors leaving," Wilson said. "Those guys did a great job and we owe them a few more wins that, as players and coaches, we didn’t get done.”
The loss disappointed Matte, especially because of how much he said the team improved during the course of his senior season.
“It’s definitely not what we wanted, but I’m definitely proud of what these guys have done over the season, considering a lot of them were pretty young," Matte said. "It’s hard to believe that it’s over, but I’m proud of what I’ve done, I’m proud of what the seniors did and I’m not looking back.”