Nov. 24, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Akeem Shavers' big fourth quarter helped Purdue hold onto the Old Oaken Bucket.
The senior running back scored three times in 4 1/2 minutes, twice on long pass plays, to break open a close game, giving the Boilermakers a 56-35 victory over archrival Indiana on Saturday.
The win made Purdue (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) bowl eligible for the second straight year, the first time that has happened since 2006-07, and helped the Boilermakers hold onto the Bucket - the trophy in this annual in-state series.
Purdue has won 13 of the last 16 meetings, dating to 1997. The Hoosiers' three wins during that span have been by a combined 12 points, while the Boilermakers' average margin of victory is 25.6 points.
The game was the highest-scoring contest in this 115-game series. The 91 combined points broke the previous record of 87 set in Purdue's 63-24 victory in 2004.
Sixth-year senior and oft-injured quarterback Robert Marve threw for a career-high 348 yards and four touchdowns.
Indiana (4-8, 2-6) was led by Cameron Coffman, who was 31 of 53 for 348 yards, one score and three interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. Stephen Houston had 28 carries for 158 yards and three TDs and 12 catches for 95 yards. It still wasn't enough on a day Shavers ran 27 times for 126 yards and caught two scoring passes for 99 yards.
The two pass-happy teams traded big-play jabs. It was that kind of day. But Shavers turned the game with his late scoring flurry.
He capped a 99-yard drive with a 73-yard TD reception, running over Hoosiers safety Mark Murphy on his way to the end zone, with 10:40 to go. He scored again on a 26-yard reception from Marve just five plays after Cody Latimer mishandled a pass that was picked off by Max Charlot. And he scored for the third time after Antoine Lewis returned an interception to the Indiana 4. That made it 56-35 and sealed the victory.