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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Bringing home the bucket

Defense halts Purdue, brings Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington

Finally.\nAt last, an IU football team won a game without having to score 40 points. Without having to gain 500-plus yards. Without trading touchdowns and hoping to score the final one.\nIU beat Purdue 13-7 Saturday because of defense.\nFinally.\n"It feels so great to be a defensive player on this team right now," junior safety Joe Gonzalez said. "The offense has bailed us out a lot of times. They've put a lot of points on the board. The offense shouldn't have to do that.\n"And for us to hold Purdue to seven points and minus eight yards rushing, it's a huge confidence-booster. It just feels unbelievable."\nThe feeling sank in as seconds ticked off the clock and players sprinted to Purdue's sideline to claim the Oaken Bucket, the trophy awarded to the winner of the IU-Purdue football game every season.\nIn winning the bucket for the first time since 1996, the Hoosiers had by far their best defensive performance of the season. The seven points and negative eight rushing yards allowed were both season lows, as was the 255 total yards given up.\nAnd the offense, while scoring far below its 30 points average, gave the defense enough of a cushion to preserve the victory.\nLevron Williams opened the scoring on IU's first drive, turning a short gain around the left side into a 52-yard touchdown romp. The senior tailback cut back toward the middle of the field after a big block by junior fullback Jeremi Johnson and outraced a Purdue defender to the corner of the end zone.\nSenior quarterback Antwaan Randle El scored IU's final touchdown early in the second quarter on a 10-yard run, but sophomore Adam Braucher missed the extra point. The 13-0 lead held up into halftime.\nPurdue came out with a different look in the second half, relying solely on the passing game, but IU's secondary proved up to the challenge. \nFreshman quarterback Kyle Orton threw 48 passes in the half and 62 overall but completed only 31 for 263 yards. Many of Orton's completions were short pass routes, and the Hoosiers were quick to the ball, often preventing first downs.\nAnd when the Boilermakers did run in the second half, they weren't successful.\nTheir first run of the half, three minutes into the third quarter, ended in a fumble recovered by IU junior cornerback A.C. Carter. The Boilermakers had started the drive at their own 24-yard line and were in field goal range at IU's 23.\nPurdue's second run of the half was perhaps the most pivotal play in the game.\nDown 13-7, the Boilermakers threw the ball 14 straight plays before giving it to junior tailback Montrell Lowe on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Lowe took the handoff, ran left and dove toward the goal line.\nThat's where he met Martin Lapostolle.\nA true freshman, Lapostolle plays as a linebacker in goal line situations. Against Purdue, he played one play and made the biggest tackle of the game. He stopped Lowe about a foot short of the goal line. \n"Man, that's the biggest play of the whole game right there," senior linebacker Justin Smith said. "Martin's the MVP. I kept telling him that in the locker room."\nWhat else does this team love?\nWinning a game. Because of defense.\n"We finally got it done on defense," senior defensive end Kemp Rasmussen said. "We were finally the reason we won a game. It's about time. We've been criticized a lot over the last few years. It feels really good to finally be the reason we won a game"

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