12:10 PM ET, November 22, 2003
Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN), Bloomington, IN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue's John Standeford struggled all season with a foot injury.
It didn't bother him Saturday.
Standeford caught two touchdowns from Kyle Orton and raced 56 yards on a late catch-and-run to help seal No. 16 Purdue's 24-16 victory over Indiana.
"I got here today and I was feeling the best I have all year," Standeford said. "So you could tell, probably, a little bit out here. I was just running around having fun."
In a game the Boilermakers (9-3, 6-2) needed to win to help secure a New Year's Day bowl bid, Standeford excelled, catching six passes for 151 yards.
He needs four more receptions to break David Williams' Big Ten career record for catches and moved into a tie for second on the school's career touchdown receptions list with 27.
But Standeford was more concerned with winning than accolades.
By claiming the Old Oaken Bucket for the sixth time in coach Joe Tiller's seven year, Purdue finished its Big Ten season in a second-place tie with Ohio State.
And it was Standeford's sore foot that proved the difference.
He raced right past two Indiana defenders on a 41-yard touchdown pass in the first half, a play Orton set up beautifully with a pump fake.
On his 33-yard TD catch in the third quarter, Standeford spun inside one defender and darted untouched for the final 17 yards.
On the play that sealed the game, Standeford made a handful of defenders miss, twice cutting inside them, as he raced 56 yards to the Indiana 8.
Earlier this week, Tiller had said Standeford didn't look like the same player this year that he had his first three seasons.
While far from flawless Saturday -- Indiana defenders twice wrestled balls away from him for interceptions -- Standeford did give Tiller a glimpse of his old self.
"I thought he came back and made a big play, and I'm glad to see a senior go out that way," Tiller said.
Indiana (2-10, 1-7) not only struggled to stop Standeford, it also allowed Jerod Void to rush for a career-high 141 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries.
But the Hoosiers, who lost for the eighth time in nine games, responded to their biggest rivalry with one of their best efforts of the season.
They rallied from a 21-3 deficit early in the third quarter and the primary reason was BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He carried 35 times for 155 yards and one touchdown, caught four passes for 39 yards and snapped Purdue's streak of 15 games without allowing a 100-yard runner.
It was the first time since Alex Smith in 1994 that the Hoosiers had a true freshman run for 100 yards in back-to-back games. Green-Ellis ran for 203 yards last week at Penn State.
Indiana also missed out on a series of scoring chances.
Bryan Robertson had one field goal attempt blocked in the first half and another missed short. Matt LoVecchio threw a fourth-quarter interception inside the Purdue 20 and also missed wide open Alex Stscherban on the goal line.
To coach Gerry DiNardo, that was the discouraging part.
"Our offense's inability to take advantage of good fortune, the two missed field goals and the goal line incompletion toward the end of the game were the differences," DiNardo said.
The Boilermakers also helped Indiana with some uncharacteristic errors.
Orton had thrown just four interceptions all year before being picked off twice in Purdue territory in the fourth quarter. He finished 11-of-20 for 222 yards with two touchdowns.
When Purdue appeared to take control of the game on Standeford's 33-yard touchdown, they also couldn't put Indiana away.
The Hoosiers charged back when Green-Ellis burst through the middle for a 39-yard touchdown run and Robertson hit a 40-yard field goal as the third quarter ended to make it 21-13.
Five plays later, Cedric Henry ripped the ball away from Standeford and lateralled to Duane Stone, who returned it to the Boilermakers 16. Robertson then kicked a 22-yard field goal.
On Purdue's next play, Orton's pass was picked off by Herana-Daze Jones. Indiana drove to the Purdue 20 before LoVecchio was intercepted by Landon Johnson.
LoVecchio was 12-of-26 for 115 yards.
"We had chances to tie the game and put some points on the board, but, unfortunately, we didn't do that," LoVecchio said. "I'm upset we couldn't get it done."
Instead, Orton went back to Standeford, whose 56-yard catch and brilliant run set up Ben Jones for 22-yard field goal with 5:25 left.
It was all the Boilermakers needed.
"I just wanted to get some more points on there at the end," Standeford said. "We're just happy to get out of here with a win."