'That Game Means Everything': Indiana Excited to Play Purdue Football in 2021

The Old Oaken Bucket Game between Purdue and Indiana will return during the 2021 season. Here's a look at what the game mean's from the perspective of the Hoosiers' football program.
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INDIANAPOLIS — What have you done today to beat Purdue? When Indiana wide receiver Ty Fryfogle came to Indiana, that was the message scrawled across the football facilities in Bloomington. 

Defeating the in-state rival is a massive milestone for both Purdue and Indiana. As of now, the Hoosiers lay claim to the Old Oaken Bucket, but the Boilermakers lead the all-time series 74-42-6. 

"That game means everything," Fryfogle said Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2021 Big Ten Football Media Days. 

Despite the rivalry between the two schools and the animosity fans feel toward the opposing programs, there remains a level of respect between the two in-state teams. And the 2021 rendition of the Old Oaken Bucket game is something the entire state can look forward to this upcoming season. 

"It's definitely exciting," Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden said. "We are rivals, but we love playing each other. We know it's a big event for the fans, and we're even more excited that they get to attend that game." 

During the 2020 season, the end-of-the-year clash between Purdue and Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington was canceled not once, but twice. The two teams were originally slated to square off on Dec. 12, 2020, before concerns surrounding the coronavirus forced a postponement. 

The two programs had a second opportunity to play each other during the Big Ten Champions Week on Dec. 18, but yet again, the matchup was canceled. It was the first time since 1918-19 that the two schools didn't meet on the football field. 

"It was a tough one to not be able to play, and I think everyone would agree with that on both sides," Indiana football coach Tom Allen said. "That's a tremendous game for us to be in, and a great rivalry." 

The last time the Boilermakers played the Hoosiers was at Ross-Ade Stadium in 2019. The contest went into double overtime, but Indiana reclaimed the Old Oaken Bucket and halted a two-year streak for Purdue. 

Coach Jeff Brohm and the Purdue football program have an opportunity to take the Bucket back in 2021 when the team plays Indiana on Nov. 27 in West Lafayette. But the Hoosiers are going to put up a fight, especially as one of the highest-rated teams in the nation. 

"I'm excited to play this year, because we didn't get to play last year," Fryfogle said. "The Bucket is going to stay in Bloomington, as long as I'm here. I hope the Bucket stays in Bloomington forever." 

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