BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — Purdue's season ended on a fitting note Saturday.
The offense couldn't get started until it was too late, the defense couldn't get anything stopped and the adjustments just didn't work.
Tre Roberson tied an Indiana record by throwing for six touchdowns, three Hoosiers, including Roberson, ran for more than 100 yards and the Hoosiers reclaimed the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time since 2010 with a 56-36 rout over the Boilermakers.
"They made plays against us on third down, and we couldn't get off the field," first-year coach Darrell Hazell said. "Anytime you are scoring as much as they were offensively, it puts a lot of pressure on offense to go out and have to respond and answer those scores."
The latest loss ends one of the Boilermakers' most miserable seasons.
For the first time since 1993, Purdue (1-11, 0-8 Big Ten) finished with only one win and went winless in the league. For the first time in more than a century, Purdue has lost 10 straight games and will try to avoid matching the school record of 11 straight losses, set from 1906-08, next season when they will also try to give Hazell his first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision foe.
Yet amid all the problems, the Boilermakers actually found some possible solutions for the future.
Quarterback Danny Etling was 33 of 49 for 485 yards with four TDs, all season-highs. Danny Anthrop caught five passes for 151 yards, DeAngelo Yancey had 11 receptions for 125 yards and Justin Sinz finished with nine for 87 yards. All three had one touchdown catch and along with Etling should form a stronger nucleus on the offense moving forward.
"I think it just started clicking. I think we're just really starting to trust the coaches, and I think we have the right coaches here," Etling said. "Now, it's just going to be us growing up and us learning together, and we're going to keep getting better and we're going to keep working together and I think it started to show in the passing game today."
But the Hoosiers' offense is already clicking.
Roberson completed his first eight passes as Indiana (5-7, 3-5) took a 14-0 first-quarter lead and wound up 25 of 37 for 273 yards, just one completion and 15 yards short of career-bests, while tying the school-record for TDs. He ran 21 times for 154 yards and converted 12 of 13 first downs over the first three quarters as Indiana built a 49-9 lead.
There was almost nothing he — or his offensive teammates — couldn't do. Running back Stephen Houston broke free for a 53-yard TD run on the game's fourth offensive play, finishing with 17 carries for 120 yards in his final college game. D'Angelo Roberts added 113 yards on 14 carries.
Junior receiver Shane Wynn caught seven passes for 52 yards and a career-high three TDs.
Receiver Cody Latimer had seven catches for 110 yards, including a 27-yard highlight in which he wrestled the ball away from a Purdue defender on the sideline, stayed in bounds and dove inside of the pylon for the score.
Senior Ted Bolser's only TD catch of the day was career reception No. 116, one more than Bob Stephenson's previous career best for a Hoosiers tight end. Bolser caught one more to finish at 117.
And the Hoosiers didn't even have their best runner, Tevin Coleman, who missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. With Roberson playing this well, it didn't matter.
"This is definitely one of my better games," Roberson said. "I just had it going, the offensive skills guys were making plays, the offensive line was blocking, everybody was playing real well."
But it was a bittersweet day for the Hoosiers, too.
While they ended a two-game losing streak to their cross-state rival, they wanted these 21 seniors to leave with something more than the mad dash to the Boilermakers' sideline so they could grab the trophy and parade around the field singing the school's fight song. They really wanted this to be for a bowl bid.
But that dream officially ended with last week's loss at Ohio State — the end of a dreadful four-game stretch in which the Hoosiers lost three times, including an agonizing last-minute lateral that Minnesota recovered to preserve a 42-39 victory in Bloomington.
So with nothing other than pride and the coveted trophy at stake, Indiana stole the show quickly.
Houston's long run and Roberson's first TD pass to Wynn made it 14-0 midway through the first quarter. The Boilermakers got back into the game with a 1-yard TD pass from Etling to Sinz but the extra point was blocked.
That was as close as Purdue got all day.
The Hoosiers built a 35-9 halftime lead and extended the margin to 49-9 on Bolser's TD reception midway through the third quarter to seal it. After that, the only lingering questions were how many records would be broken and how much time it would take the seniors to claim their prize.
"Beating Purdue, that's our hated rival," Roberson said. "So beating those guys and getting the Bucket back is very important."