"It was a disappointing loss. The guys played hard. We didn't get some offense going there for quite a while and we couldn't convert some third downs and got behind the chains. Defensively we battled pretty good, but gave up a couple of big runs without letting them get in the end zone. I thought the guys fought hard but it's disappointing. I thought Purdue played well and got us. Ending the season here at 1-11 is pretty disappointing."
On not putting together a complete game:
"I don't know if it's execution. We can over-think it and make it too hard. I don't know if it's fatigue if you come back and play well at the end because if you're fatigued I don't know how you refurbish yourself. Whether it's just the inability to adjust and make the adjustments you need to, anticipate play-calling, scheme adjustments, anticipate the adjustments and executing them. Bottom line is we've yet to play, with our crowd, really, really clean. Hard to play really clean and consistent.
"We've had spurts, some nice starts, some nice plays on either side of the ball, but collectively put it together in all three phases. Today, in the first half, we kick it out of bounds, give it to them on the 40 and let them run one back to the 10, so there's 10 of their points right there off of two bad kickoffs. We can't afford to do that. So we can blame the defense, but the kick cover team hurt us in the first half significantly. There are all kinds of dynamics. I don't know if that's mental fatigue when a guy kicks it out of bounds. I think that's just a missed kick."
On improvements the defense needs to make:
"Size, strength, schematically getting a look at what we're doing, understanding adjustments and concepts, how to understand our coverages. One of the last plays in the game, didn't mean to, but one of the guys trying to look and communicate the call is a little late getting lined up and gets cut off. It wasn't a big play, but it was one of those plays that got their first down at the end. I don't think to the naked eye that it was a noticeable mistake, but to me, the guy's a half a count late getting there because he's a little late communicating and getting lined up. Skill-wise, size-wise, without wearing our guys out, we're going to start Monday working hard in the weight room to start gaining some strength and size. We'll see if we can go through the Christmas break with the cycle and then do it again in the winter because we need to take some guys with our strength level and improve our strength. That's to me, outside of recruiting, outside of looking at adjustments, outside of teaching or learning what we're doing, just physically with our young players we need to physically mature and get a heck of a lot stronger."
On what was working with the run game:
"Decent blocking and maybe those guys not executing clean. As you go along they start closing down and making you pull it down with some of that read stuff. Bottom line, just a couple of hits and hit it quick, then from there they made their adjustments, started closing on the dive back, making Tre (Roberson) keep it, so it went from there."
On Purdue adjusting after Stephen Houston's big plays:
"There are different plays and different reads. We have three or four different schemes, where they're not all exactly the same. The quarterback has the right to give it or pull it. A couple of those plays he hit early, those quick hitters, they started really crashing down and making you pull it. He could have become the pitch guy and you could take it the other way, but that didn't happen."
On what you say to your teammates as a senior:
"They have a lot coming back. They have great, quality guys coming back. I have confidence in them and that they'll do fine. Just tell them to keep working, I felt like we did a great job since Coach Wilson got here to build our program up and we've got a lot of good, quality guys coming back. I have confidence that they'll do well."
On what you can learn from this season:
"There's always stuff to learn. After every game there's always things that you have to come in and improve and work on. It's tough to say I won't be doing that, but I'm sure the guys will do well with the coaching staff they have."
On whether Coach Wilson has instilled a mentality of taking responsibility:
"I feel like we've done a good job of taking responsibility for our actions. I feel like the coaches have done a good job. They come out everyday and work hard and so do the players. Definitely, they have a lot coming back and it's good for them."
On the fourth quarter interception:
"The referee made the decision and that's what it was. It was very disappointing, but things happen like that all the time. You just have to get past it and move on and make more plays."
On whether they were more comfortable as the game went on:
"We started out fast and they got us on a couple drives. Then we started figuring out what they were doing, so then we responded with what we had to do to move the ball down the field."
On whether they adjusted on Stephen Houston's running:
"Yes, they tried to take it away. They adjusted to it pretty well. They filled in a linebacker to that spot. It was a good change and plan that they had."
On how the team's mindset is different going into this:
"This is the worst feeling in the world, of course, having a horrible season like we've had. We thought this would be a positive heading into the offseason, but now we just have to flip that back as motivation. We have workouts on Monday, the one thing that is still going to be on our minds from winter workouts, spring ball, summer ball is that we lost the bucket, so we've got to go get it back.
On what they need to do in the offseason to have consistency throughout the game:
"We just need to get a good rhythm going. Despite where everybody's head was at, I felt like we were there at some times and we weren't at other times. I think as a young offense, we'll mature and we'll get it right for next year. We just weren't all on the same page during the game and I think that showed. Sometimes we showed some spurts and then sometimes we were three-and-out."
Purdue Coach Danny Hope
On the emotion of getting the sixth win and getting the Old Oaken Bucket back:
"I'm really proud of our football team and the way they stuck together. It's never easy and we got a lot done today. There was a lot on the line today, and sometimes that makes it even tougher. We had a successful season on the line today. The bucket was on the line today, and an opportunity to go into the postseason was one the line today, and coming down here and beating our archrival at their place. All those things were on the line today. I thought that our team did a great job of rising up to the challenge and sticking together, and playing hard and finding a way to win."
On how other guys stepped up today:
"I thought those guys did great. Throughout the course of the week, a lot of times particularly in the latter part of the season and sometimes in the latter part of camp, you start to put your leg savers in there. The young guys and seeing how they do, and Reggie Pegram always goes hard. He is really a tough guy. He could play fullback or halfback for us. He is a good receiver out of the backfield. He never asks for anything. He just shows up and works hard. We didn't have Akeem Shavers coming in and playing. He still is woozy from last week from a collision injury. Then we lose Ralph Bolden. So we played with Reggie. We think Akeem Hunt is a great athlete. There are a lot of places on our team he could play. We think he could be a great receiver, a great tailback, a great defensive back. He and Reggie get a lot of reps in practice and they've had a lot of reps in practice, and some of the games early in the season they played in and shined. We had no reservation at all playing those guys in the ball game. I thought they might bring a spark to us . They are propably a little fresher right now than what Ralph is. But I'm not surprised to see them do well. They do very well in practice and they are very competitive. Reggie is very tough. Akeem is a hell of a football player. He is fast, and I thought his speed really showed up today."
On the interception in the closing minutes by Josh Johnson:
"A huge play. Hats off to Indiana and hats off to Tre Roberson. He is a hell of a football player. To only be a freshman and to run the offense that they run is a real credit to he and his coaches. He has a heck of an arm, and he is going to be a great player in our league. He can throw the ball. Often when you have a freshman back here, and you're having to pass and not able to mix it up, it changes things some. We felt like if they had to pass it to catch up late in the ball game that we would probably come away with a pick. So I'm not surprised to see us get a takeaway. I'm really proud of Josh (Johnson). He took a heck of a shot. Originally it looked bad, but they worked on it a bit. He came back and sucked it up, and played hard. I think Josh is a real champion."
On the progress the team is making:
"Well it's a signal to everybody on the outside. Those of us on the inside recognize the progress we've made on a daily basis. We've made great progress in so many phases of our program. Most people don't understand what that means. It would take hours and hours of conversation and dialogue to understand how far we've come in certain areas. But winning is what everybody on the outside sees, and ultimately that's the reward. It's a huge reward for our team and a huge reward for all of Boilermaker nation today. We have three goals. Have fun playing football, make A's and B's, and be champions. When we started the season off this year, we wanted to play in the championship game in Indianapolis. A lot of people thought we were crazy. We always set our goals high. We are never going sell ourselves short or be afraid to have lofty aspirations. As we lost a couple of games, it became evident that we were not going to be Big Ten champions and we were not going to be division champions. But we qualified for a bowl game, and we can still become bowl champions. We can still be champions, and that is a big step for our football program. To have a successful season, to get the Bucket back to West Lafaytte, and to get into postseason play and to win that bowl game so that we can be champions this year. That's one of our three goals."