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Purdue football at IU 2 years in row

The Big Ten athletic directors approved the 2014 conference football schedule, which the conference released Thursday.

The slate carries a historic quirk.

Purdue and Indiana will play in the first back-to-back games at the same stadium since the series’ inception, thanks to a new wrinkle in the conference scheduling. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the conference, as well as a new divisional alignment and the need for parity between home and away games during conference play, seems to have led to the change.

The Boilermakers will visit the Hoosiers in Bloomington two years in a row, this year and in 2014.

Since 1891, the teams have alternated home games.

The teams also released their full conference schedules for the year.

IU’s early conference schedule features games at home against Maryland on Sept. 27, a bye Oct. 4 and its first Big Ten road game against Iowa on Oct. 11.

The Hoosiers have a pair of tough road games in November: They will head to Ann Arbor to play Michigan on Nov. 1 and will travel to Columbus to play Ohio State on Nov. 22.

IU travels to Rutgers on Nov. 15 and rounds out its conference schedule with home games against Michigan State on Oct. 18 and Penn State on Nov. 8. The team’s second bye is Oct. 25.

The Hoosiers’ slate puts little in their favor. The early byes, coupled with two of the top teams in the East division in the same month, will give them a difficult end to the Big Ten schedule, rounded out with the Boilermakers heading to Bloomington.

Purdue starts its 2014 conference play against Iowa at home Sept. 27.

The team’s toughest game appears to be at Nebraska on Nov. 1, with Wisconsin’s trip to West Lafayette on Nov. 8 a close second. Michigan State (Oct. 11) and Northwestern (Nov. 22) also visit the Boilermakers, while they will take trips to Minnesota (Oct. 18) and finish the season with IU.

Purdue gets byes Oct. 25 and Nov. 15.

Like Indiana, Purdue’s schedule is back-loaded, with the Spartans as the only real problem in the front end of the schedule.