Purdue's colors are Old Gold and Black, as are their uniforms. Home uniforms are black with white numerals and old gold outline. On the sleeve is the player's number in white, outlined in old gold, along with two outer old gold stripes and a black one inside at the end of the sleeve. The pants are old gold with two black stripes along both sides. The away uniform is white with black numerals and old gold outline. Both home and away jerseys sport the Purdue slant "P" logo in the center front of the collar, surrounded by a patch of black fabric. The away pants are black with two old gold stripes. Since the arrival of Joe Tiller in 1997, Purdue players have not worn names on the backs of their jerseys. This is the first year under Danny Hope that the players will wear their names on the backs of their jerseys.
The helmet is old gold with the Purdue "P" in black with a white outline on both sides. There are three stripes down the middle; two outer black ones, and one thick inner white one. The facemask is black.
Before Tiller, the team wore uniforms that sported the school's name across the front of the jersey, and the old gold color was more pronounced, with almost a copper hue. In Tiller's first season, the helmet color was lightened substantially, as was the gold used on the rest of the uniform.
Purdue's Pride sticker (given out for good performances) was the Purdue logo (locomotive). This was changed in 2006 to a sledgehammer with the slant "P" in the hammer's head (like the one wielded by mascot Purdue Pete). In the 2006 game against the Indiana State Sycamores, Purdue wore a throwback uniform from 1966, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the school's first Rose Bowl team. It featured a white jersey with two outer black stripes on the shoulder and one inner gold stripe. The numerals were black with no outline. They wore gold pants with two black stripes on the sides, and the helmets were old gold with black numbers and one black stripe down the middle. The gold in the throwback uniforms was more yellow in hue than that in the regular 1997–present uniforms.
In 2002, Purdue changed from its black home jersey to an old gold jersey. The old gold uniforms had white numerals and black outline for home games, and white uniforms with old gold numbers and back outline for away games. Some complained that the numerals on the jersey were too hard to see, so in 2003 they changed to an old gold jersey with black numerals outlined in white, and white pants with two black stripes down the sides. After losing their opening game at home to Bowling Green, Tiller and the team decided to dump the gold jerseys and go back to the black uniforms. After they changed back to the black uniforms, the team came out to Back in Black by AC/DC for every home game in 2003. Since then, Purdue has stayed with the black uniforms. In one game against Wisconsin in 2006, the Boilermakers wore the black jersey with black pants. They hadn't sported an all-black look at home since the last game of the season in 1996 against Indiana.
In 2009, Purdue also wore the Black on Black in a night game against Notre Dame on the Purdue Blackout, and then wore them for the remainder of their home games. In 2010, the Black on Black remained the normal home uniform with the exception being the Homecoming game against Minnesota where the team donned Throwback Uniforms for the 2001 Rosebowl team. While the original jerseys were made by Champion, the replicas were Nike branded.
Purdue's major rival has always been Indiana University, with whom they play for the Old Oaken Bucket, but during the Joe Tiller era the rivalry with Notre Dame in football has become the most heated and most competitive with Joe Tiller led teams going 5-7 vs. Notre Dame. Danny Hope picked up the Purdue-Notre Dame rivalry with a 24-21 loss in his first season as head coach. In addition, Purdue has a long-standing rivalry with Illinois, with whom they play for the Purdue Cannon trophy.
Due to having an odd number of teams from 1993 to 2010, the Big Ten utilized a rotating system of conference games. Every school was designated two official rivals, whom they played every year. The official rivals for Purdue were Indiana and Northwestern. However, after the expansion of the Big Ten to 12 schools, Purdue and Northwestern were placed into separate conference divisions and will no longer play each other on an annual basis. Beginning in 2011, Purdue's new designated cross-division rival will be Iowa.
Purdue has knocked off the #1 ranked football team in college football seven times over the years—the third most of all the Division I teams in college football. Only Notre Dame and Oklahoma have accomplished this more times.