After giving up 87 points and 918 yards in the last two games, all eyes will be on the reeling Ohio State defense as the units looks to earn its way back to Silver Bullet status or, more realistically, to preseason expectations when the Buckeyes welcome the Boilermakers who are trending downward but are in search of a season defining win.

The good news … the game is being played at home and not in West Lafayette, where the Buckeyes have struggled mightily in recent years.


Looking at the remaining games, the Purdue game comes at the perfect time as the Boilers and Illini are the only relatively poor offenses (Illinois is beyond relatively poor, but that story is for another day) remaining on the schedule, allowing the defense the opportunity to gain some confidence before making a trip to (insert inappropriate comment here) Happy Valley next week.

This week also marks the first glimpse that Buckeye Nation will get of the Buckeyes defense since Urban has begun appearing at defensive meetings.  As we are all well aware, Urban’s presence at the meetings isn’t out of sheer boredom with carving up other Big Ten defenses; rather the Purdue game follows the Buckeyes defense’s worst game of the season.  Following the Indiana game that we all wish we could forget, Urban said he was “’not happy at all’ with what had been going on with the defense, players and coaches.”  He continued that long-term the Buckeyes could not be successful scoring a lot and giving up a lot, but at some point we have to play good defense.  Not surprisingly, no player on the Buckeyes defense graded out as a champion following the Indiana game.

Although it pains me to point this out, the Buckeyes defense currently ranks 69th in total defense, 33rd against the rush, 103rd against the pass, and 53rd in scoring.  Insert Urban into the defensive team meetings and the public notice that he has put out an “APB” for tough guys to step up on the defense.  Perhaps the addition of Zach Boren with a week of practice at linebacker returns to high school all-state performer form.  If so, Boren’s legend will last for ages or until Boren III finds a way to upstage him if that’s even possible.

Boren is not the only player on the move for a defense that is searching for answers, leaders, and tacklers, as Urban has mentioned that Nathan Williams may also see some time at linebacker.  In my lifetime, I cannot remember ever being as worried as I was last week that our defense would be unable to stop an Indiana offense should they be successful in recovering a second onside kick, so I’m up for trying new things as long as we figure things out before next week.

Luckily this week, we welcome in the Boilers who rank 77th in total offense, 63rd in rushing, 69th in passing, and 45th in scoring.  Purdue plays two quarterbacks in Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve and the only thing I can really say is that Marve has shown toughness by playing with a partially torn ACL, but neither Purdue quarterback is much of a threat to have a big game.  I look for the Buckeyes to send all kinds of blitzes at the Purdue offense in order to force the quarterbacks to beat us.  I don’t think they are capable of doing so.

Playing from behind much of the day against Wisconsin last week, Purdue’s punter outkicked their offense last week by almost 100 yards as Purdue only mustered 252 total yards.  I am hopeful that the defense puts up the type of statistics that were standard during the Tressel era this week and forces similar numbers as the Badgers did last week.


While the Ohio State defense has been the subject of much criticism as the unit is doing some soul-searching, Braxton Miller has continued to be at or near the top of on the Heisman watch list.  Miller will have his day against a pretty porous Purdue defense which, following the close loss at Notre Dame, has given up 123 points (41 ppg) and 1588 yards (529 ypg) in the last three games against the likes of Marshall, TSUN, and the fighting Beliema’s.

During their recent struggles on the defensive side of the ball, Purdue has shown it is able to play equally poor on the ground and through the air as the Boilers allowed 439 passing yards when they played Marshall, while they allowed 467 rushing yards against Wisconsin.  On the season Purdue ranks 76th in total defense, 97th against the rush, 41st against the pass, and 71st in scoring in the NCAA.  Kawann Short will look to lead the Boilers defense, but with the offensive line dominance the Buckeyes have exhibited in recent weeks, it’s more likely that Short comes up short (lame, I know) against the Buckeyes O-line.

In opposition to the paltry Boilers defense, the Buckeyes will field an offense that ranks 34th in total yards, 8th in rushing, 100th in passing, and 20th in scoring.  With Braxton leading the Buckeyes against a pretty inept defense, it should be a matter of picking their poison for the Buckeyes offense and Braxton should put up solid numbers through the air and on the ground adding to his Heisman resume.  Joining Miller in thrashing the Purdue defense, Carlos Hyde should add his third straight 100-plus yard performance to the books as Purdue.  To complement the ground game, you can almost take a long distance connection from Miller to Smith to the bank and this matchup will also provide Corey Brown (I heard he doesn’t like to be called Philly, but then I hear everyone [coaches included] call him Philly) opportunities to turn short routes into bigger gains.

With a relatively soft matchup against a pretty inconsistent defense, the Buckeyes will look to fine tune the well oiled machine that the offense has become and hopefully cut down on penalties as the Buckeyes are tied for 11th most in penalties committed per game (one instances where a high ranking is not a positive).


If this game goes anything like I prognosticate that it will, the Boilermakers should be punting early and often, providing ample opportunity to break one and add to what should be a dominant Buckeyes performance.  With a dominant Buckeyes offensive performance, the Piranhas will have plenty of opportunity to lay the wood on the Boiler returners.


Call me a glass half full type of guy, but I think the Buckeyes hit their stride at home against the struggling Boilermarkers.  Agree or disagree?


  1. After the Cal game, we were hoping to see the defense finally pull it together… After the UAB game we were hoping to see the defense pull it together… After the Indiana game…

    I see a trend there. I hope Purdue can be the slump buster this defense needs because things don’t get any easier.

    I think Purdue will still score. We’ll just score a lot more

    OSU 56
    Purdue 23

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