Ohio State Purdue Preview

It wasn’t the most visually appealing game against Minnesota last weekend, but in a weekend when 4 of the top 10 teams lost, the Buckeyes survived. The Ohio State defense gave up 396 yards, but in the second half the managed to shut out the Golden Gophers. This young defense looks to be coming together, they just need to get healthy. Ohio State had 5 starters out during the game, that does include Nick Bosa, who, sadly, will not be returning to Ohio State. Side note: Nick is making what he feels is the correct choice, and any Ohio State fan who bad mouths him needs to get a grip on reality.

The more concerning part of Ohio State’s game right now is the running game. Ohio State got out rushed by a Minnesota team who gave up 315 yards on the ground to Maryland. Ohio State managed 92 yards with a backfield featuring two 1,000 yard rushers. The offensive line play was not good the last two weeks, and if Ohio State wants to be the championship team they want to be, the offensive line needs to be better. The running game needs to get going.

Dwayne Haskins was 33-44 for 412 yards and three touchdowns, to once again carry the offense.  Haskins now has back-to-back 400 yard passing games, and I see no sign of the slowing down.  Until Ohio State can become the balanced offense they want to be, they will have to continue relying on the passing game. Purdue is giving up 267 yards in the air per game which is ranked 106 in the country.  Haskins will have another 400 yard passing game in West Lafayette on Saturday.

The battle of the wide receivers. KJ Hill vs Rondale Moore. Both of these receivers have electric this season. Hill has 40 receptions for 551 yards and 4 touchdowns. Moore has 45 receptions for 558 yards and 5 touchdowns. Both defenses have been susceptible to the pass this year. Ohio State is ranked 52nd giving up 221 yards per game. If either of these players get going it will be a long night for both defenses.

Purdue also has a QB who can sling the football around. David Blough won the starting position after their loss to Missouri, but he had 572 yards going 39-55 and 3 touchdowns. He is completing 78-109 for 990 yards at home.  He has a 5 to 1 touchdown to interception rating.  Blough and company will be looking to exploit the Ohio State defense through the air.

Ohio State has had its troubles in West Lafayette.  They have 3 wins in 7 trips to Purdue since 2000. Urban Meyer is 1-0 there with a 56-0 victory. That was against a very bad Purdue team however. This Purdue team will be giving everything they have against Ohio State, as most of Ohio State opponents do. Jeff Brohm is a great offensive coach, and turned Purdue around in 1 year. Taking them to 7-6 with beating Arizona in their bowl game. Purdue this year could easily be 5-1, 6-0 if it weren’t bad luck and some bone headed plays towards the end of their games. Which means this team could very well be ranked in the top 20.

With both teams struggling in the passing game and both teams having great success through the air this season I am predicting a shootout type of game here. The Penn State game should have been a shootout type of game, but the defense had a bend don’t break mentality and it payed off. This game could be very similar. On the road. At night. ABC. This game has all the makings of the perfect upset for Ohio State. I do not believe Ohio State will be getting upset this Saturday night. Social media has been talking about this “trap game” so much this season I’m not even sure you can call it a trap game any more. The players on both sides will be ready for a battle. I am predicting a 56-35 game.  Ohio State has been great on defense in the second half the last two games, and I see that continuing. The adjustments, even if Schiano says there aren’t any, they are making are working. It’ll be a close first half like Ohio State is accustomed to this season, but relax Buckeye Nation Ohio State will not be getting upset.

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