Ohio State could really use the bye week right now, but must soldier through October until it gets a bye after the Illinois game on November 3rd. Up now is Purdue, to whom the Buckeyes owe some measure of vengeance after last season’s deflating loss that knocked us from the B1G TEN Championship Game race. If Ohio State is ineligible this year for the B1G TEN Championship Game, even with a 7-0 record, it can at least try to exact revenge against everyone and everything that wronged us last year. It’s the least this season can accomplish.
Though Purdue is in panic mode right now after starting the B1G TEN race at 0-2, it’s no slouch. There’s NFL talent on Purdue’s defensive line and secondary, which could create problems for Ohio State’s feeble passing attack on Saturday. Of course, we remember that last season’s passing game was comically bad, the worst since Woody Hayes purposely avoided throwing the ball because “something bad” would happen 66% of the time, on average. Last season’s deficiencies were attributable to structural incompetence in Ohio State’s coaching staff. That is not the case this year. We just lack some maturity in the passing game. If Purdue can find ways to contain our running game, this could get interesting. As I noted in yesterday’s preview, it’s imperative of Ohio State’s defense to win third down (the money down) against Purdue. Purdue’s free fall in the B1G TEN can be evidence in converting just four of 27 third down opportunities in its two league games this season.
It’s a noon kickoff. Most of you will see it on ABC. Others will get it on ESPN2. Live blog is below. I’ll see you there.