Pat Lovell-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
This week's high noon showdown with the Boilermakers? I've got the answers for how it's going to play out.
Well, unfortunately some of the predictions that I made last week turned out to be more prophetic than I'd hoped. Cameron Coffman (and his backup, Nate Sudfeld) devoured the Buckeye secondary and linebacking corps with quick passes to even quicker receivers in space, making the Buckeyes look slow, plodding and in some cases, silly. We didn't see a whole lot of Josh Perry, as Zach Boren led the team in tackles. That is really all you need to say about the defensive effort. And then there was this gem from our editor in the comments section of last week's predictions:
/bangs head against wall
HOWEVER. This is a new week, so enjoy it! Purdue has always struggled in the Horseshoe. Lest we forget in the midst of Torg-gate, Herbstreit-gate and Bad Defense-gate, the Buckeyes are still undefeated and at #7 in the AP Poll. So they've got that going for them; which is nice.
1) More of the same offensive strategy from opponents. I realize I'm going waaaay out on a limb here, but not much is going to change. Purdue doesn't have a player with the raw speed of Shane Wynn, but it does have Antavian Edison, a similar, more experienced and more consistently productive model. Coincidentally, both Edison and Wynn are tied for third in the Big Ten in touchdowns at 5. Undersized speedsters such as Edison, OJ Ross (3rd in the Big Ten in catches) and Raheem Mostert are just the type of players that seem to have given Ohio State fits over the past few years. Think Eric Page. Try not to tear your hair out too much when the Boilers throw screen after screen.
2) Zach Boren can't lead the team in tackles again. I'm going to put my foot down with as much authority as a helpless Buckeye fan can muster. Zach Boren will not lead the team in tackles this week. I have enough faith in Luke Fickell, Mike Vrabel and the defensive coaching staff that they can find a player this week who wasn't a fullback two weeks ago to make some plays. Orhian Johnson has to assume some leadership in the secondary, especially. As the veteran presence he needs to be the voice of calm and reason when the Buckeyes are being torn apart by screen passes to those annoying gnat receivers that they just can't seem to squish. It seems that every time a Buckeye defender claps his hands together to kill the little bugs, they just whiff as the gnat whizzes merrily along for a long gain. I look to Johnson to be a leader and lead the team in stops this week.
3) Hands up! The defensive line is gonna have to stop pretending like they're in a 7 AM biology lecture where the professor asks lots of questions. They have to get their hands up and get into the passing lanes of Caleb TerBush or Robert Marve, or else the secondary and linebackers will suffer again. I expect that they will be coached to knock some balls down this week, especially Big Hank in the middle.
4) An early special-teams score. Urban Meyer has got to be ticked off that his prized unit, his pride and joy, has allowed two blocked punts already this season. I think ol' Urbs has got something up his sleeve this week. Whether it be a fake punt/field goal, some chicanery on a return, or an all-out punt rush when the Boilers are least expecting it I think special teams will have a say early on in this game, and I think the Buckeyes will be the team doing the talking. Cody Webster for Purdue is a good punter, but he's had three punts blocked this year - even more than Ben Buchanan.
5) Abandoning Hope. With the ineligibility of Ohio State and a seeming down year for Wisconsin, Purdue fans looked at their team after three games and said, "Why not us?" Kawann Short and the rest of the defense had just come off a grueling loss against Notre Dame, but they had to have liked the things they were seeing. However, Danny Hope's curious quarterback decisions have many Purdue fans calling for his head. It is pretty clear to a lot of folks that Robert Marve, while injury prone, is a superior player and ought to be playing over Caleb TerBush. It's really difficult to get wins in West Lafayette, but Hope is the guy that followed Joe Tiller. Fair or not, he's in the hot seat. A win over Ohio State would do wonders to save his job. I believe, however, that he won't get his win this week, and the dial on his seat will be switched from "medium rare" to "medium".
As always, definitely check out Hammer and Rails this week. They're one of the best SB Nation blogs out there. Shout out to BoilerTMill over there and good luck this week to you good folks.
Hey Chicken Littles, we're 7-0! Enjoy it, and enjoy the game this week! And try not to throw a brick through your TV when the Silver Bullets (heh) take the field.