When Purdue week came around, it was pretty apparent that the only way Purdue was going to beat OSU was through Purdue playing way over their heads, Ohio State playing their worst game of the year, and the Buckeyes turning the ball over four, five, or even six times.
Basically, either a 2009 or 2011 redux.
But those teams weren't this team, and this team has the ultimate motivator in Urban Meyer. They haven't overlooked any team since Meyer came to town, and they weren't going to overlook Purdue. And they didn't. This game was over before both teams took the field, and when it was over, Purdue had been beaten like the World's Largest Drum they carry in their band, all day long. Weren't they, Mr. Rundgren?
Ever since I was a tiny boy
I don't want no candy
I don't need no toy
I took a stick and an old coffee can
I bang on that thing til I got
Blisters on my hand because
I don't want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day
Yes, I do
I don't want to play
I just want to bang on the drum all day
Your SMR with a heavy percussion section follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, QB's: Miller played an impeccable first half, Guiton an impeccable second half, and it added up to a near flawless performance. Miller only ran one time, but was almost perfect throwing the ball, going 19-23 for 233 yards and four TD passes. Miller was accurate with his throws, decisive in the pocket, and more importantly, he didn't needlessly run and add wear and tear to his body. Guiton only threw for 59 yards, but he ran for 98 yards and two touchdowns, seamlessly handled the offense when he took over for Brax, and once again validated to everyone that the OSU offense doesn't skip a beat when he's in.
Jeff Heuerman, TE: Jeff Heuerman must think to himself that if he got to play Purdue every week, he'd win the Heisman trophy. I don't know if Purdue thought they didn't need to cover Heuerman, or if they thought he was unable to catch the ball, or if somehow, a 6'6", 252 pound tight end magically became invisible past the line of scrimmage, but Heuerman was WIDE open the entire first half. He had five catches for 116 yards and a TD, and it seemed every time Miller threw the ball his direction, there wasn't a Purdue defender in the camera shot.
The Silver Bullets Defense: Last week against Penn State, the Buckeyes defense came out and played their best game of the season, holding Penn State in check for most of the game. Against Purdue, they thoroughly dominated, shutting out the Boilermakers and limiting them to just 116 yards of total offense, 27 yards rushing, and 10 first downs. Yes, it was Purdue. No, they aren't a good football team, but still...that was an impressive defensive effort. Doran Grant started it with a pick six on Purdue's second play, they had ten tackles for loss, and they sacked Danny Etling six times. Helmet stickers for everyone!
Carlos Hyde, RB: On a day when Miller and the passing game took center stage, Hyde got off to a slow start. After four carries and almost 27 minutes of game time, he had four carries for 20 yards. His next four carries? 21, 9, 42, and 20 yards. I believe that's what the kids call going HAM.
Nobody. I mean seriously, OSU's offense just put up 49 points, 640 yards, and over 8 yards per play. The defense didn't let Purdue get over 100 yards of total offense until the fourth quarter, tossed a shutout, and scored a touchdown of their own. Only terrible people with the worst outlook on life would want to find fault with today's performance and rag on someone during a complete team victory.
Buy: Going for it on fourth down. I'm a big fan, in general, of coaches coaching to win as opposed to coaching not to lose. Meyer is one of the best in game managers on the sidelines in the business, and whether you like him or hate him, Meyer is always coaching to win.
Sell: Going for it on fourth down up 49-0. Sanctimonious columns from Matt Hayes types aside, when you're up 49-0 and on the Purdue 26, kicking a field goal there might not have been a bad call. The fact that they didn't convert isn't my beef here; even going for it isn't my beef. I just think it might have been good to give Drew Basil a shot at a field goal that wouldn't have been a chip shot.
Buy: The Ezekiel Elliott/Dontre Wilson combination the next few years. Wilson and Elliott have looked good as true freshman this year, and it's going to be fun watching these guys grow into the next Carlos Hyde and Ted Ginn. Seriously, these guys are going to be really, REALLY good.
Sell: Tom Herman leaving. This is a pipe dream, because I think OC Tom Herman gets a good HC offer at the end of the season and leaves. I don't want him to, because this is the most explosive OSU's offense has been in my life, and selfishly, I don't want this good time rock and roll feeling to end. I know it will, and I have full confidence that Meyer will find another great OC, but still...enjoy the Tom Herman era, because he probably won't be with us much longer.
Buy: Ohio State can play with, and beat, anyone. Whatever Luke Fickell and the defense have been doing the last couple of weeks, don't change. The defense has been playing with their hair on fire, and dictating the tempo of the game on that side of the ball. I love the new aggression, and whatever it is they changed, it worked.
Sell: Purdue Harbor, once and for all. I think we were all frustrated with 2009 and 2011, and Holy Hell what almost happened last year in the 'Shoe? Most everyone wanted to end this Purdue voodoo hex in a big way, and this 56-0 beat down was the perfect way to end it.
So the Buckeyes move to 9-0, and based on what happened elsewhere in the conference it seems like Ohio State is headed for a showdown with Michigan State in Indianapolis. But they're not there yet. They still have games against Illinois, Indiana, and That Team Up North before then.
And based on today's performance, Urban Meyer will have his Buckeyes ready to meet any challenge that comes their way.