After last week’s hiatus due to a leisurely trip to LA —praise to the most high for 70 degree weather in October/not having to cover the Minnesota game— your boy is back with another I Got Five on it, previewing tomorrow’s game versus Purdue.
Whenever I think of Purdue, it usually comes down to three things:
- Holy Buckeye
- Purdue Harbor
- That time Braxton Miller jumped over a dude and threw a touchdown:
This is the first meeting since 2013, and it says a lot about where Purdue is under Jeff Brohm/this week’s slate of games that it’s on ABC in primetime. Alas, the Boilermakers might be the second biggest test for the Buckeyes so far this season —what a sentence— and this has all the makings of a scary game with upset potential.
With that in mind, here are five things I’m thinking/watching for tomorrow:
Ohio State’s real rival?????
Here’s a handy chart of every Big Ten loss Ohio State’s suffered this millennium:
(Note: I didn’t put in Maryland and Rutgers for obvious reasons)
A Purdue win would tie them for first with Penn State and Wisconsin! It makes me appreciate just how stupid the 2009 and 2011 games were, and the crazy things that have happened in Ohio State’s wins. Also, how hilarious is it that Indiana still isn’t on this list, while Purdue, Illinois and Northwestern have seven wins combined? Poor Indiana.
I’d really appreciate not having to update this graph tomorrow night, but it’s a legitimate possibility given how good Purdue’s looked the last three weeks.
- Both teams were 5-0 and ranked in the top 25
- Ray Small led Ohio State in receiving (!!!)
- Purdue had four yards rushing
- Jim Tressel put his backup QB on the hands team:
College football was also at the peak of its season-long acid trip:
This might be the biggest game Purdue’s played since then. Does that mean they aren’t ready for the moment? Nope, but this type of environment isn’t something they’re used to. I’m concerned with how Ohio State matches up (we’ll get to that), but they already beat TCU in Texas, and had an epic comeback win in Happy Valley. I think that counts for something heading into a jacked up atmosphere that hopefully includes this guy:
Don’t let Jeff Brohm get the hammer
Few items in video game history are more devastating than the hammer in Super Smash Bros. I fired up the N64 last night to play a couple rounds (TEAM SAMUS) just so I could re-experience how devastating it is (very much so). Purdue’s hammer is the big play.
They’ve racked up 24 plays of 30-plus yards, with wide receivers Rondale Moore and Isaac Zico accounting for a large chunk of those. They’re two of the most explosive players in the nation, and the best bets to cause damage tomorrow. Ohio State’s defense has almost been inviting offenses to make big plays, and unless they’ve found a maxim tomato, [AKA LEAVING SHAUN WADE AT SAFETY] this matchup gives me the same fear I have when I hear this music:
I know I said earlier I only think about three things when it comes to Purdue, but let’s remember when Ezekiel Elliott did this:
7 vs 3
As our own Chad Peltier pointed out, Ohio State’s red zone offense has left a lot to be desired:
The stats really bare this out: [Ohio State is] sixth in overall points per scoring opportunity (from inside the 40), 13th in 30-21 yard line success rate, 30th in 20-11 yard success rate, and 69th in success rate inside the 10-yard line. The Buckeyes are just 61st in red zone touchdown percentage. That declining gradient of success near the goal line is a big problem.
In a game that looks like it might be a shootout, kicking field goals probably won’t cut it. We’ve seen the offense stall inside the 10 a few times this season —including twice last week— and whether it’s because of poor run blocking, or just the receivers not having as much room to work with, Ohio State needs to find a way to come away with seven points to keep pace.
That’s it for this week’s I Got Five on it. Please let me know who your favorite Smash Bros. character to play with is in the comments, and leave your address if it’s Captain Falcon, because I’m going to find you and fight you myself. Go Bucks.