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Ghosts of West Lafayette resurface as Purdue scores upset over No. 2 Ohio State, 49-20

The Spoilermakers are, unfortunately, back.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, the Spoilermakers are back. Wide receiver Rondale Moore was unstoppable, and David Blough threw for three touchdowns and over 375 yards— on zero interceptions— as Purdue defeated the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in West Lafayette, Ind., 49-20.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Bucks on the night. Whether it was an early Purdue fumble that bounced beyond the first down marker and prolonged a Boilermaker drive, missed OSU tackles, or overthrown Haskins passes, the Buckeyes ran into the perfect concoction of trouble.

Penalties and defensive struggles— ones that have continued to be a problem throughout the season— were exposed big time in West Lafayette. Ten penalties were accepted against OSU, and over 530 yards of offense were given up to the Boilermakers.

Dwayne Haskins had another historic day in the OSU history books, though. He went 49-of-73 (!) for 470 yards. All three of those stats (completions, attempts and passing yards) are school records. He also had two scores and an interception, with the pick getting returned for a TD.

On the ground, this was one of the weaker performances in the Urban Meyer era. Between J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber and Haskins, the trio had 25 carries for 76 yards. Weber had the longest rush of them all—an 11-yarder in the fourth quarter. No touchdowns were scored via the ground game on Saturday night in West Lafayette.

K.J. Hill led the receiving unit with nine receptions and 105 yards, but ended with zero touchdowns. Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon had the receiving scores for OSU, and had five and four receptions, respectively.

Ohio State outgained Purdue 546-539, and had 26 more offensive plays than the Boilermakers, but went 2-of-5 in the red zone for a total of six points (two made FGs). A missed field goal and failed fourth down attempt form the Purdue 2 attributed to red zone woes for the Buckeyes.

Purdue’s offense was the difference maker all around. Blough arributed for 378 yards of passing, with Moore leading the WR corps with two scores on 12 catches for 170 yards. Running back DJ Knox had 16 touches, and torched the Buckeye D for 128 yards and a trio of TDs. Two of his scores were 40 yards or more.

For the Boilermakers, it marked their first win against an AP Top 2 team since...Ohio State in 1984. While the loss is hard for Buckeye Nation, the win was an important one for the Boilermakers. Not because they are now 4-3 on the season, but because one of their biggest fans (and, arguably, the toughest Boilermaker on Earth) Tyler Trent was in attendance. Trent was featured on ESPN’s College Gameday earlier on Saturday.

Prior to the game, there was some jawing down on the field. As the Buckeyes took to their side, they cut through some of the Boilermakers personnel. What happened afterwards was to be expected.

Injuries had their way before the game kicked off, too. Damon Arnette, who was a probable earlier in the week, did not start. Jeffrey Okudah was elevated to Arnette’s spot in the secondary.

To start things out, Ohio State won the coin toss and deferred. The Boilermakers made an immediate impact on the first play from scrimmage, with Blough throwing a sideline pass to Moore— who then cut down the sideline for a total of 23 yards. Momentum seemed to be on the home team’s side, but three straight incompletions from Blough stalled the Boilers’ at their own 40.

The opening drive for the Bucks didn’t fare much better. A false start and illegal formation were called against the Scarlet and Gray on their first two plays, with the latter being declined. Screens and passes into the flat for Parris Campbell were sniffed out, and only resulted in a total of six yards. The Bucks three-and-outed after having the ball for just 44 seconds.

Blough’s erratic throwing continued as he lobbed two more air-balls out of the reach of his receivers. Combined with a zero-yard rush from Markell Jones, the Boilermakers had a three-and-out f their own. They nearly got a fresh set of downs on the punt, but, as a five-yard running into the kicker penalty was called against OSU instead of the 15-yard roughing the kicker.

Drive No. 2 for the Buckeyes went better than the first; the offense moved down the field, with the passing game leading the way—as usual. Haskins’ long on the drive was 15 to K.J. Hill, and the Buckeyes got inside the Purdue 40. However, on a third-and-4, Isaiah Prince was flagged for a false start (a recurring theme in the game and the season). On the ensuing third-and-9, Haskins was forced out of the pocket, and only picked up a yard before the defense came crashing toward him.

Good news: Drue Chrisman punted the ball down to the Purdue 2-yard line. The bad news: the Boilermakers marched 98 yards for the first score of the game. It took 15 plays and over seven minutes of clock— as well as a very questionable spot after a Purdue fumble. Blough completed a big third down pass to Moore, and even QB-sneaked for a conversion on fourth-and-1.

The questionable spot came on a fumble after an offensive pass interference call against Purdue. Faced with second-and-25 from the OSU38, Blough hit D.J. Knox on a near-side screen. Knox had a farm worth of green in front of him, and took off; around the 17-yard line, the Buckeye defense caught up to him and applied the tackle. Knox fumbled the ball forward past the first down spot before it bounced out of bounds. The refs, instead of spotting the ball where it was originally fumbled— a few yards behind the first down—placed it at the 12, giving Purdue a first.

Despite appearing to be an incorrect application of the rule, two plays later, Blough found a very covered Isaac Zico in the corner of the end zone for an over-the-shoulder touchdown catch.

On the rebuttal drive, OSU would find an answer, too. But, it would only be a field goal. Two penalties on Purdue (personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct) credited 30 yards to the Buckeyes’ drive, and were a key reason for why OSU got into scoring position. When the first quarter ended, the Bucks were inside the Boilermaker 10, and the start of the new quarter fizzled out the drive. OSU couldn’t find a way into the land of TD, but came close on a near-catch from Terry McLaurin on third down. Blake Haubeil, though, trotted out for a 24-yarder in the wind, and nailed it.

After another Purdue three-and-out, OSU was on the move to take the lead. But, penalties came back to haunt the Buckeyes. A Michael Jordan 10-yard holding call stalled things out before OSU even got to midfield. With another stop of the Boilermakers, OSU had yet another chance to get out of the 7-3 deficit and take the lead— or at least close the margin.

A 16-play drive moved 83 yards for the Buckeyes, and ended with a Binjimen Victor drop in the endzone after defensive back Antonio Blackmon got his hand in the way just in the nick of time. Haubeil came back onto the field for a 33-yard field goal, but hooked it wide left, marking the first miss of his collegiate career.

The troubles were just beginning before halftime for the Bucks, as Purdue moved down the field with 1:51 left. Twenty-two yards on two carries by Knox, and a 37-yard completion to Zico down the near sideline got the home team inside the OSU red zone. The defense clamped down, but a fake field goal play on fourth-and-3 from the OSU13 picked up four. Bough found Moore on the next play, and took Purdue into the break up 14-3.

Here are some of the halftime stats.

Second half adjustments have been a big theme for Ohio State this season. To start the third quarter, they worked a 10-play drive that moved a (very nice) 69 yards for a field goal. The downside: OSU got down to the Purdue six, and stalled out due to a Blackmon pass breakup on third down.

While the offensive adjustments seemed to work on the first drive, if you were hoping for second half adjustments in regards to stopping penalties, well, I have some bad news for you. On Purdue’s first drive of the new half, things looked like they were about to fizzle out around midfield. Schopper punted the ball away, but Davon Hamilton cartwheeled into him. Instead of getting a 5-yard penalty like they did in the first half, this time OSU was flagged with the roughing variety— giving PU an automatic first.

With new life, Blough made two 15-yard completions to Jackson Anthrop and Brycen Hopkins, which set the Boilers up at the one. Knox punched it in from there, and the upset was now very much in play with Purdue up 21-6.

Ohio State had one more near chance to score in the third— getting all the way down to the Purdue 2. Instead of kicking the field goal, Urban Meyer elected to go for it on fourth down, and with little to no running game, the gamble didn’t pay off, as Haskins missed the connection to Hill.

Still down 13, OSU entered the fourth quarter punting the ball to Purdue. Desperately needing a stop, OSU nearly had it until, you guessed it, another costly penalty. Even though Blough threw an incomplete third down pass to Moore, Dre’Mont Jones hit the QB late. That’s 15 free yards for the Boilermakers, but more importantly, a new set of downs and more clock getting drained. Ohio State forced another third down on the Boilermakers, and again, they escaped. This one, though, did a lot more damage—like, a hella amount of damage—as Knox busted right up the middle for a 42-yard TD.

Facing a daunting 28-6 deficit, Ohio State absolutely needed an answer. An 8-play drive from the Buckeyes exclusively utilized the arm of Haskins, and it paid off, as Haskins got his first TD of the game with a 32-yarder to Johnnie Dixon.

Right as soon as they got ball back after the score, Purdue answered with a TD of their own. On the fifth play of the ensuring drive, Knox did his best Halloween impression of being Bane from “Batman,” as his 40-yard rush for a TD broke the back of OSU.

Haskins and Co. would get down the field for another TD, though. The conversion of a fourth-and-5 to McLaurin went the final 34 yards for a TD— Purdue was putting nobody in coverage— but it was too little, too late.

Ohio State falls on the road in West Lafayette, and enter the bye week 7-1.