This is 12-for-12: Ohio State’s Perfect Season. Originally, we put this together thinking there would not be an actual football season in 2020, but fortunately that is not the case. So now, this just functions as a fun look at throwback games each week as we prep for Oct. 24.
We have put together a full 12-game schedule for the Buckeyes using one game from each of the last 12 years. The docket is complete with three non-conference opponents, nine Big Ten showdowns, and will also include a three-game postseason with a Big Ten title game and College Football Playoff matchups. We tried to use the best games from each of the 12 years to fill the slots, but some had to be left out to avoid duplicate opponents in the regular season.
We will also be keeping a running total of the regular season’s stat leaders as if all of these games were occurring over one full season. There are many different players that have come through the program during this 12-year span, so only the top three guys in each category will be listed. In the end, we’ll have an interesting concoction of who led the Buckeyes over this 12-game Frankenstein season.
We are going to continue this series even with the announced start date for the actual Big Ten 2020 season, and will move to two Perfect Season pieces a week to try and fit the whole series in before the team’s opener against Nebraska. As we anxiously await the return of Ohio State football, we still have a bunch of games from seasons past to help pass the time.
Game six on the schedule: Ohio State at Purdue (2013).
Tale of the Tape
Ohio State entered the 2013 campaign flying high. They were coming off an undefeated campaign in Urban Meyer’s first year at the helm, they just hauled in an incredible recruiting class, and they began the season ranked No. 2 in the polls. Things would start off looking fantastic for the Buckeyes, but it would not end quite as they had hoped.
The regular season was a breeze, as Ohio State knocked off every opponent on the schedule with little resistance heading into the Michigan game. A hard-fought battle against the Wolverines saw the Buckeyes escape with a narrow 42-41 victory, and it would set up a Big Ten Championship Game appearance against Michigan State. That is where the good times stopped rolling, as OSU was defeated by the Spartans 34-24 in Indy. The poor performance would parlay into the Orange Bowl, where Ohio State was again defeated — this time in a 40-35 loss to Clemson.
Purdue, on the other hand, was nothing short of a disaster in 2013. In the first year under head coach Darrell Hazell, the Boilermakers would struggle through an abysmal 1-11 season, including an 0-8 record in the Big Ten. It was the first time Purdue had gone winless in conference play since 1993. Their only win of the season came in their second game of the year, where they narrowly defeated Indiana State 20-14 in West Lafayette.
Ohio State’s defense absolutely dominated in this one from start to finish, and the Silver Bullets made themselves a huge factor right from the opening Purdue drive.
Following the pick-six by Doran Grant, the Boilermaker offense came right back onto the field, only to suffer a quick three-and-out. It would not be long before Ohio State found the end zone yet again, as Braxton Miller hit a wide open Jeff Heuerman for a 40-yard TD on the second play of the drive to put the Buckeyes up 14-0 early.
Danny Etling led Purdue back onto the field, picking up a pair of first downs and working the ball down towards midfield before ultimately having to punt once again. Ohio State moved to just outside the red zone, but this time it was the Boilermakers making the big play as Miller was intercepted by Ricardo Allen at the 15-yard line.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the defense was still looking incredibly strong, and yet another three-and-out for Purdue gave OSU the ball back near their own 40-yard line. Heuerman’s third 20-plus-yard catch of the game put them deep in enemy territory, and shortly thereafter Miller found Nick Vannett for an easy score as Ohio State took a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Purdue’s offense was doing them absolutely no favors, and on the first play of the ensuing drive a fumbled handoff put the ball right back in the Buckeyes’ hands. The short field did not help an already gassed Boilermaker defense, and in two plays Miller hit on his third TD pass of the opening quarter — this time to Philly Brown to make it 28-0.
The Boilermakers needed desperately to put a drive together, and they were able to get a little momentum going on their next offensive series. The ground game started to open up a bit, and they worked the ball past midfield before things stalled out and they were once again forced to punt. Purdue’s defense now looked lost after their early interception, and Ohio State put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended in yet another TD (on a Kenny Guiton jump pass!) as the home team now trailed 35-0.
Ohio State was not done yet pouring it on in the first half. Two more punts by Purdue sandwiched the Buckeyes’ first punt of the afternoon, but OSU got the ball back at their own 7-yard line with 3:16 left until the break. The long field would be no match for Urban Meyer’s squad, as two long runs by Carlos Hyde of 21 yards and 42 yards would help set up an 11-yard TD pass from Miller to Ezekiel Elliott.
Miller now had four passing TDs in the first half, and OSU went into halftime up 42-0.
Ohio State began the second half like they finished the first, even though most of the starters were taken out of the game with such a hefty lead. Guiton was now in at QB, and helped lead the Buckeyes down the field with both his arm and his legs as the backup capped off the drive with a 4-yard rushing TD to extend the rout to 49-0.
Neither team would find the end zone for the remainder of the third quarter, but the next time they did, it was the Buckeyes once more. Sticking to the ground game for the most part to keep the clock moving, Ohio State put together a 13-play, 87-yard drive that ended in another short rushing TD for Kenny G. It would be the final score of the afternoon for either team, as OSU walked out of Ross-Ade Stadium with a 56-0 victory.
All in all, Purdue had 13 total offensive series in the game, with 10 of them ending in punts, two ending in turnovers, and one with the clock expiring into halftime. The Boilermakers were simply no match for an electric Ohio State defense, and Braxton Miller carved up the Purdue secondary to the tune of 19-of-23 passing with 233 yards and four TDs in just one half of football.
LGHL Season Stat Leaders (OSU 6-0)
- Terrelle Pryor: 499 Yds / 3 TD / 1 INT (2 games)
- Dwayne Haskins: 405 Yds / 3 TD / 1 INT
- Braxton Miller: 233 Yds / 4 TD / 1 INT (2 games, 1 at QB)
- J.K. Dobbins: 380 Yds / 6.2 Avg / 1 TD (2 games)
- Terrelle Pryor: 185 Yds / 4.6 Avg / 1 TD (2 games)
- Ezekiel Elliott: 159 Yds / 9.9 Avg / 1 TD (2 games)
- DeVier Posey: 12 Rec / 206 Yds / 1 TD (2 games)
- Johnnie Dixon: 7 Rec / 131 Yds / 0 TD (2 games)
- Terry McLaurin: 4 Rec / 118 Yds / 1 TD
- Chase Young: 3.0 (2 games)
- Ryan Shazier: 2.0
- Tyquan Lewis: 1.5
- Chimdi Chekwa: 2 (2 games)
- Jeff Okudah: 2 (2 games)
- Six tied at one
Ohio State continues its Big Ten slate with its first ranked conference opponent of the year, as the Buckeyes host Wisconsin (2011) in the next Perfect Season matchup looking to start the campaign 7-0.