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Three Things To Watch at Purdue

The hex on Ohio State at Ross-Ade Stadium is all too real for Buckeye fans

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State has played Purdue 14 times since the 2000 season. While Ohio State has won the majority of those games (nine games for Ohio State), all five of the losses have taken place at Ross-Ade Stadium. This is not limited to only one coaching staff being unable to solve the mystery of why Purdue plays Ohio State tough at Ross-Ade Stadium, as previous coaches John Cooper, Jim Tressel, Luke Fickell and Urban Meyer all suffered losses at the hands of the “Spoilermakers.”

  • 2000, when Drew Brees hit a wide open Seth Morales to clinch the game for Purdue.
  • 2004, when Troy Smith threw three interceptions in a 24-17 loss.
  • 2009, when Terrelle Pryor threw two interceptions and had two fumbles in a 26-18 loss.
  • 2011, when Purdue defeated Ohio State 26-23 in overtime. This was a pivotal loss in Luke Fickell’s tenure, as Ohio State fell to 6-4 on the season, and the whispers about Urban Meyer coming to Ohio State became even louder. Speaking of Urban Meyer...
  • 2018, when Ohio State went on the road for a night game at Ross-Ade Stadium. At the time, I was a contributor to Athlon Sports, and I caught grief from some people for predicting an Ohio State loss, 49-42. How right my critics were, as Purdue defeated Ohio State 49-20. Oh well — at least I got the 49 points right for Purdue.

The point I am trying to make is that no matter the coach, no matter how talented the team, Ohio State has usually struggled at Ross-Ade Stadium. Throw in the fact that the weather forecast for West Lafayette on Saturday is looking to be a wet and rainy affair, so that should be taken into account. Fortunately for Ohio State, head coach Ryan Day was on the staff for the 2018 humiliation, and will be able to have his team properly focused when the game kicks off on Peacock (more on that later) at 12pm ET.

Below are Three Things To Watch At Purdue...

  1. Will the Ohio State offensive line allow the Buckeyes to run the ball consistently?

As written up above, the current weather forecast is a 45% chance of rain in the afternoon, with a high temperature of 59 degrees. In other words, typical B1G football weather for mid-October. With a rainy, possibly slick field, Ohio State may be inclined to lean on its struggling running game.

For an Ohio State team coming off a poor running game against Maryland (62 yards on 33 attempts, a 1.9 yards per carry average), this could be a shot at redemption, especially with a big nationally televised home game against Penn State on the horizon. Purdue is giving up an average of about 154 yards per game on the ground. I will be watching to see if Chip Trayanum is featured prominently, especially in short yardage situations.

2. Can Ohio State maintain its streak of interceptions?

Purdue quarterback Hudson Card is coming off a game at Iowa that saw Card throw two interceptions in a 20-14 loss. Card also threw two interceptions in a 38-17 home loss to Wisconsin on Sept. 22. The formerly-maligned Ohio State secondary has been playing better, and perhaps junior cornerback Denzel Burke will be able to come up big with an interception in this game.

3. Can Ohio State avoid the sluggish start?

This game will be at 11am CT, but for the Ohio State players, their respective body clocks will be treating it like a noon game. Ohio State sleepwalked through the first half last week versus Maryland, and were fortunate to be tied at the half with the Terrapins. It will be reassuring to see Ohio State come out and establish some dominance right from the onset. It will be important for Ohio State to come out and take control of this game from Purdue, especially considering their home field success against the Buckeyes over the years.

For all of the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth about this game being on Peacock, let me just say this: I understand the frustration. Nobody likes having to download another application.

The reality is this — The B1G signed a 7 year contract that stipulates that a certain number of games will be on Peacock, every season. For every Ohio State fan who is proclaiming that they are outraged and going to boycott this game, the sad reality is that the check has already been cashed by the B1G, and these types of games are going to be taking place from now until the conclusion of the new media contract, and that will not be taking place until 2029-2030.

It could be worse! This game marks the third-straight game that the Boilermakers have been on Peacock.

For those of you who do not wish to spend the $6 fee to download Peacock, you have some options...

  1. Listen to the game on 97.1 The Fan
  2. Find a sports bar that is televising the game, but I am guessing that you will spend more money than $6 at a bar
  3. Watch another game and check for updates periodically

I like Ohio State to come out of the gate better than a week ago, and I am guessing that the coaching staff wants to see how the offensive line and running game respond after what I am speculating was a renewed commitment to running the ball.

I have it Ohio State 38, Purdue 17.