Game 8 Recap: Purdue 49 – Ohio State 20
Losing a game almost feels like a bad break up. You see the loss coming, you try to embrace it, and prepare yourself for the worst, but no matter what, it still hurts. The positive side of the loss is that it is their first loss, and they still have an opportunity to make the playoff. The bad news is that Ohio State will be on the outside looking in on the first playoff rankings next week, and the one game they need to stay undefeated for is the Michigan game at the end of the regular season. They also have a lot to work on for the next two weeks to turn the season around. Under Urban Meyer, we have seen how the Buckeyes have refocused after a loss, and they will need to do the same against Nebraska, who picked up their first win. The down side of the bye week is it will be another week to wait to get the bad feeling out of your system.
Purdue came into this game looking to make a statement, and that was evident even before kickoff. As the teams were coming out for their pregame warm-ups, the Boilermakers corralled around the Ohio State team and were chipping at them. Normally they would be a signal that Ohio State would come out with firepower, but Purdue not only talked the talk, but walked the walk.
After starting the game off with 2 punts for each team, Purdue capitalized first on their third drive after a few penalties and Ohio State missed coverage for a 13 yards pass from David Blough to Isaac Zico. After a big return from Johnnie Dixon, Ohio State answered with a field goal in the red zone after an incomplete pass to Terry McLaurin. Purdue then came back a few series later with a big pass from Blough to Rondale Moore, to make the score 14-3 Purdue, and that was the score into half time.
Ohio State started back with the ball, and needed to score to make it a one touchdown game, but after 2 more incomplete passes in the red zone they had to settle for another field goal, making it 14-6. Purdue then responded with a 73 yard drive, capped off by a touchdown pass from Blough to Hopkins, making it 21-6. If the Ohio State faithful weren’t worried up this point, they were now. With the score in the third quarter, there was still time for Ohio State to make a comeback, but were stopped on their next 3 possessions.
Purdue got the ball back at the start of the 4th quarter after a few rushed plays from Ohio State, and the inevitable nail in the coffin for the Buckeye comeback was put in by DJ Knox, who ran it 42 yards, to make it 28-6.
Ohio State was trying to mount a comeback, and finally scored their first touchdown on the next series, but with a touchdown from the Boilermakers, it was too little too late. Dwayne Haskins threw a pick 6, and after a few devastating touchdowns from Purdue, Ohio State lost 49-20.
A big shout out to Purdue, who have been able to turn the program around in the 2 years under Jeff Brohm, and making the Purdue offense a splash of the late 90’s, early 2000’s teams, who competed in the Big Ten race. Ohio State was exposed on issues that the fans and media have seen so far this season, and there didn’t appear to be any changes to the team to address the running game that has been non existent essentially since the Purdue game, and the porous defense, who have given up more big plays in 8 games, than the 2014 and 2015 teams did combined. They will have a lot to work on these next few weeks, but the season goals are still attainable.
If you wanted a feel good storyline for the game though, to make the loss less hurtful, and make you remember that the game of life is bigger than the game of football, lifetime Purdue fan Tyler Trent, who is battling terminal bone cancer, got to see his team beat Ohio State. It was good for him to have his dying wish fulfilled, even if it stung Buckeye Nation for one night, his happiness on this night, for this game, meant a lot more.
Ohio State never lead in the game, and Purdue never let off the gas. The only time when there was some potential of hope was when Ohio State scored in the fourth quarter their first touchdown to make the score 13-28 in favor of Purdue. The defense needed to make a stop to get Ohio State the ball back, and D.J. Knox busted out a 40 yard touchdown run. Purdue wanted it more than the Buckeyes that day.
Star of the Game
Dwayne Haskins broke the completions, attempts and passing yards in a game records against Purdue, and it wasn’t enough to get the win, and isn’t the player of the game. That award is going to Rondale Moore for Purdue, who had 58 return yards, 24 rushing yards, and 170 receiving yards along with 2 touchdowns. He was a talent for the Boilermakers, and Ohio State’s defense didn’t have an answer for him.
The playoff scenario is pretty straight forward now for Ohio State. They have to win out to make the playoff. The bye week comes at a good time, but they have a bigger showdown in Columbus now against Michigan, which could be the Big Ten East game. The playoff is still attainable for the Buckeyes, but there needs to be a lot of work done between now and then.
Ohio State (7-1) is on a bye week, and will play Nebraska (1-6) on November 3.
Purdue (4-3) travels to Michigan State (4-3) for a 12pm kickoff.
Photo credit to The Republic