Game 6 Recap: Ohio State 41 – Purdue 7
For the first time since 1997, the Buckeyes played a game that was not broadcasted on a television network. For those who shelled out the money, or signed up for the free trial for Peacock, the quality of the product matched the play on the field: Good enough to get the job done, but some opportunities to make it better.
The Buckeyes showed variety on their play calling during the game, and that might have been die to losing Emeka Egbuka, who is still recovering from an injury last week against Maryland, and their top experienced running back tandem with TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. Ryan Day did not suffer the fate that his predecessors felt in this game, which was a weird loss in West Lafayette, but the conditions and feel of the game continued to show there is just something in the air in that stadium. The margin of victory could have been much higher, but a fumble in the endzone by Devin Brown, and a called back touchdown in the second and third quarter, along with a missed extra point, there were opportunities to make the win feel a little more emphatic. Fortunately, the Buckeyes did what they needed to do, and got a win before facing Penn State, which they needed to get some confidence on offense going into that game.
Kyle McCord is not CJ Stroud, but some of the play could be excused based on the rain and wind, and a surprising amount of dropped passes. Stat-line wise, he looked workman like with 276 passing yards with 3 interceptions, but the fumbles are going to be something he will need to work on this week. Devin Brown came in un the redone to try and mix up the play calling since that was an area of needed improvement for the Buckeyes. He rushed 1 touchdowns in, and almost had a second, but fumbled before he crossed into the endzone, and Purdue was able to recover. He did finish still though with 20 yards on 8 carried, and three a game long 58 yard touchdown pass to freshman Brandon Inniss, which was not only his first touchdown of the season, but also his first catch.
Chip Trayanum started at running back for the Buckeyes, and had 6 carries for 28 yards, but got hurt in the first half that took him out of the game. Dallan Hayden stepped in, and instantly memories of his 2022 Maryland game flashed as he showed how elusive he can be. He had 11 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. Xavier Johnson continued to be a gadget player, and had 5 carries for 39 yards, along with a catch for 21 yards.
Marvin Harrison Jr led the receiver room with 6 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Carnell Tate was one of the receivers filling in for Egbuka, and he had 3 catches for 79 yards. Cade Stover was the second leading catcher on the team with 4 catches for 53 yards, and 1 touchdown.
Truthfully, it was when the Buckeyes stepped onto the field, and their talent difference against Purdue was on dsiplay. During the game though, it was the first drive in the second half for the Buckeyes, they drove down and scored to make the lead 27-0. Purdue could not make a field goal to save their life in the game, and the Silver Bullet defense kept the Boilermakers out of the endzone until the 4th quarter with a short field aided by a McCord fumble. The score margin could have been higher, and the Buckeyes will have some mental issues to work on that could be costly against Penn State next week.
Star of the Game
Dallan Hayden. Ryan Day was asked about Hayden and his status this season earlier in the week, and Day had said they were looking to redshirt the Sophomore based on the talent ahead of him that they expected to lose at the end of the season. However, with both Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson out, and Chip Trayanum getting concussed during the game, the 4th string RB flashed what we remember from last season and helped with the run game that has been struggling the last few games. Marvin Harrison Jr is our honorable mention, with his second straight 100 yard game, and the 12th Buckeye to eclipse 2000 yards receiving in a career.
Starting 6-0 with a win against Notre Dame is where Ohio State hoped to be at this point in the season. It was not a clean game, but a 34 point win on the road and without key members on offense shows how talented and dominant this team can be. Next week though will be the next big test against an undefeated Penn State team, and a win there will keep them in pole position in the Big Ten Championship race, and 2 ranked top 10 wins will stack their resume high against nearly all teams in the country.
Ohio State (6-0) will return home to face Penn State (6-0). It will be Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff game of the week.
Purdue (2-5) will have a well earned by week, and then will travel to face Nebraska (3-3) on October 28.
Photo Credit: ESPN