Memory of ’09 Trip Still Haunts Buckeyes
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jack Mewhort didn’t make the trip to West Lafayette in 2009. Neither did Tyler Moeller.
Mewhort remembers watching the game TV. Moeller doesn’t remember much of anything.
“I don't really remember too much from that game just because I had a brain injury,” he said with a nervous smile.
“I wasn't at the game. I don't really remember too much of that period of my life so it's hard to comment. Weak excuse, I apologize.”
Mewhort’s excuse was that he was redshirting as a freshman that year.
“I actually redshirted in 2009 when we went to Purdue, but I watched it on TV,” Ohio State’s starting right guard said after practice Tuesday.
“I know we didn’t play well, so we’re looking to go back there and put in the effort and hopefully come back with a W.”
The Buckeyes who did make the trip to West Lafayette in Oct. 2009 remember it like it was yesterday.
Mike Brewster (50) remembers well OSU's last trip to Purdue
Photo by Jim Davidson
“I remember a lot,” said senior Michael Brewster, who was Ohio State’s starting center that day.
“It was a painful game on all fronts. We’ll remember it.”
Brewster and the Buckeyes were 5-1 overall, 3-0 in Big Ten play and ranked No. 7 in the country coming off a 31-13 win over Wisconsin in Columbus. They had allowed a total of 27 points in four games since their 18-15 loss to USC, and it looked like quarterback Terrelle Pryor was starting to turn the corner midway through his sophomore season.
None of that mattered on Oct. 17, 2009.
What ensued was one of the ugliest performances by an Ohio State team in the last decade. Despite their 1-5 record heading into that game, the Boilermakers controlled the game from start to finish.
The held the Buckeyes to just 66 yards rushing and forced five turnovers, including four by Pryor, who had a mental meltdown on the field, slamming his helmet violently against the Turf after throwing one of his two interceptions.
“It was an awful feeling,” junior fullback Zach Boren said.
“It was a long time ago, but I remember going to that stadium and it’s not the greatest of locker rooms. We were all packed in there and then they handed it to us. On the offensive side, I don’t think we got anything going all day. We gave up a whole bunch of sacks and they just beat us down.”
Ohio State’s offensive line had no answer for future NFL first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan, and they didn’t have much to say to any of his teammates either. The Boilermakers defense was in the OSU backfield before the ball was even getting to Pryor, and the Buckeyes expect to face a hungry bunch Saturday at Purdue.
“They have good players up front on their D line, so we’re getting prepared for that,” Mewhort said.
“We’re just checking out their blitzes right now. It’s still early in the week, but you cant take anything lightly around here.”
Certainly not Purdue, not at Ross-Ade Stadium.
“We went over it today, they’ve beat us three of the last five times we’ve gone over there,” Boren said.
“We have our hands full this week.”
The 2011 Boilermakers are just 4-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play, but that’s better than their record was two years ago heading into this game. They did lose to Rice University during the nonconference schedule and barely beat Middle Tennessee State in the season-opener, but they have been a much better team at home than on the road this year.
“We have to get out there and get going right away, if we don’t do that, we’ll have trouble,” Boren said.
“Purdue is 4-1 at home this year. They’re a home team, they play good at home. If there’s one thing going into this week it’s that we have to start fast.”
Ohio State’s rivalry with Purdue certainly isn’t on the same level as Michigan, or even Wisconsin or Penn State, but the “Spoilermakers” have been a thorn in their side since the turn of the century.
Drew Brees started it with his 64-yard touchdown pass to Seth Morales in the final moments of the 2000 game in West Lafayette. Two years later, the Buckeyes would need a fourth-down miracle from Craig Krenzel to Michael Jenkins on the “Holy Buckeye” play to keep their undefeated season alive.
had a tough day in West Lafayette in 2004
Photo by Jim Davdison
The horrors continued in 2004 when Troy Smith handed the Boilermakers three interceptions in one of the worst games of his collegiate career. Kyle Orton orchestrated a last-minute touchdown drive to hand the Buckeyes their fourth loss of the season.
This group of Buckeyes got a bad taste for Purdue after the 2009 game, and their 49-0 beatdown in Columbus last year does not seem to have done much to make them forget it.
“Especially the coaches. They all have that weighing on them a little bit, and the older guys,” Mewhort said.
“You can sense that tension around the locker room a little bit. It gives you a little something extra to go over and do it for them.”
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.