Buckeye Watch - Purdue
By Tony Gerdeman
Ohio State center Mike Brewster remarked after the Buckeyes' 26-23 overtime loss to Purdue that perhaps their reliance upon the running game had finally caught up with them. The mentality that they had subscribed to of simply pounding teams had finally been broken.
After the Indiana game last week, the players all said they could win games just by running the ball. But when that's your sole means of moving the ball, you make every opponent you face better than they actually are.
After all, a defense that only has to defend half of an offense is a defense that is twice as good as it normally is.
It was a nice little run, but Ohio State's offense finally ran into a defense that set out to stop it. It's amazing that it took this long to happen.
No, this was not a stellar defensive outing for the Buckeyes, but holding Purdue to 20 points in regulation should equal a win 100% of the time.
Over the past decade, this defense would generally make enough plays to bail out the terrible Buckeye offenses that Jim Tressel trotted out onto the field, but that is not the case this year. Ohio State left five turnovers on the field in this game, and it cost them.
Purdue tried to give Ohio State the game, but the Buckeyes didn't want it. And that, to me, is more disappointing than anything.
11:46 Gerry DiNardo is breaking down Braxton Miller's passing. They've shown about seven passes detailing how he is a true dual-threat quarterback. Fortunately, they didn't show any of his end-over-end passes.
11:55 Purdue is led out onto the field by a novelty train. How intimidating.
11:56 I can see flags blowing in the background. It's windy. We're all gonna die.
11:59 Today's game is simple—if Purdue stops the run, they win. If they don't, they still might. Simple.
12:01 Ohio State only traveled four receivers today. I'm guessing we'll see some Jordan Hall and Jake Stoneburner in the slot. Or at least we would if there was ever a time when the Buckeyes went three wide.
12:02 Ohio State is going to receive the kick. And it bounces off of Carlos Hyde's facemask. Interesting. Ohio State can't risk losing a receiver, so Hyde is back there to receive. Strange start. Telling?
12:02 Danny Hope loves noon games because the opponents are still sleeping and his team has been up since 4:30 in the morning tending to the cows.
12:03 Third and four. Jordan Hall goes in motion. Braxton Miller finds T.Y. Williams, but he pops the ball up into the air and into Jake Stoneburner's hands. He bobbles it and eventually drops it. Look, Stoneburner, if you're not going to catch passes that aren't intended for you but somehow still find you, then you can't expect to have the ball thrown your way again on purpose. As an aside, why are passes to the 6'6” Williams always high? Whatever. The Buckeyes go three and out. Ben Buchanan's punt gets knocked down by the wind quickly.
12:04 Three wide. Toss left to Ralph Bolden and he picks up 19 yards. That needs to be his long carry of the game and a third of his total if the Buckeyes are going to win today.
12:07 Third and two. There's another quick screen to Gary Bush out wide for 14 yards. The Buckeyes are going to have to get up on these receivers or else they're going to get killed.
12:08 Third and goal from the two-yard line. Caleb TerBush drops back and throws the out route, but it's knocked down by Bradley Roby. Great job of jumping on that pass, but if he had gotten there a step sooner, he could have taken it back 99 yards for the score.
12:09 Carson Wiggs hits a 19-yard field goal, but that's a win for Ohio State. Once again, however, the opponent gets a great start due to field position. If the offense's job is to not put the defense in a bad spot, it's failing this season.
12:12 Okay Carlos, don't catch this with your facemask.
12:13 Boom loses two yards running wide left. Isn't that always the way on first down.
12:14 Speed option and Miller gets nothing. This is going to be a horrific game today. Miller doesn't like to pitch, would rather cut back.
12:15 Third and eleven. Quarterback draw coming. Yep. There it is. Miller gets nothing. Ugh. No fear on defense, per usual.
12:16 Buckeyes will again be put in poor field position given the wind. Buchanan's punt is downed at the Purdue 40-yard line. It almost went off of a Boilermaker. That's the type of break the Buckeyes would need, but won't get. Gonna need the defense to do something here.
12:20 Bolden gets eleven yards on the pitch. Did the Buckeyes just have their program leveled due to scandal this week?
12:24 Slant pass to O.J. Ross for about 15 yards. Ah, the slant pass. One of life's great mysteries. Nobody knows where it comes from. Does it live in caves? And why do we never see its poop in the wild?
12:25 Nine more yards for Antavian Edison. They are throwing all over the Buckeyes on quick passes. The defensive line can't get to the quarterback, and linebackers can't cover.
12:27 Third and six. TerBush rolls to the right and throws back across his body to Bush at the eight-yard line. This might be a blowout of field goals.
12:28 Second and goal at the four-yard line. Shotgun. Akeem Shavers gets the ball and he goes in untouched for the touchdown. Purdue has the best offense in the nation right? It's Purdue and then Oklahoma State, right? If I look up the stats, that's what I'll find, right? Purdue leads it 10-0. This game is over. And not because the Buckeyes will quit, but because they can't do anything about Purdue's offense. And Ohio State's offense can't do anything about anything.
12:32 Third and three. Empty set. Five wide. No QB draw? Miller waits, waits, begins to scramble and gets tackled after a gain of one. Purdue just waits for him to come to them. They spied with Ryan Russell. They just put an umbrella around him and kept him from getting upfield. Buckeyes punt.
12:37 We have reached the end of the first quarter. Purdue leads it 10-0, but they are moving again.
12:38 So...new quarter, new teams? Maybe?
12:40 Third and five from the 50-yard line. Is it possible to have a play of the game at the outset of the second quarter? No, but it could certainly be the play of the quarter. TerBush gets pressured and throws it incomplete to a receiver out of bounds. TerBush was actually pressured. It was amazing. My faith in humanity has been briefly restored.
12:41 Here comes a punt. I know, I can't believe it either! It goes out of bounds at the 32-yard line. Now the Buckeyes have the wind. That wind will certainly help the running game, pushing into Boom's back and all when he's carrying the ball.
12:42 Play-action. Braxton dodges one guy and then throws to Boom after a few seconds of running for his life. Great job of looking downfield. They pick up 19 yards. Antonio Underwood is not holding up at right tackle. But at least he's not holding.
12:46 Third and ten. Shotgun. Purdue blitzes and Braxton finds Jordan Hall in the slot after avoiding the pressure and he breaks free and makes his way into the endzone! That's what Hall does. That's what Miller does. The offensive line...I don't know what they did. Great job of blocking downfield though. The Buckeyes cut it to 10-7.
12:49 Starting out with a 10-0 deficit is the new black. Buckeyes have to do something about Antonio Underwood though. Move Andrew Norwell to right tackle and put Corey Linsley at left guard. Do something. This cannot continue.
12:50 I sometimes wonder what this offense would look like if Jim Bollman called every play like it was third and twelve. I think it would be a lot better.
12:54 Tunnel screen to Justin Siller and Tyler Moeller forces the fumble, but Siller jumps right back on it. Man, that was close. Can't miss opportunities like that on the road.
12:56 Third and eleven. Feel free to make a play here defense. TerBush throws it and the ball hits off of Christian Bryant's shoulder pads. Wow. Why does he even have hands.? Purdue has to punt. It's fair caught at the 37-yard line.
1:00 Play-action for Braxton. There's holding...and a sack. Why is Underwood always right there to pick up Miller after he gets knocked down? Underwood got flagged for holding and also gave up the sack. It's not fair to Miller to have Underwood on Kawann Short.
1:03 The Buckeyes go three and out. They need a big punt to keep the field position from turning. It's muffed! But Wayne Gravesande recovers at the twelve-yard line. Two fumbles and a dropped pick have slipped by Ohio State today.
1:04 Michael Bennett just destroyed Ralph Bolden for a loss of three. He blasted him backwards right into John Simon's arms. Like tossing a convict into the Sarlacc.
1:07 The TV guys are complimenting Robert Marve, who just came in on this drive, but he's mainly just handing off. Compliment the offensive line for blasting holes.
1:08 OH! The pass is nearly picked by Ryan Shazier who read the quick pass perfectly, but it wouldn't have mattered because Marve got roughed by Johnathan Hankins. Absolutely foolish play by Big Hank. It's bad enough when you're not accepting Purdue's gifts, but you then can't give gifts of your own.
1:09 Screen flare to Shavers for 16 yards. This is horrific defense. Don't be surprised if this defense shows up on the season finale of 'American Horror Story'.
1:10 Tunnel screen to Siller down to the eight-yard line. He broke tackles and picked up 25 yards. He is a former quarterback who has taken entire seasons off from football. He just looked like Randy Moss back at Marshall right there.
1:12 Now Andrew Sweat is out with a head ding. I didn't think the tackling could get worse, but that will do it. Not sure why Purdue doesn't just run receiver screens all day.
1:13 Touchdown Bolden from seven yards out. Two more missed tackles, by the way. Wow. There's nothing else to say. Whatever they're doing in practice is wrong. Whatever book they're teaching out of is wrong. Whatever pregame tackling music they're listening to is wrong. Purdue leads it 17-7.
1:16 I'm getting used to it, Danny.
1:17 Not much time left in the quarter and Purdue gets the ball to start the second half. Blowout city coming? Herron gets two yards. Boom is slow to get up. He limps off. This might be the Buckeyes' worst day ever.
1:18 Third and three. Single back. Miller drops back and is sacked. Why am I watching this? Underwood gave up another sack. Purdue calls a timeout with 1:38 to play and will get the ball back. Are offensive line substitutions not allowed to be made on the fly? Do they have to be cleared by a committee? Does this committee then vote to allow it? And is this committee only available at halftime? There needs to be provisions in place for emergency committees.
1:23 Buckeyes stuff the Boilers on their first two downs and call timeouts both times. There's 1:10 to play. They could get the ball back with around thirty seconds or so, and they could do plenty with that. They need all of the opportunities they can get and I love that Luke Fickell is going after them. He's trying to break free from the bonds of Jim Bollman's offense.
1:25 Purdue's punt dies at the Ohio State 49-yard line with 16 seconds remaining. That's enough time to drop back once and get sacked.
1:26 Hey, Jack Mewhort is at right tackle. Props to the emergency committee for sitting down with the Ohio State coaching staff. Miller finds Devin Smith on the deep out for 14 yards with ten seconds to play.
1:28 This will be a 50-yard field goal attempt. This would be a huge kick to make it a seven-point game despite being dominated all over the field. Drew Basil has made twelve in a row...but this one goes wide right. Purdue leads it 17-7 at the half.
1:33 Has Mike Vrabel's addition to the staff brought about the poorest tackling football team we've seen around here in quite some time, or is it just coincidence?
1:35 Will be interesting to see the response in the second half. If Ohio State loses, then Luke Fickell's chances of keeping this job are gone. Terrible situation to try to manage, but the Big Ten is so bad that managing it wouldn't be unheard of.
1:49 “We can't sit on this game like we're hatching an egg.” – Danny Hope. Not a fan of Tresselball, is he?
1:50 Andrew Sweat is done today. And probably next week too.
1:51 The game is back on. Let's get this whoopin' over with. It feels like the game is already over, right? West Lafayette does that to you. Shavers gets stuffed on first down. The defensive line disagrees with me, obviously.
1:52 Purdue goes three and out? For reals? Isn't this an interesting development. The Buckeyes will have the wind now, and they've gotta use it.
1:53 Jordan Hall at wildcat. He busts through to the 32-yard line. Huge play right behind Corey Linsley. Squeaked through. Are they no huddling a wildcat? Yes they are! They run it again. Same play, same hole. Hall picks up four yards. Lather, rinse, repeat.
1:55 Carlos Hyde is in. They toss it left and he takes it down to the 20-yard line. There is a whole bunch of pep in a whole bunch of steps out there. Looks like Boom is okay, but they're going away from him at the moment.
1:55 Pistol. Speed option into a play action...leads to Miller scrambling for no gain. Can't get anybody open. I think he thinks the cutback is the better option because of the potential for big plays, and it has been there all year for him. But clearly Purdue is waiting for it, so he needs to just keep going forward.
1:59 Third and nine. QB draw. Miller has room and he makes a tremendous move down to the six-yard line. He even added a pump fake to his draw.
2:01 Speed option. There's the cutback and Miller scores. That's a huge answer. That's an answer that would require a second blue book during finals. We see once again why he likes the cutback. Purdue leads it 17-14.
2:05 Play-action...and the pass hits C.J. Barnett in the gut. This is the worst hands defense I've ever seen. They couldn't catch a cold if they ran a daycare for homeless children in Buffalo.
2:08 Third and five. They're going with the I-formation? Weird. TerBush rolls out and Shazier knocks the ball free, but it's recovered by Purdue. The Boilermakers will punt, but that's the third fumble the Buckeyes couldn't recover.
2:10 Ohio State has to jump on one of these fumbles, or catch one of the easy interceptions. Eventually that will happen at some point today, and it may just win the game.
2:15 Third and seven. Delay of game. That's bad, but it puts it back in Braxton's third and long wheelhouse.
2:15 Third and twelve. False start on Mike Adams. Okay, now we're getting excessive.
2:16 Third and seventeen. There's no way the ball is leaving the ground. Shotgun. Whoa, going deep...Spencer is open, but it's overthrown. Receivers are getting open downfield on this drive, but Miller can't get it to them. Just have to hit it once though. Buckeyes punt.
2:18 Quick completion, but Shazier rips it out, picks it up and returns it to the 31-yard line. The whistle hadn't blown, there was no knee down. This might actually stand. Nope, his knee was way down. This will be a first down for Purdue. The one fumble that Ohio State actually recovered wasn't even a fumble. That's the story of the day.
2:22 Third and three. Shazier comes around the edge and gets called for roughing the passer. Here's the replay...man, that's tough, but you just can't touch the guy after the ball is gone on third down.
2:28 Third and ten from the Ohio State 34-yard line. Travis Howard is out. Dominic Clarke is in. Nobody is open...now comes the pressure. TerBush scrambles and throws it out of bounds. No penalties? No penalties.
2:29 Wiggs has the leg for this, but with the wind blowing in the wrong direction, they are punting. Don't rough it. Ohio State calls a timeout. They're calling off the roughing the punter play. That's just great coaching.
2:32 The third quarter is now over. Purdue still leads it 17-14. The Buckeyes are backed up deep in their own territory. They need to get a couple of first downs just to get some punting room because they're going to be going against the wind. Field position could be gone if they don't do something to start the fourth quarter.
2:36 Third and seven. Braxton rolls out, throws deep to Evan Spencer, and it's incomplete. They've got one-on-one coverage with defensive backs and they simply cannot capitalize. There are plays there to make, but Miller just can't make them. Ohio State punts.
2:38 Marve is back in, which means he's somehow bringing in a rough and tumble running game with him. Bolden gets the ball and picks up thirteen yards. Ridiculous.
2:39 Have to hold them to a field goal on this drive. That's the only option.
2:40 Third and five. Marve looks deep and throws it out of bounds. That will leave Carson Wiggs with a 44-yard field goal. He's definitely got the leg, but his accuracy has been wonky this year. But not this time. He nails it. Purdue leads it 20-14. The Buckeyes will take that. They now know what they have to do.
2:45 Third and fifteen. Quarterback draw and there's a big hole. Braxton dives for the marker and picks up 17 yards. Amazing. The right side was vacated, so he occupied it. He put up a tent. Painted some poorly-worded signs. Didn't shower for a month. Made some more signs. Etc.
2:47 Hall picks up nothing on the first down wildcat carry. Always putting Braxton behind the eight ball. Gotta love the “Okay freshman, now go out there and save us from me” offense.
2:48 Third and ten with 9:21 to play. Shotgun. It's a screen, but Miller takes off and picks up eleven yards on his own. He didn't like what he saw and immediately ran opposite the play side and picked up the first down. I wonder if Braxton ever thinks it's okay to take off on first and second down.
2:49 Hyde fights for three yards. A gain on first down? That's just crazy enough to work!
2:52 Third and twelve. Miller throws incomplete to Chris Fields, who was open. The ball was terrible and short. Ben Buchanan's punt is fair caught at the 15-yard line with 7:50 to play.
2:54 Ralph Bolden has 80 yards rushing. If he makes it to 100, the Buckeyes lose.
2:56 Marve in to close it out. Throwback screen to Edison, who picks up four after ducking and dodging. Big Hank is down. This is the worst year ever. They're looking at his left knee. He gets up and limps off. I've never seen such a year with injuries and missed games for other various reasons. Every week it's something new.
3:00 Third and four. Purdue is going with the hurry up? Okay. There's a quick pass to O.J. Ross and Bradley Roby fights through a block and stops it all by himself to force a punt. That was an NFL play by Roby. Could be a game saver.
3:01 Jordan Hall returns the punt to the Ohio State 34-yard line. There's 6:15 to go. This will be Ohio State's last real possession, but they still have to hurry things in case they don't score here. Braxton hasn't exactly instilled belief in his ability to lead a no huddle two-minute offense down the field with his arm, so they'll want to make this one count.
3:04 Miller keeps it on the zone read and then finds Evan Spencer at the 30-yard line. Haven't seen that one this year. And we will never see it again.
3:04 Herron for three more up the middle with five minutes to play. At this point you sell out and burn this clock so as not to give Purdue a chance. This is the ball game on this drive.
3:06 Third and one. Boom is out. Hall is in? He gets the ball and it's gonna be very, very close. They're measuring. Got it by the length of the football. Jordan Hall is the master of the third and just enough.
3:11 Fourth and four from the Purdue 14-yard line with just over a minute to play. This is the ball game. They're not planning for anything else. Just have to get this one right. Hall is the tailback. Shotgun. Miller gets pressured, jumps over a downed blocker, looks...looks and throws it towards the endzone and finds Jordan Hall for the touchdown with 55 seconds to play!! Braxton Miller has done it again! The game is now tied 20-20. Here's the extra point...Holy [redacted]. It's blocked. Bruce Gaston gets in there. Amazing. The game is tied 20-20 with 55 seconds to play and Purdue has a big kicker and the wind. Anything from the 40-yard line and in is legit for him.
3:16 First and ten. Marve is going deep...and it's intercepted by Orhian Johnson!! Unbelievably foolish on Marve's part. There was no need to go downfield. There are 32 seconds to play. Take a knee and go to overtime.
3:17 Draw to Herron for three yards. Had his arm grabbed and probably should have been worried about the fumble. That will run the rest of the clock as Danny Hope chooses not to use anymore timeouts. Overtime. Exciting and new. The Buckeyes finally got a turnover when they needed it most.
3:21 Purdue wins the toss and will go on defense first. Mike Brewster looked defeated following the coin flip. That's concerning.
3:22 First and ten. Loss of one for Boom up the middle. Zach Boren has been neutralized today. But he can't block everybody.
3:22 Second and eleven. It's a rollout throwback screen, and Purdue read it perfectly. Miller gets sacked for a loss of six. There was nothing he could do. You can't take a sack there, but I'm not sure how he gets out of that mess legally.
3:23 Third and sixteen. Miller drops back and finds T.Y. Williams for 14 yards, but he can't break a tackle. Drew Basil comes in and hopes to get the ball up in the air this time. Left hash. Got it. 23-20 Ohio State. Their first lead of the game.
3:25 Marve stays in. I think the Buckeyes would like to see him sling the ball around.
3:27 Third and four from the 19-yard line. Marve scrambles for the first down and picks up six yards. Do the Buckeyes quit right here?
3:28 Second and seven. Empty set. Receiver screen to Siller and it loses five yards. Defended perfectly. John Simon was right there waiting. Now things get serious.
3:29 Third and twelve. Shotgun. Pressure...caught and out of bounds at the one-yard line by Gary Bush. Wow. A slow pressure and Marve didn't worry. To make matters worse, Penn State just lost. That was C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant on the coverage, and it was bad.
3:32 First and goal. They go with an empty set again. They're gonna sneak it. Marve gets it. Touchdown. Purdue wins 26-23 and their fans rush the field. They rush the field against the worst Ohio State team in November in over a decade. Danny Hope says get used to it, and even though this is nothing new, apparently the Boilermaker fans will never get used to it. I think Ohio State fans already are, though.
3:33 The game, and Ohio State's chances at playing for a Big Ten championship, are lost because of an extra point. How fitting. That's how close this team teeters on the edge of good and bad. It tells you how little room for error they have.
3:35 What a way to lose. Kickers are the types of people who show up to a great party and bring a terrible mixtape that they want everybody to hear. “It's Enya at her best,” they say.
3:38 Now the season is reduced to the Michigan game. Yes, Penn State is next week, and yes, there's a very good chance that the Buckeyes won't be able to score, but none of that matters. Only Michigan matters. This is a new feeling around the program. It's also an old feeling. It's just been a while since anybody has felt it. Remember all of those people over the last couple of years lamenting the boredom that comes from beating Michigan? Blame those idiots for what has happened this season. Obviously, it was time for some people to be given a reminder. Hopefully this will be a lesson to you—never stop hating Michigan. Never. Stop. Hating. Michigan. And Purdue. Especially since they're Ohio State's second-biggest rival now. (Sorry, Wisconsin.)
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