The Buckeye Watch – Purdue
by Tony Gerdeman
How many style points is too many style points? The Buckeyes are putting that question to the test the last two weeks against Penn State and Purdue, and will now take a week off before the question gets asked a couple more times.
Braxton Miller sliced and diced in limited action, but was as effective as a three-hour ride in a blender. The Ohio State defense contained the Purdue offense like a bug in a jar, and they never bothered to add the breathing holes.
Things are trending very well for Ohio State football right now, which was always an inevitability. But that doesn't make it any less impressive.
11:15 Ohio State has never scored 60 or more points against consecutive Big Ten opponents. Will that change this week? I think it's up to Urban Meyer.
11:16 Purdue's Danny Etling is the third freshman quarterback the Buckeyes will face this year. Jared Goff was the first, and he threw for 371 yards. Christian Hackenberg was the second last week and he threw for 112 yards. Where will Etling end up? I'll go with the latter. No, not 112 yards – 12 yards. The latter of the latter.
11:19 Desmond Howard just picked Michigan. Gosh, I never would have seen that coming if I hadn't seen every other pick by Desmond when Michigan was playing in a big game.
11:33 I just saw a picture of the crowd at Purdue. There is nobody there, and what few people are there are dressed in Scarlet. The “Black Out” that Purdue wanted today has apparently turned into a “Stay Out”.
11:34 The good thing about the lack of a crowd at Purdue is that your odds of winning the 50/50 raffle will skyrocket.
11:45 Only three Big Ten players have rushed for 140 yards in three straight Big Ten games in the BCS era. Carlos Hyde is trying to become the fourth.
12:01 Looks like the Buckeyes won the toss because they're kicking. Fake reverse on the return and the Buckeyes don't buy it. Bradley Roby gets the tackle at the 18-yard line. There will be no shenanigans allowed today. It's a “No Shenanigans Saturday” in West Lafayette, which makes for boring evenings.
12:02 Play-action bootleg and it's intercepted by Doran Grant and he takes it back for six. That was easily read and easily scored. We were talking about Grant on the podcast, and that's why. He's been solid all year and he was more than solid right there. That will probably be Danny Etling's last pass of the season. Ohio State leads it 7-0. Sixteen different Buckeyes have now scored touchdowns this year. I predicted a total of 20, so I'm getting closer, but still not close enough.
12:08 Purdue goes three and out, and the punt is shanked out of bounds near the 50-yard line. In the college football play-calling handbook, this is where you go with a play-action to a deep post.
12:11 Play-action and Braxton Miller finds a wide open Jeff Heuerman 25 yards down the field and he ran in waiting to get hit for the final 15 yards, but never did. Ohio State leads it 14-0 and I haven't even established butt grooves yet. Looking at the replay, there was the deep post, but the lone defender covered the post and left Heuerman.
12:12 Urban Meyer and Tom Herman are always aware when they need to get players more involved after they were ignored the week before. That was a reward for Jeff Heuerman's tremendous blocking last week.
12:19 Wow, the Buckeyes just blew up a screen and Noah Spence got the sack because of it. You can't let a defensive line through, and then fail to make them pay for it. This looks like it's going to be a day where a defense pads some stats, provided they give up a few first downs, of course.
12:20 Third and 10. The Buckeyes are showing blitz. Here they come, and the screen gets blown up again, but this time it was because Ryan Shazier tackled the running back before he could even turn around to catch the pass. The ball falls incomplete and Purdue punts.
12:24 Whoa, Carlos Hyde was nearly tackled in the backfield for the first time this season. They'll call it no gain. That was a close one. Almost ruined my favorite stat of the season.
12:24 Hyde gets hit in the backfield again, but picks up six yards. I guess all a defense can hope for is to just get a helmet on him back there, because apparently tackling him just isn't allowed.
12:25 Third and four. Miller drops back and finds Heuerman in the slot. Wide open again. Fellas, he's only 6-foot-6, he shouldn't turn invisible when he leaves the line of scrimmage. And Purdue gets an additional 15-yard penalty for sideline interference.
12:17 Third and three. Miller drops back and fires it down the sideline to Ricardo Allen, who makes a diving interception. Glen Mason calls it a communication problem between Miller and Devin Smith. Whatever it was, Allen was waiting for it. Maybe this is the break that Purdue needs to not lose by a thousand.
12:30 Purdue goes three and out, as expected. But at least they delayed the inevitable for a minute or two.
12:32 Carlos Hyde gets the ball out of the pistol, breaks a tackle and then hurdles a dude to pick up 10 yards. He is so fun to watch right now. He's not just a pounding brute. He's an agile, pounding brute. Imagine if the Incredible Hulk was also a ninja.
12:33 Play-action down the seam to Heuerman for 34 yards or so. Right now, if you're not going to defend an Ohio State receiver, then Braxton Miller is going to find him. The passing game is clicking right now and Purdue can't stop the beat.
12:34 Second and three from the eight-yard line. I sure could use a Carlos Hyde touchdown or four for my fantasy team. Unfortunately, Miller keeps it and rolls out, finding Nick Vannett in the endzone. Now the coaches are rewarding Vannett for his blocking last week as well. Hey, Carlos Hyde blocked well last week too, you jerks! Buckeyes lead it 21-0.
12:35 Seventeen different Buckeyes have now scored touchdowns. That's the same number as the 2006 and 2010 teams.
12:37 Oh jeez, an untouched fumble by Brandon Cottom. Noah Spence recovers it because he had no choice. Please Purdue, stop hitting yourself.
12:38 Play-action fake to Dontre Wilson, and Miller finds Evan Spencer open at the one-yard line. The amount of problems that this offense causes is pretty ridiculous. Just the fake to a freshman speedster causes havoc for a defense.
12:39 First and goal. Please give it to Hyde here. Why not reward him for being my starting running back? Nope, Braxton rolls out, and rolls...and rolls, and then finally flips it to Philly Brown who comes uncovered in the endzone. Tremendous patience and improvisation. Tom Herman is trying to pad some stats for Miller now. What a great flip by Braxton, and nice job by Philly of staying alert through the entire play. Buckeyes lead it 28-0 with 2:10 to play in the first quarter.
12:47 We have reached the end of the first quarter. Braxton Miller is 10-12 passing for 149 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. His two incompletions have been a catch just out of bounds by Wilson and an interception. Nothing has touched the ground today. I called for Miller's first 300-yard passing day of his career, and I'm halfway there with three quarters to play. I'm still not confident.
12:51 Third and eight. Justin Sinz catches it on the tight end screen and Josh Perry is there for his second-consecutive tackle. He's played well today. This is the most I've ever noticed him I think. Purdue's punt lands in the endzone.
12:56 Corey Linsley is laughing in the huddle during an injury timeout. It's never a good sign for a defense when they show the opposing offensive line laughing amongst each other.
1:01 Third and eight. Miller drops back, finds a wide open Heuerman again. He's the ultimate outlet and he picks up another 17 yards or so, leaping over the first defender. How does “Jeff Flyerman” sound?
1:02 Heuerman now has five catches for 115 yards. When was the last time a Buckeye tight end had 100 yards receiving. Nineteen-Dickety-What?
1:02 Miller finds Evan Spencer down at the four-yard line. That was his second or third read. Miller is just in a zone. How do you stop this? This is crazy.
1:03 Miller now splits out wide as Kenny Guiton comes in. Miller has a huge smile on his face. Just run Carlos Hyde already! Guiton gets stopped for a gain of three. Good. Serves you right for trying to harm my well-being.
1:03 Guiton stays in. I will be sending a letter to the Big Ten offices about this. It's a jump pass to Chris Fields because all Chris Fields does is catch touchdowns. Once again Kenny Guiton finishes a drive for Braxton Miller and it ends in a touchdown. 35-0 Buckeyes.
1:04 What? Kenny Guiton finds Chris Fields for a touchdown against Purdue? The Buckeyes are partying like it's 2012 tonight.
1:08 Tyvis Powell with a big tackle for loss. For the first time this year, I think I just saw him do what I expect the star position to do every game.
1:09 Danny Etling gets sacked again. I think it was Noah Spence, but the BTN is too busy talking to Archie Griffin about the one time he didn't beat Michigan. They don't even care about this game right now. It's pretty crazy that they knew to schedule a filler interview in the second quarter.
1:11 Purdue goes three and out. Philly fields the punt on the bounce, breaks a tackle and he's gone. I called it! There's a flag though. Block in the back on Armani Reeves. Philly doesn't like it very much..Terrible call. Ruined my prediction that I prematurely bragged about. Don't worry, we'll leave this part out in editing.
1:14 Third and 10. Miller drops back, avoids the sack, and another, then throws it away. It's a great catch by a young Purdue fan in the stands. Purdue's best play of the day was made by a 10-year old (?) fan. Pretty telling.
1:19 Corner blitz by Bradley Roby, and he chased Etling all the way to the sideline on that one. Very “cheetah versus wounded gazelle” there.
1:19 Ryan Shazier blitzes, forcing a bad pass that was nearly intercepted by Curtis Grant, but he was busy nearly getting targeted by Tyvis Powell. Friendly fire nearly takes one out.
1:20 Michael Bennett throws Etling down on third down for a sack, and Etling is like, “This is such bullcrap.”
1:21 Punt. Running into the kicker. Too much joy for the Buckeyes. Was it roughing? Nope, just running into the kicker. They'll decline it because the Buckeyes are pinned with 3:16 to play.
1:22 Probably going to see lots of Carlos Hyde on this drive. They open in the pistol and Hyde trips himself up after a 21-yard gain. He's looking like he knows he needs to break one, because he's not going to get many more carries today.
1:22 Hyde again and he picks up nine yards leaping through the air. That dude is tough enough on the ground, but he's probably unstoppable in the air.
1:23 Hyde busts out again, and he's a bit tired or else he would have taken that one 63 yards for the touchdown. He wasn't moving very well on that carry, but he still picked up 42 yards.
1:24 Watching in standard definition and I can't tell if that's Carlos Hyde or Ezekiel Elliott in there, and that's a good thing. It's Elliott. Miller dumps it to him, and he's into the endzone after making a man miss. Wow, that kid has some moves. They're going to review it. He reached the ball out and it hit the ground and came loose. It's a touchdown. Ruling is confirmed. Buckeyes lead it 42-0.
1:25 It's pretty easy to see what Elliott is going to become here. The kid has a very bright future, and I don't think it affects him one bit.
1:30 Speaking of bright futures, Glen Mason just got a good look at Joey Bosa and said, “he's not gonna be a good one, he's gonna be a great one”. Impossible to argue with that assessment.
1:34 Etling is going to heave up a Hail Mary here, and it gets tipped into the endzone and falls incomplete. Meyer will not like that ball getting tipped like that and not knocked down. That might be the only thing this half that upsets him. Buckeyes lead it 42-0 at the break.
1:35 Braxton Miller is 19-23 for 233 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
1:36 OSU is leading in total offense 350 - 87. Jeff Heuerman has 29 more yards of total offense than Purdue.
1:41 So come out here to start the second half and get Braxton Miller his 67 yards passing needed for his first career 300-yard passing day, and then end the drive with a touchdown run for Hyde, because I need something here.
1:57 Kenny Guiton is out to start the second half. So much for yet another prediction that I have gotten wrong through no fault of my own. Carlos Hyde gets the carry and picks up 19 yards just like that. Hyde gets his 100 yards and now Ezekiel Elliott comes in for him. So Miller and Hyde are both done for the day?
1:58 Third and six. Guiton drops back, gets blitzed and takes off for a 25-yard gain. I can understand you wanting to blitz the backup quarterback, but Kenny Guiton isn't your normal backup quarterback. In fact, he would never be YOUR backup quarterback. He would certainly start in front of you.
2:00 First and goal from the four-yard line. Quarterback power, and Guiton goes in. Ridiculously easy. 49-0 Buckeyes. Urban Meyer and Tom Herman are trolling me today and it's freaking annoying.
2:04 Kickoff. Reverse to Mostert and he gets destroyed Ezekiel Elliott. Wow. Even Mike Vrabel is wanting to celebrate with Elliott after that special teams tackle.
2:10 Third and six. Ryan Shazier comes on the blitz and he throws Etling down for a big loss. You have to feel bad for Etling at this point, because he has no shot. Though I do admit that it would be interesting to have a camera isolated on the Etling family right now. Purdue punts.
2:16 Third and 15 from the seven-yard line. Guiton drops back, then takes off on the quarterback draw for 23 yards. Ohio State is trying to let Purdue stop them, and they just can't. This isn't running it up, it's just running it.
2:18 Split backs with Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott. Or as I call it, “Next Year's Formation”. Wilson goes in motion, Elliott gets the ball, dances, breaks two tackles and picks up 15 yards or so.
2:20 Third and three. Speed option pitch to Elliott and he is decleated by Austin Logan for a loss of five or six. Missed block by Dontre Wilson. The coaches won't like that one, but I think Wilson is angrier about it than they are. I bet Elliott was more bothered by it than anybody though.
2:21 Fourth and seven from the Purdue 26-yard line. The Buckeyes are going for it. It's an incompletion, and it would have come back anyway on an Elliott hold in the backfield. Consecutive instances of asking freshmen to make key blocks and you see what happens.
2:26 Third and 16 for Purdue. Etling drops back and Adolphus Washington is there for the sack and forced fumble. Josh Perry recovers it. Wait, they're calling it an incomplete pass. Etling was trying to throw it, but I'm not sure that he did. Urban Meyer should challenge this call and troll his haters even more. Ha! Ohio State is taking a timeout to let the officials review it.
2:28 There is no review. Purdue punts. Nothing fun ever happens anymore.
2:29 Split backs. Wilson carries it for four yards. There's a Buckeye down, looks like a lineman. Taylor Decker. The one starter OSU left in. The reason Decker is still in is because the coaches aren't confident in putting his backup in. Fortunately for all involved, he has a week off to get better. He gets helped off.
2:32 We have reached the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter should be a lot of Purdue punting and Cardale Jones running. Apologies in advance if I skip quite a bit of it.
2:41 Third and four. Another quarterback draw, and Guiton picks up nine yards. He got hit on the slide and didn't take kindly to it. Got up quickly and wanted to talk to somebody in a confrontational manner about it. Will Lucas hit him in the back with his helmet.
2:43 Second and goal from the one-yard line. Guiton powers in and drops the football on a Purdue defender who was laying on his back in the endzone. That's how you get payback. Buckeyes lead it 56-0 with a quarter to play.
2:49 There's a swing pass to a Purdue running back, and Steve Miller is somehow out there to bring him down for a loss. How is he out that wide? Mike Vrabel is psyched and jumping around.
2:50 Third and 11. It's nearly a pick six for Vonn Bell, but ends as an incompletion. Purdue's punt rolls dead at the 21-yard line. Cardale Jones is coming in, which is essentially death by a thousand QB runs.
3:03 Ohio State is back on defense. Chase Farris and Adolphus Washington on the sack. Farris is living a defensive lineman's dream today. He got to hit a QB in the face, and a few snaps later he gets a sack. Purdue punts. The BTN has done a great job of avoiding wide shots of the crowd today.
3:05 Let's call this ball game. If anything happens, I'll be sure to mention it in passing.
3:38 Purdue certainly shouldn't have scored today, so it's good that they didn't, because the Buckeye defense did exactly what they were supposed to do. Maybe the best thing, however, is that every area of this team seems dialed in right now. Jim Tressel said November was for contenders, but I don't think he ever had a saying for December. For the Buckeyes, this might be the first time ever when their December is more important than their November.
3:39 Of course, as long as November contains the Michigan Wolverines, it will always be plenty important.
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