2023 Ohio State University
It's been nearly five years since the Buckeyes travelled into West Lafayette for a battle against the Boilermakers, but in that time to Buckeye fan or Buckeye hater has forgotten what took place in 2018 when Purdue routed the undefeated Buckeyes 49-20. That night has haunted Ohio State for five years and now they get a chance to erase some of those bad memories this weekend as they travel into the Hoosier state for the third time this season. In fact they have played in Indiana so much this season that if they win they will have more wins in the state of Indiana than any other team, including the teams that call Indiana their home.
The Buckeyes and Boilermakers will be competing in just their fourth contest against one another in the last decade. Ohio State leads the recent series 2-1 and the all-time series 40-15-2. Coming into the weekend the Buckeyes are undefeated on the season following a tough home win against the always competitive Maryland Terrapins. Purdue however has not been so fortunate as they have lost four out of their first six games including a loss on the road in Iowa last weekend when they lost by six points to the Hawkeyes.
A big reason for Purdue's struggles this season has been a lack of production in the passing game even with the addition of talented transfer QB in Hudson Card who has yet to find a rhythm this season. Devin Mockobee, the standout running back for Purdue has been playing well in his sophomore season, but hasn't been able to produce huge numbers thanks to the lack of balance in the offense. They are averaging just 25.7 points per game which ranks in the bottom half of the nation. Their defense has also struggled to the tune of 28 points allowed per game, which once again ranks in the bottom half of all teams in college football.
Meanwhile the Buckeyes offense, which seems to thrive under pressure in the second halves of football games has managed to average 35 points per game, which has them ranked as a top-30 offense in college football even with some obvious struggles all season long with their first year quarterback and less than perfect offensive line. Defensively the Buckeyes are still ranked as the third best team allowing just 10.2 points per game despite their inability to put pressure on quarterbacks and get off the field on third down.
This weekend is the same as every weekend for Ohio State so far this year. So long as Kyle McCord and the offense can protect the football and play a clean game, while scoring their average amount of points, then the offense puts this game in the hands of the defense and so far this season when they have done that it has worked out tremendously. Mockobee is the key piece to Purdue's success in this game, if the defense can slow down his production and force the Boilermakers into throwing the football more often than they give themselves the best chance to win the game.
Ohio State's offense has been flat out terrible to start football games this season. The Buckeyes have just four first quarter touchdowns and zero through the last two weeks of the season. Hopefully they can figure this out at some point this year as it will be important later in the year, but it's doubtful they get the engines warmed up quickly in a tough environment in West Lafayette. However, the defense in first quarters has not had the same struggles as they have allowed just 17 points all season in the first. With a lack of production from both of these offense's it's likely a low scoring first. Send out Mr. Perfect, Jayden Fielding, for the field goal and give the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead after the first.
While the first half hasn't always looked the best for the Buckeyes, quarter two has produced 37% of the points scored by Ohio State this season. Look for Ryan Day to give McCord the green light to take deep shots earlier in this game then he did against Maryland and wait for this offense to explode with some big points. However, don't count out Purdue just yet. Even with their poor record they have not been dominated and blown out in any game yet this season. Look for them to find the endzone at least once in the first half, but give the Buckeyes the lead going into the break 24-7.
Out of the break teams over the last two weeks have been able to make the adjustments and find the endzone. Mockobee carries the load and takes his team into the endzone in quarter three. Quarter three hasn't been great for the Buckeyes this season, but after a strong second quarter with three touchdowns they should have more confidence on offense and keep the train rolling.
By the final quarter of the game, there should be little doubt as to who will win the football game. The Buckeyes have more than enough firepower on offense and defense to take care of business on the road and pick up their third road victory of the season, all coming in Indiana.
Score Prediction: 38-14 OSU wins
Betting Line: OSU -19.5 | O/U 49.5
It is not often that Ohio State has been able to dominate the Boilermakers and take home a three touchdown or more win on the road. In fact it has only happened eight times in their 22 games played in West Lafayette, Indiana. However, this is likely to be the ninth time. Ohio State may not be a complete team by any stretch of the imagination they have one of the best defenses' in the nation and they can't even sack a quarterback. That is impressive to be that good defensively that you can get away with a subpar pass rush in a game that has become so pass oriented. Take the spread and bet the over this weekend. Purdue hasn't had a defense this year that has shown it has the ability to stop their opponent from scoring and the Buckeyes figured out something on offense in the second half against Maryland last weekend.
How to Watch & Listen:
TV: 12:00 p.m. ET, Peacock
Radio: WBNS-FM/AM (97.1/1460)
- Paul Keels (Play-by-Play), Jim Lachey (Analysis), Matt Andrews (Sideline)