Don’t turn the ball over.
I think we can all remember what happened the last time we traveled to West Lafayette with a young QB under center and struggled holding onto the ball.
Unfortunately, in order to facilitate no turnovers, it is a strong possibility that we are going to see an offensive game plan straight out of the 1950s.
Fans hoping to see Braxton Miller light it up through the air are going to be largely disappointed once again.
Establish the run.
With Jim Bollman as the offensive coordinator and his well established failures to form a simplified and coherent passing attack based off the strengths of the run game, running the ball is the key to every game until he is fired.
There is nothing wrong with running the ball to win, but being so mind-numbingly one dimensional about it is still frustrating as hell and I can’t help griping about it one more time.
The good news is that Purdue has given up 364 and 339 yards rushing the past two weeks, so there is hope that even without a passing game, the Buckeyes can still find some success on the ground.
Antonio Underwood successfully replacing J.B. Shugarts at RT.
It is likely that Underwood will be starting in his first game at RT against Purdue. As a true freshman, that is an area for concern, particularly in pass protection.
The good news is that we weren’t going to pass it very much in the first place- no matter who is starting along the offensive line.
Still, this is clearly something to keep an eye on, and who knows, if Underwood does well, this could even be a positive development for the future.
Wake up for the noon kickoff.
Based on post game interviews after Indiana, it was no secret that the Buckeyes struggled to get fired up for the noon kickoff time (there were obviously other factors at play as well).
Against the quick-hitting spread offense that the Buckeyes need to stop, coming out flat will be devastating.
Figure out how to cover the flats and the middle of the field simultaneously.
The linebackers are a step slow in space, Tyler Moeller has underperformed, and the safeties have been hit or miss.
All of these things leave the Buckeyes vulnerable against a team that quickly gets the ball into space through a spread attack.
Indiana demonstrated the blue print for success against the Buckeyes last week and Purdue will try to duplicate their success.
Covering the flats without leaving gaping holes in the middle of the defense will be a huge challenge for the staff and players to figure out this week, especially given the weaknesses I mentioned above.
This has been a focus for the team and something that Coach Fickell has talked about all week.
Winning the turnover battle will make this road trip a lot easier; Coach Fickell obviously recognizes this.
There are some things to be confident about heading into this game; namely that Purdue seems to be soft against the run- which is Ohio State’s entire offense.
There are a lot of other things to make you nervous about this game.
With such a young team, it is hard to know what to expect from week to week. Playing on the road compounds the uncertainty significantly.
As a fan, you just hope that the team does enough to get the W, get better, and get to next week.
A decisive and dominating win would be nice as well, but that would be more of a pleasant surprise at this point.