The Buckeyes are traveling to West Lafayette this weekend, and you can bet that all of us here are fervently wishing to not see a repeat of two years ago. What other things are we looking for?
Continue to pound the ball. We have been very successful in the run game especially with Boom Herron and Braxton Miller. Like to see us continue that. I continue to worry what would happen if a team were able to stop the run and we had to pass to win.
Three and outs. The defense couldn’t get off the field against Indiana. They did a great job, taking the 4 or 5 yds that our defense was giving them each time and moving the ball slowly down the field. I want to see the defense get off the field this weekend and get the ball back to our offense in positive field position.
A win. They haven’t been pretty but it is much better after a win to discuss the team than after a loss.
A Penn State loss to Nebraska. Ed. – Because we need one anyway.
Inspired performance. Last week’s game was less than inspiring. For the first time, the defense couldn’t uphold their end of the bargain, and the offense had to win the game for them. Admittedly, it’s nice that we’ve seen the offense do that now, but it was only against Indiana. OSU needs to play a lot harder to beat Purdue at home.
Five sacks from the defensive line. They’ve been getting after it recently, and it would be nice to see them mauling Purdue’s O-line. Five may be a lot for this unit, but it will take great coverage to get it done too.
Boom Herron for 200. I seriously want to see this happen this year. Herron has been proving every single day just how good of a running back he really is. Just think, if he hadn’t been suspended for 6 games, he might have 1200+ yards already this season.
Carlos Hyde for another 100. I asked for it last week, and I want it again this week. Let’s get Hyde going strong at the tail end of this year going into next. He might be our #1 back next season.
Braxton Miller completes 10+ passes. Ridiculous, but I’d love to see us get the ball off enough to actually do this.
More Carlos Hyde. He may have had some ups and downs off the field this season, but if he hasn’t earned playing time with his performance on the field, I don’t know who has.
Boom Herron. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite Buckeyes, and only a player of his caliber could keep a charging Carlos Hyde from the starting lineup. A one-two punch of Boom and Hyde will be a lot of fun to watch.
Hall in the return game. If my first two are going to come true, that means a reduced role for Jordan Hall in the running game. He may still be nursing an injury, but if he is ready to go let’s see him make an impact on special teams and bring a return unit that has been relatively quiet back to life.
Focus, Both Sides. Wisconsin was a game where both the offense and defense were able to fire on all cylinders- should it take two weeks of prep and a night match up to make that happen? This is a coaching opportunity- how can the team learn from the flat play against the Hoosiers and rebound against a better Purdue team.
Defensive Score. Still nothing on the scoreboard for the “Silver Bullets”. Purdue will give Ohio State opportunities for interceptions; can they get them and make points happen.
Breaking The Hope Jinx. Ohio State has not (officially) won against the Boilers since Hope took over, including something that happened two years ago that I can’t remember (hole in my memory or something). West Lafayette is a difficult place to play, for some reason… this is a crucial match up.
Diversity. I’m a big fan of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but… let’s mix things up a bit, huh? Boom and Carlos are playing amazingly, and Brax’s feet add a component to the game, but if we aren’t able to make the secondary respect the offense, there’s no way we beat Purdue (let alone win out).
No False Starts. We accomplished that this past week, but it cost us Shugarts- and he brings more to the table than the 5 yarders he too often is responsible for. Will his foot make him more anxious to jump the snap count? Or will his replacement be able to play his role without costing the Bucks 5 yards.
Coverage. I know we have young safeties and corners. But I would like one QB to not look like Aaron Rodgers against the Buckeyes. Shut down the passing game.
Three more 100 yard rushers. The scarlet and gray aren’t going to throw that much, so I’d like more of last week’s rushing attack.
Inspired play. Purdue isn’t fantastic, but they always play the Buckeyes tough at Ross-Ade Stadium. If Ohio State comes out flat, it could be a long day.
A win. If last week in the B1G proved anything, it’s that nothing is a given this season. Can’t think a W against the Boilers is a given.
Boom in the Top Ten. I’d love to see Boom Herron get into the top 10 rushers of all-time in Ohio State history. 41 yards will do that.
Two TD Burner. Not only does getting Jake Stoneburner involved in the offense make Braxton Miller more comfortable, but it ties the tight end with all time touchdown receptions.
Force Two Turnovers. The Boilermakers have only turned over the football via fumble twice this season on offense. In order to make the game out of hand, the Silver Bullets have to got to get to the football and force mistakes.