Ross-Aide stadium has been a house of horrors for the Buckeyes in recent years, but it was as friendly a home they could have found outside of Columbus today. Ohio State rode their momentum from the Penn State game last week straight through Purdue on their way to a 56-0 shutout victory and their 21st straight win dating back to last season. Braxton Miller led the way with a 19/23 passing day for 233 yards, 4 touchdowns and an interception. Danny Etling threw a pedestrian 11/25 for 72 yards and an interception in the biggest loss for the Boilermakers to a Buckeye team since the 49-0 victory in 2010 that was later vacated.
Carlos Hyde and Kenny Guiton both had solid days running the football. Hyde picked up 111 yards on only 8 carries, while Guiton gained 98 on 9. Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 5 catchs for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Five different Buckeyes caught touchdown passes today, including: Chris Fields, Nick Vannett, Corey Brown, and Ezekiel Elliott. For Purdue, Akeem Hunt gained 23 yards on 6 carries while Gary Bush caught 2 passes for 18 yards. As a team the Buckeyes outgained the Boilermakers 630-116 overall in offensive yardage – the second 600 yard game for Ohio State in a row.
The game started about as poorly for Purdue as they could imagine. Starting with the ball, they did manage to find some running room on the ground. But facing a 2nd and five, Danny Etling tossed the ball straight into the arms of a waiting Doran Grant. Grant returned the ball 33 yards for the first touchdown of the game 57 seconds into the game. Purdue followed that drive with a three and out stopped less than a yard short of the goalline.
Things didn’t go much better for Purdue when OSU had the ball, not that you would expect them to. The Buckeyes opened with the exact same gameplan they opened with last week. The first play was a WR screen on the outside to soften up the interior of the Purdue defense. That was followed by a pass over the middle to the left side where Purdue’s defense had left a massive gap. Jeff Heuerman was the recipient of the gift of a wide open field when the safety bit on the wrong receiver. Heuerman had no trouble taking the pass 40 yards into the endzone to give the Buckeyes a two score lead.
It took their third drive for the Boilermakers to get things unbottled. A handful of good short passes intermixed with solid runs helped to keep the defense honest and the Boilers moving. Noah Spence nearly single-handedly killed what was looking like a promising drive when he charged into the backfield and hammered Etling for a sack and an eight yard loss. Purdue was forced to punt a play later after an Etling pass was batted down under pressure.
After rolling the overmatched FAMU Rattlers last week, things get a bit tougher this Saturday night as Ohio State hosts B1G/Leaders leader Wisconsin in an 8:00 PM game. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) look to move into 1st place in the Leaders Division by shutting down the Badgers (3-1, 1-0).
First year Badgers Head Coach Gary Andersen was defensive line coach at Utah in 2004, Urban Meyer’s last year as Utah head coach, so there is familiarity between the two gentlemen. After a 4 year stint as Utah State’s head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez hired Andersen to replace the departed Bret Bielema, who was banished to coach at Arkansas.
I’m going to gloss over most of the season-to-date statistics for both teams because I don’t think those numbers are relevant for this game. Wisconsin’s wins and “numbers’ were racked up against University of Massachusetts (MAC) who has won 1 of its last 16 games, FCS school Tennessee Tech (2-2) and a not very good Purdue team. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s schedule is pretty similar.
Here are two tables that summarize both teams’ offensive and defensive performances so far this season. As I mentioned above, with both teams having sketchy schedules, use these numbers more for a general indication of performance. The first table, is relative offensive performances comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Yep, a lot of yards and points against so-so competition.
Here’s the defensive comparison; it’s looks similar.
Now that we really know that Wisconsin and Ohio State took care of their early season opponents, we move on to the game at hand.
For the first time since 2008, the Ohio State Buckeyes welcomed an FCS school into the confines of Ohio Stadium. Not surprisingly, Florida A&M was in no position to handle the Buckeyes and fell 76-0 in a game that was over by the end of the first quarter. Kenny Guiton again had an excellent game throwing the football, completing 24 of 34 passes for 215 yards and 6 touchdowns with only a single interception. Damien Fleming was solid but not spectacular for the Rattlers, going 10/16 for 30 yards and a pick.
The Buckeye Running game was spread around fairly evenly among 8 different backs, all who gained 364 yards on 42 carries. The sole exception was Ezekiel Elliott who got the balance of the yards in the second half and wracked up 162 yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries. The passing game was similarly distributed with 5 different receivers catching touchdown passes, and 10 catching passes. The receivers picked up 215 yards on 24 receptions, including 6 receptions for 70 yards for the tight ends. All of the passing yards came in the first half, as OSU stuck to the running game in the second.
Florida A&M was chosen for rather unusual reasons. While the Buckeyes have never shown a hesitation to play an FCS school (recall Youngstown State), but typically OSU has done it to spread the money around to other schools in the state. FAMU was asked to play a game at Ohio State so that they could show of their famous marching band – the Marching 100. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the band was suspended and not allowed to travel to Columbus.
Kenny Guiton earned the second start of his career, with Braxton Miller still recovering from his MCL sprain sustained against San Diego State. After FAMU shanked a punt following a three and out on their first drive, the Bucks had excellent field position with which to work. Guiton came out and threw 4 straight passes, getting the Buckeyes to the two yard line, and throwing an interception in the endzone. Thankfully for the OSU offense, the Rattler defender made a poor decision by running the football out of the endzone in the midst of traffic and fumbled away the turnover. Jordan Hall plowed the ball into the endzone on the resulting play for the first score of the game.
After the pummeling that the Aztecs took, let’s see how many of our wishes came true:
We’re lucky to have several staffers who have either gameday assignments at Ohio Stadium or season tickets. After each home game, we’ll get you some quick thoughts “from the cheap seats”.
As I awoke around 3:30am Saturday morning, my excitement for what the day held overtook my desire and need to go back to sleep. It would be three short hours until I’d begin my two hour journey south to Columbus. As I arrived in Columbus with my family and friends and plotted our route from the Ackerman lots to our traditional stop at Conrads for our game day “beat Buffalo” buttons and then on to the Skull Session, I found myself with a sense of joy and giddiness knowing the 2013 Buckeye season was less than three hours away.
We took our seats at St John’s Arena and begin our annual bet of who’s going to speak before Urban at the Skull Session. The guesses ranged from Jordan Hall to Corey Linsley to Christian Bryant. We were all wrong as Garret Goebel grabbed the mike and began to get the crowd ready. As he handed the mike to Urban after speaking, I thought to myself, will he tie in something regarding “the journey” of which he spoke of many times last year. He didn’t disappoint ending by talking about “a new journey begins today”!
We made our way over to The Shoe, on to Buckeye Grove and back around to enter in the rotunda. The crowd seemed excited and the music was booming from the loud speakers. We made the long winding climb up to C-deck level and then what seemed to be the even longer climb to our row 36 seats in 10C. We were shortly joined by many Buckeye fans and much to our joy, a row of Buffalo fans topped off by a gentleman who claimed to have played for Buffalo donning a Michigan hat. As kickoff grew closer, fans chatted about great expectations and the excitement of seeing players like Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliot, and Joey Bosa as well as the improved passing of Braxton Miller. The Bulls fans joked of cheering for settle things such as getting the play off on time, completed passes, and holding Buckeye plays to under 7 yards an attempt. Little did we know what was about to ensue. As pregame festivities began, we were treated to a double script Ohio by The Best Damn Band In The Land. Read More
This season, we’re trying to get you twice as much information as usual, with a Tuesday SBP following Monday’s presser and one just before gameday. Let’s go Bucks!!
Heisenberg’s words to Hank ring true for the remaining seven episodes, they also should sound as a warning for the rest of the B1G. There are still a lot of question marks on the Ohio State team as camp progresses… and if you don’t truly know who the Buckeyes are and what they are capable of, well…
(You know, at some point I’ll probably write an SBP without a Breaking Bad reference… but today ain’t that day. Here’s your soundtrack.)
Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.
Absent- Donovan Munger has missed most of camp thus far with some academic issues, and now has a medical (blood clot?) that will see him redshirting for this season. Najee Murray was also not present today, having been suspended for the team for at least the duration of training camp for a violation of team rules. Lots of speculation on this one, but at this point it’s only speculation.