Johnson: Ohio State vs. Purdue Final Thoughts Heading Into The Game

Big Ten 2018 Midseason Awards And Bold Predictions

Johnson: Ohio State vs. Purdue Final Thoughts Heading Into The Game

BuckeyeWire

Johnson: Ohio State vs. Purdue Final Thoughts Heading Into The Game


Each week, we bring you some random thoughts before Ohio State takes the field. Here are some nuggets about this weekend’s important showdown with the Purdue Boilermakers.


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  • I know that many of you who follow this weekly piece are waiting for me to say that style points matter. That’s not the case against Purdue. If the Buckeyes get a “W” in this contest, the final margin of victory is irrelevant.
  • “Why’s that?”, you ask. Simply put: this game has upset special written all over it. The Buckeye defense — which has struggled recently — faces the 10th best offense in the nation. In addition, Ohio State is playing a road game against a confident opponent that’s posted three consecutive victories.
  • On other hand, it’s very hard to ignore that Purdue lost AT HOME to Eastern Michigan. While the Eagles have certainly improved under Chris Creighton’s watch, there’s no excuse for the Boilermakers to lose that game.
  • And, spare me the “that wasn’t a personal foul” argument. The Boilermakers could have won the game by scoring a TD on the previous drive. They didn’t, which is why they lost.
  • Ohio State must get after the quarterback in order to win this contest. Even with Nick Bosa’s departure, the Buckeye defense ranks fourth nationally in sacks. They’ll square off against a Boilermaker O-Line that’s allowing an average of two sacks per game.
  • On the other side of the ball, it’s imperative that Ohio State throw the ball effectively, especially early in the contest. Purdue is 3-0 when it limits QB’s to less than 60% completion percentage and 0-3 when it doesn’t. Given that Dwayne Haskins is a better QB than anyone that Purdue faced this year, I like OSU’s chances.
  • As with any tight contest, turnovers will likely decide the outcome. This metric favors the Buckeyes. Ohio State ranks 13th nationally in turnover margin (+1.00 per game) and 21st in total takeaways. On the flip side, Purdue is 0-2 this season when it failed to win the turnover battle.
  • Prediction: Make no mistake about it: Ohio State must bring its “A” game to beat Purdue. The Boilermakers have one of the most explosive offenses in the country and a defense that has a knack for making big plays. Expect for both offenses to move the ball at will for most of the evening. Thanks to the constant bombardment of pressure from Ohio State’s defensive line, the Buckeyes will come up with some timely turnovers in the second half, which will make the difference in this contest. Ohio State 31, Purdue 24.

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