No. 7 Ohio State (5-1) travels to West Lafayette, Indiana to face the Purdue Boilermakers (1-5) Saturday at 12:00PM in Ross-Ade Stadium.
Offensively, Purdue hasn't been terrible. They actually have a decent QB in Joey Elliot and a very good RB in Ralph Bolden, yet they are still 1-5.
The blame has to fall squarely on their lackluster defensive efforts.
Purdue's defense has given up nearly 400 yards per game (164 rush, 233 pass) and has allowed close to 30 points per contest.
Conversely, Ohio State's defense has been absolutely spectacular since week two, but at times, their offense has sputtered and looked rather anemic.
Coach Tressel and the staff have to make calls more conducive to Pryor's capabilities and subsequently, Pryor must make better, and faster decisions, and protect the ball, and play within himself.
Sometimes it is though he is trying to force a pass and is locked in on his receivers rather than tucking the ball and running.
Last season, Pryor seemed to be more willing to run. This season, he seems to be more focused on becoming a pocket passer, which is OK, but he cannot, and should not abandon the skills and abilities that got him here.
This Purdue defense, much like Toledo and Illinois, should be the cure for what ails the Buckeyes on offense. In fact, over the next three weeks they should be able to tune up the offense quite well. After Purdue, the Buckeyes will face Minnesota and New Mexico State.
TV: Big Ten Network
Ohio State-Purdue History and Tidbits:
• Ohio State leads the all-time head-to-head series (37-12-2).
• Ohio State is 16-4 vs. Purdue in the last 20 meetings (dating back to 1983).
• Ohio State is 7-3 vs. Purdue in the last 10 meetings in West Lafayette (dating back to 1984).
• Ohio State has won 16 consecutive Big Ten road games.
• The last Ohio State loss at Purdue was in 2004 by a score of 24-17 (That year, Purdue was 7-5 and Ohio State was 8-4).
• Jim Tressel is 5-1 overall (2-1 on the road) vs. Purdue, outscoring the Boilermakers 117-62, or by an average game score of 20-10.
• This is Danny Hope's first year as Purdue Head Coach.
• Purdue's last Big Ten title was in 2000 (Co-Champions with Michigan and Northwestern).
The Buckeye defense should focus on stopping RB Bolden first, but must also defend the play-action pass. I really do not expect stopping and containing Purdue to be much of a challenge.
The Buckeye offense should find little resistance moving the ball and scoring often.
I actually thought Purdue would have Indiana's W/L record and vice-versa, but I do believe the Boilermakers are better than their record, and probably better than Indiana, after seeing Virginia crush the Hoosiers last Saturday.
Final score prediction:
Ohio State 41, Purdue 10