Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, November 1, 2013

2013 Ohio State @ Purdue: Exercise, & Exorcism, Are Buckeye Goals

Congratulations to Ohio State on winning its twentieth straight game, against a well-coached Penn State team, 63-14.  I believed Ohio State would win, but I certainly did not expect such a dominating victory.  For a team in need of an impressive victory in the eyes of the voters, Ohio State delivered with a strong statement to the national television audience.  On a side note - as someone who watched with complete dismay in 1994 as Penn State dismantled Ohio State 63-14, I found this to be deliciously delayed payback, as Ohio State put 63 points on Penn State.




Up next for Ohio State?  A trip to West Lafayette, Indiana, and a 12pm EST kickoff against the Purdue Boilermakers, televised by Big Ten Network.  While a casual Ohio State fan may look at Purdue and chalk this game up as an easy win, it will not take long for Coach Urban Meyer to get the Buckeyes focused upon what lies ahead.

Ohio State fans certainly can recall how the Buckeyes have lost the last two trips to West Lafayette, in 2011 and in 2009.  As a matter of fact, Ohio State lost at Purdue in 2004, as the Troy Smith era was just beginning, and who can forget how Ohio State pulled out this victory in 2002 to keep its national championship dreams alive?

To put it in perspective, Ohio State's last victory at Purdue was this 23-7 victory in 2007.  I am guessing Coach Meyer and the coaching staff will gladly take a comparable victory over Purdue.

Considering Halloween takes place a few days before, and how Ohio State has struggled in West Lafayette over the past several visits, an exorcism might be on the Ohio State coaching wish list.  Other items I will be watching?

  • Can Ohio State Come Out Strong Two Weeks In A Row? - Ohio State attacked Penn State at the onset of the game, taking a 28-0 lead before Penn State even knew what hit them.  Conversely, Ohio State struggled out of the game against Iowa the week before.  Can Ohio State maintain its aggressive style of play at Purdue?
  • Play The Backups Considerably - Holding a dominant lead in the third quarter allowed Coach Meyer and the coaching staff to play backups such as Kenny Guiton, Jordan Hall, and Ezekiel Elliott.  Above all else, I would hope to see the backup offensive line play the entire second half, if possible.  In 2014, Ohio State loses four starters along the offensive line; the Purdue game could be an excellent opportunity to get these players valuable game-time experience.
  • Rest The Starters For The Stretch Run - Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, Devin Smith, Noah Spence, Ryan Shazier, etc., are all playing well.  Once and if a commanding lead has been established, I am hoping the coaching staff gets the starters out of the game.  Not only am I concerned about getting the backups valuable game-time experience, I want to see the starters fresh for the remaining games @ Illinois, Indiana, and @ That Team Up North.   Avoiding injuries are key this time of the season, as Ohio State gears up for the final conference contests.
Ohio State has won twenty straight games.  To win twenty-one, exercising its starters and backups may allow the Ohio State coaching staff to exorcise the demons of games past at Purdue.



No comments: