Outprepared. Outcoached. Outdisciplined. Outplayed.
If someone who didn’t know much about college football would have watched that game in West Lafayette, they would have assumed the Boilermakers were the No. 2-ranked team in the country, not Ohio State. The Buckeyes were embarrassed at Purdue Saturday night, painfully losing, 49-20.
Early in the game, Ohio State’s offense moved the ball but just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. Once they got the ball inside the 20-yard line, their offense was stagnant. Over the last two games, they have had seven trips to the red zone. They’ve scored just 12 points on those trips, including just six Saturday night. Penalties also didn’t help. When the offense was rolling in the first half, it seemed as though a penalty or two would always stall the drive. Both of those things come down to coaching as much (if not more) than it comes down to the players.
Purdue seemingly had the perfect gameplan offensively. It was to use true freshman Rondale Moore as much as possible. Their top playmaker, he either had the ball in his hands or used as a decoy in order to help the Boilermakers’ offense move the ball down the field. All season long, it’s been obvious that Moore is extremely talented and the main focus of Purdue’s offense. With a week to prepare for him, the Buckeyes seemed to have no answer to stop him. He finished the night 12 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He was unstoppable and Ohio State allowed him to be.
Coming into the game, there were some that believed Saturday night could be a trap game for Ohio State. It was their final game before a bye week. The Buckeyes could have looked past the Boilermakers. In addition to that, since 2000, they have a winning record at every Big Ten Stadium but one: Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium, where they are just 3-4 in the new millennium. That combination, along with being completely outcoached and outplayed, led to an embarrassing night for the Buckeyes.
Now it’s back to the drawing board. Although they are no longer undefeated, Ohio State could still make the Playoff if they win out, which would include winning the Big Ten Championship as well. Then again, unless something drastic changes over the next month or so, the Buckeyes don’t seem like a team that should be in the Top 4 at season’s end. You can never count out the Buckeyes, but something just seems different this season. The difference is definitely not a good thing. Maybe, just maybe, something will change during the bye week. That’s the only hope the Buckeyes have to achieve their biggest goal this season.