Ohio State hadn't been expected to struggle with Purdue on Saturday, and the Buckeyes most certainly did not. They pretty much removed all doubt from the contest in the first quarter on the way to a 28-0 lead that would balloon to a 56-0 final score.
The win kept Ohio State undefeated and therefore in the national championship hunt, but as has been the case since the first BCS standings were released, the Buckeyes are going to need help to get into the title game. Over at Ohio State blog Land-Grant Holy Land, Ted Glover came away from the Purdue win with the sense that the Buckeyes are capable of beating anybody this year.
Buy: Ohio State can play with, and beat, anyone. Whatever Luke Fickell and the defense have been doing the last couple of weeks, don't change. The defense has been playing with their hair on fire, and dictating the tempo of the game on that side of the ball. I love the new aggression, and whatever it is they changed, it worked.
They did look the part against Purdue, rolling up more than 600 yards of offense while limiting the Boilermakers to a mere 116 total yards. Braxton Miller was particularly outstanding, and he had a little magic in him this day:
The Buckeyes inched closer to the Big Ten title game with the win, and with Illinois and Indiana on their remaining schedule, it doesn't appear anyone in the Leaders Division is going to be able to overtake them.
For Purdue, the game represented just a little more misery in what has already been a long season. Travis Miller of Purdue blog Hammer and Rails discussed the state of the team in the aftermath of the blowout loss. The overall assessment ... is not pretty:
On offense, saying Purdue did diddle-squat would be generous. In fact, if they had done diddle-squat it would have meant they had done something. Purdue had a pathetic 116 yards of total offense and Etling was sacked six times. The Boilers have not been in the red zone since September 28 and has a grand total of 17 points in 16 quarters of Big Ten play. Purdue also became the first Big Ten team to be shut out in consecutive games since the historically inept Northwestern team in 1981.
I really don't know what else can be done at this point. Many of the same players that were more than competitive against Ohio State last year are back, but it looks as if the Boilers have only a handful of players that even belong on a college football field. I cover a lot of high school football games, usually 10 per year, and I am not seeing receivers as open as Purdue allows. The offense can't open a hole, can't protect the quarterback, and poor Etling is running for his life sometimes as soon as the snap arrives.
The loss was Purdue's sixth in a row, and while the team has been reasonably competitive against a couple of FBS opponents this season, for the most part, their games have more closely resembled what the Boilermakers endured on Saturday. All hope for a bowl is now lost, but on the bright side, Purdue's schedule does lighten a bit over the final month.
Here are the highlights from OSU's victory:
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