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Ohio State was in the red zone five times against three-loss Purdue and came away with two field goals, and the Buckeyes' defense has allowed 35 plays of 25-plus yards this season - already five more than all of previous year.
As Purdue completed its stunning 49-20 win over previously undefeated No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday, jubilant Boilermakers fans streamed over the walls at Ross-Ade Stadium and formed a wild mob at the center of the field, creating a piercing din in the cold West Lafayette night.
The Dolphins valiantly attempted a come back, but that was officially put to rest after a missed field goal with almost no time remaining and no time outs left. We've never had this issue.
"We get a chance to be 8-1, that's the focus", Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said after the Purdue loss. Additionally - and yes, I'm getting ahead of myself - how much will Notre Dame's head-to-head win over MI on opening weekend matter if the Wolverines win out and win the Big Ten Championship game? The Wolverines are improving each week and doing what they couldn't do last season; winning big games. "We came in actually on a high note". It played poorly in the first half of wins against in and Minnesota.
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On offense, OSU rushed for just 3.0 yards per carry. "We did a nice job making their quarterback a little bit uncomfortable and with that the offense was able to score some points and maybe make them (Buckeyes) slightly panic just a bit". "Even at (Indiana) past year when they stormed the field, this was probably 10 times crazier". Now, think what you will about UCF's strength of schedule and supposed lack of competition, but you tell me if this sounds right.
The Buckeyes entered the game among the nation's leaders in allowing plays of 20 yards or longer and 30 yards or longer.
The Boilermakers gashed the Buckeye defense for 5.6 yards per rush, and another 378 yards through the air. "There's a bunch of things we have to get corrected".
"It's comforting knowing you have the best play-caller in the country on your sideline", Blough said of Brohm. Ohio State responded by quickly marching down the field helped by two 15-yard penalties against Purdue's defense before settling for a 24-yard field goal. (Ohio State also had lost earlier to Oklahoma.) It was the second straight year that the Big Ten champion was left out of the top four and a reminder that there's no guarantee in a system as subjective as the playoff.
"Our program is prided on our O-line and D-line", McLaurin said, "so for somebody to step up like that and say something at a time like this, it's necessary". They send us a book, pregame operations, the most detailed and finest I've ever seen. "If you don't come ready, this happens".