Ohio State is heading to Purdue for the first time since 2018, and the Buckeyes are hoping that history does not repeat itself as the team looks to move to 6-0 on the season.
Here are Buckeye Sports Bulletin’s staff predictions for Ohio State’s noon kickoff at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium. Check back every Friday at 3 p.m. for the latest predictions heading into each game.
Patrick Engels: Motivated Buckeyes Ignore History, Cruise To Victory
There has been a lot of talk this week about Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium being a “house of horrors” for Ohio State historically, and that title is certainly deserving based on the program’s recent string of upset losses to the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind. But this is a brand new Ohio State team from the years prior — and a new Purdue team for that matter — so I’m not taking too much into that narrative. However, coach Ryan Day and his staff have almost certainly made this a key talking point throughout the week, so the Buckeyes should be extra motivated coming into tomorrow afternoon. These external factors could allow Ohio State to get off to a much quicker start than they did last week against Maryland, which will obviously give them a boost over an inferior Boilermakers team.
Like I said last week, I have full confidence in Ohio State’s defense at this point of the season, and that has only increased since last weekend’s performance against Taulia Tagovailoa and the then-undefeated Terrapins. Purdue’s offense — led by Texas transfer Hudson Card along with top wideouts Deion Burks and Tyrone Tracy Jr. — has shown some signs of life this season, scoring highlighted by their 44-point performance against Illinois on Sept. 30, but they have lacked consistency all year. They’re coming off a game against Iowa last week where they mustered up just 14 points and 291 yards, so the confidence may not be all there when they line up against a formidable Buckeyes’ secondary. I expect Knowles’ unit to continue to dominate this week, and I also think we will see another solid performance from a defensive line group that is generating more pressure each week.
As for the offense, the Kyle McCord-led Buckeyes have a favorable matchup this week when they line up against a Boilermakers’ defense that has given up 30 or more points to Fresno State, Syracuse and Wisconsin so far this year. This could give Ohio State a chance to get their running game back on track with a returning TreVeyon Henderson against a Boilermakers front that has relinquished 153.8 yards per game on the ground. If the Buckeyes can get their running game going, it will make life much easier for McCord and the passing game, which can allow him to thrive off of the play-action game and stretch the field down to superstar Marvin Harrison Jr. and — if healthy — Emeka Egbuka. I see this unit having a balanced scoring attack and asserting their will early and often. Combined with another stellar performance from the entire defensive unit, Ohio State should roll in this one and finally rid themselves of the bad “juju” that comes with traveling to Purdue. Ohio State 42, Purdue 13
Braden Moles: Nobody Will Be Happy With This One
With the exception of Ohio State’s 63-10 win over Western Kentucky, it’s been rare that Buckeye fans have indicated any degree of fun in watching the team this season, with slow starts, an inefficient offense and mind-numbing special teams making it a chore, at times, to watch the team get to 5-0.
Full disclosure: I don’t think there’s a chance that Purdue wins this one. This is the worst Boilermaker team in several years, and head coach Ryan Walters – despite his noted acumen as a defensive mind – has not had his defense up to snuff this season. Ohio State’s offense may take time to get into a rhythm, as it has in essentially every game this season, but I don’t doubt it will eventually overtake Purdue simply due to the talent disadvantage.
Ohio State’s defense will likely be what it has been – maybe an early touchdown drive allowed to the Boilermakers, but generally locking things down past this point. That has been Ohio State’s modus operandi all season – let the defense handle the brunt while the offense works things out. It’s not been pretty, but it has worked.
So all that being said, I think this ends up being a comfortable margin for Ohio State, but given the problems through the first five games – very few of which appear to have been solved coming out of the off week – I’m not sure that anybody will come out of this feeling better about next week’s home contest against Penn State. Ohio State 31, Purdue 14
Greg Wilson: Talks Of 2018 Repeat Squashed Early
The last time the Buckeyes were in West Lafayette, Purdue pulled off an upset for the ages, a game that took Ohio State out of playoff contention. All week that game has been brought up with the trip coming up. That game will be out of the minds of everyone by the end of the first quarter.
Against Maryland, the offense started extremely slow, being forced to punt on their first five drives (even if one of them didn’t work out), but Kyle McCord picked it up in the second half, finishing with 320 yards. That won’t be an issue this week against the Boilermakers. The offense is going to start hot and get out to a big lead early, never leaving a doubt that they would win.
Quarterback Hudson Card, a transfer from Texas, has the ability to come out and have a good game that could be a challenge for the Buckeyes defensively, but I think it will be easy for them to limit Card and his weapons.
This will be one of the games that the Buckeyes dominate in all aspects. Ohio State 49, Purdue 9.