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Scarlet Saturdays: Ohio State vs Purdue Preview

Broadcast Info:

  • Ohio State (5-0) vs Purdue (2-3)

  • Saturday, October 14, Noon Kickoff

  • Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana

  • Peacock Network

What's at Stake?

The Buckeyes come off a win against Maryland last week, winning 37-17. Many would argue Ohio State did not look like the Buckeyes we are used to seeing and struggling to defeat Maryland. Ohio State will face another road test at Purdue. Purdue is not the high-power Purdue offense people are used to seeing. First-year head coach Ryan Walters, who was previously the Illinois defensive coordinator before coming to Purdue, brings a defensive mindset to the Boilermakers compared to what Boilermaker fans are used to seeing under Jeff Brohm who left to take the Louisville coaching job this past year. The Buckeyes are looking to find a run game against the Boilermakers after seeing a struggling offensive line against Maryland, knowing they have to establish the run game since they are playing Penn State next week. The weather is a factor as well on Saturday as it is predicted to be a rain/windy game for this match-up. If there was ever a game for the Buckeyes to establish the run game in, this week is the game with the weather playing a factor and Trevyon Henderson returning Saturday as well. Look for Ohio State to 'ground and pound' the football Saturday and establish the run game and the offensive line for when they play Penn State next week in the Shoe. Purdue as stated above is a defensive-minded team led by a defensive-minded head coach who knows Ohio State wants to establish a run game. This is an intriguing match-up for the Buckeyes and a lot at Stake when it comes to establishing the line of scrimmage for the future of the season.

Will the Silver Bullets keep attacking?

The Silver Bullet's defense is on another level right now and are winning football games because of the defense. What was said in the preseason was with a new QB and offensive line, if the Buckeyes want to win their big games (Notre Dame, Penn State, and TTUN) the defense has to take it to the next level, and they have. Saturday is no different for this reason even if it is Purdue. The Buckeyes enter the game only allowing 106 rushing yards each game. Purdue averages 141 rushing yards a game even with an experienced QB in Hudson Card. With the weather being a factor and Purdue knowing they are outmatched, with the new clock rule, I look for Purdue to want to control the game by establishing a rushing attack against the Buckeyes. The one thing Ohio State can do to match this is put Purdue behind the sticks early and make them throw the football on third-and-long situations. Look for the Buckeyes to win the line of scrimmage with their defensive line early and get the ball back in Kyle McCord's hands early to put the pressure on Purdue throughout the game.

Trevyon Henderson is back for Ohio State

Trevyon Henderson is expected to play this week after missing last week's game against Maryland for unknown reasons. Henderson was clearly missed for his homerun capabilities running the football and being able to bounce short-yard situations and turn them into long plays. This is nothing against Chip Trayanum or Miyan Williams but Henderson brings another dynamic threat that Ohio State needs on first and second downs throughout the games. Henderson saved the Buckeyes with his 66-yard touchdown run against Notre Dame and gave them the life needed when the Buckeyes needed it the most. Henderson currently has 44 carries for 295 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. The Buckeyes need a healthy Henderson/Trayanum/Williams rushing attack to beat Penn State and TTUN, look for Ohio State to try to rush for over 200 yards on Saturday and leave this game establishing the run game.

Who to Watch For?

  • Who plays in place of Emeka Egbuka? Carnell Tate or Jayden Ballard- it is expected that Emeka Egbuka will not suit up Saturday after suffering an injury against Maryland last week. I do not see Ohio State trying to throw the football a lot Saturday if the weather is bad and putting McCord in bad situations with the elements if they are controlling the line of scrimmage with the rushing game. If they are in situations where they have to throw the football all eyes are on Marvin Harrison Jr on Saturday with Emeka out. Julian Fleming is healthy and is ready to step in as well but who is the third? Ballard is a speed threat and has what it takes but Ohio State loves the freshman Carnell Tate. Look for one of the two to get targets if needed and step up.

  • Tommy Echenberg LB, Ohio State- Purdue will look to run the football and try to milk the clock as much as possible Saturday to keep the ball away from Ohio State. Tommy Echenberg is the heart and soul in the middle of the defense for the Buckeyes. Tommy has to have a huge game Saturday to get the stops needed for Ohio State in the run game and for the Buckeyes to rally behind him. After seeing the LB core struggle last week look for this group to step up this weekend and have a huge game.

  • Hudson Card, QB for Purdue- Hudson Card is a transfer QB from Texas who came to Purdue at the end of the 2022 season. Card is a game manager who can convert the big plays when needed for Purdue. Can he do it against the Buckeyes defense on third downs? That will be the biggest question of the day for the Boilermaker offense. Ohio State is known for struggling in Purdue, can Card carry out the magic and get the upset against the Buckeyes?

  • Boilermaker Defense- as stated above, the Buckeyes have struggled going to Purdue in recent memory with their last win coming at Purdue in 2013 under Urban Meyer. Their most recent loss in Purdue comes in 2018 under Coach Meyer I am sure every Buckeye fan remembers when Purdue beat Ohio State 49-20 in a huge upset win on the prime time stage. Can the Boilermaker defense get the stops on Ohio State's offense to keep the ball in their own offense's hand? This is the biggest question of the day. To keep the upset history that Ohio State has struggled in West Lafayette, this defense has to force a ton of three-and-outs and keep the ball in Purdue's hands.

Dawg's Best Bets:

The betting line currently stands at -19.5 for Ohio State to cover against Purdue. Weather plays a factor for this match-up as I currently would take Purdue to cover if Ohio State is forced to only run the ball against Purdue unable to throw Saturday.

The over/under for Saturday currently sits at 50.5. Again, asking for a lot of points in a potentially weather-concerning game. I would take the under on this as it currently stands.


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