Purdue-Ohio St wrap
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - There's an old baseball adage that says good pitching beats good hitting. The opposite is true in football.
Ohio State's defense hit Purdue like it hadn't been hit all year and the Boilers pitcher, Curtis Painter, never got anything going as a result.
Actually, that's not quite true. Painter led the Boilers on a lovely-parting-gift touchdown drive with less than two minutes to play. Even the way that drive finished was indicative of how the Boilers were over-matched physically. After a strange play where an apparent touchdown was negated because the ball was ruled dead when the ball-carriers helmet came off and flew into the endzone, the ball was placed two inches from the goal line. Instead of letting his 6'4", 223lb QB - who is, pound-for-pound, one of the strongest guys on the team - sneak the ball in, they called a play-action pass. It worked. Purdue scored to make the final 23-7.
Because of that drive, Painter ended up 31-60 for 268 yards, the one touchdown and no interceptions. Before that drive, he was 23-49 for 193 yards. Also, he could have been picked off six times. That's how many times an OSU defender had the ball in his hands, only to let it slip out.
Ohio St coach Jim Tressel noticed that Purdue was knock off-kilter. After the game, he said, "I think the way our defense hit them, it planted some seeds of doubt." It certainly did. Now, we all doubt whether Purdue is really any good.
The Buckeyes may find themselves ranked as high as #2 next week after USC lost. Cal and LSU were ranked ahead of them going into this week, but Cal didn't play and sometimes voters forget about teams on their off weeks.
Ohio St can't rest on its laurels though. The Buckeyes had problems offensively tonight. After scoring the first two times they touched the ball, they only managed three field goals after that and turned it over three times.
That won't dampen their excitement over this win though. It was an impressive defensive performance, and one that puts them right back where we are used to seeing them - in the national championship hunt.