Five Things: Purdue

By Chris Lauderback on October 21, 2012 at 3:00p

"Words can't even explain it. We've been grinding so much, working so hard. We've been going through everything together. These guys are my brothers. I would do anything for them. It was amazing to have a win like that, once in a lifetime." - Ryan Shazier

Kenny G made sweet music in the 'ShoeKenny G made sweet music in the 4th quarter and overtime

In one of the most bipolar performances you've ever seen, the Buckeyes somehow found themselves on the winning end of a 29-22 thriller yesterday afternoon in the 'Shoe. 

Needing to score a TD and convert a two-point conversion just to make it to overtime, Ohio State did exactly that led by backups Kenny Guiton and Chris Fields. 

Riding the emotional wave of Kenny G's TD march, the Buckeyes stormed into OT, quickly scoring on a one-yard Carlos Hyde plunge before the defense forced three incompletions in four tries from Caleb TerBush to complete the improbable comeback. 

Favored by 19.5 points coming in, it probably should've never come down to overtime but when you step back and look what they overcame to remain perfect on the year, a tip of the hat is indeed in order.

Seriously, how do you win a game when, collectively, you give up an 83-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, surrender a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (obvious holding aside), give up a safety, turn it over four times and lose your Heisman trophy candidate to injury down six points with 15 minutes to play?

After a roller coaster like that, I could write Ten Things but considering what I put my body through celebrating the comeback, I'll stick with an abbreviated five.

Ryan Damn Shazier

Despite being the team leader in tackles by a sizeable margin, the prevailing thought on Shazier is that while currently a very good player, he hadn't quite made the leap some envisioned through seven games of his sophomore season. 

Yesterday, in game eight, I thought he played by far the best game of his young career. 

Shazier was a force against the BoilersShazier was a man on a mission with 12 tackles and 1.5 TFL

The stats say he racked up a game-high 12 tackles including 1.5 for loss but to me, it was the manner in which he went about his business that has me thinking he might be ready to take the next step toward becoming the next great linebacker at Ohio State. 

After two weeks of listening to everyone bash this defense, ranging from the head coach to the media to the fans, Shazier played like he'd had enough of that talk. 

He came at every tackle with bad intentions yesterday but still just enough thought to make sure he wrapped up as he delivered another big hit. 

Shazier was particularly beastly in the 2nd quarter, playing a huge role in not allowing Purdue to expand on their 13-7 lead. He made three big plays on Purdue's ridiculous 19-play drive, ensuring the Boilers would not walk away with points. He put the wood to Akeem Hunt for -1 yard on a 2nd and 4 play and he destroyed Antavian Edison for no gain on 1st and goal from the seven before tipping a 3rd and goal throw from TerBush, allowing C.J. Barnett to intercept the ball in the end zone. 

Two possessions later, with Ohio State still down six late in the half, Shazier introduced himself to Ralph Bolden in the hole on a 1st down play and with the Boilers moving into field goal range, he and a host of Buckeyes stopped Akeem Shavers on a 3rd and 2 for barely a yard. The stop forced the Boilers to try a 52-yard field goal which they missed, keeping it a one-possession game going into half time. 

With all the other more showy happenings yesterday, I just wanted to do my part to make make sure Shazier's performance isn't lost in the shuffle. A truly inspired effort from #10 yesterday. 

Injuries Crushing Special Teams

It was another wild outing for the Buckeye special units. 

Hunt telling his teammate the refs missed an obvious holding callHunt's 100 yard KO Return made it 13-7 Boilers

There was a lot more bad news than good as the coverage teams have now lost no less than four starters. Already down Najee Murray, Armani Reeves and Jamie Wood due to various injuries, the Buckeyes lost another key contributor when Devan Bogard went down with what looked like a pretty serious knee injury. 

The kick off coverage unit, which has been pretty solid for the most part, gave up a 100-yard return yesterday, just seconds after Braxton had given the Buckeyes their first lead of the afternoon. There's no question the play should've been nullified by an obvious holding call but the fact Akeem Hunt was able to race the length of the field untouched is cause for concern. 

The punt coverage unit was also victimized, giving up a ballsy fake punt as Purdue punter Cody Webster rolled left for four yards on 4th and 1 from the Boiler 18-yard line. That drive would end with Barnett's pick in the end zone but what should've been a three and out for the defense became a 19-play drive.  

Another annoying aspect of the punt coverage yesterday was a little more nuanced. On two different occasions, the OSU gunners got down the field but did a poor job of getting as close to the return man's halo as possible. This wouldn't be a big deal except for the fact Josh Johnson was a little shaky on fielding punts. He put two on the ground but both times Devin Smith wasn't as close to Johnson as he could've been, enabling Johnson to easily recover his muffs. 

On the plus side of things, Big Hank did get his paw on a field goal try, a low 34-yard effort that woud've stretched Purdue's lead to 23-14 late in the 3rd quarter. Braxton got injured on the very next play so Hank's block got a little bit lost in Miller's wake but it was a huge play in the game. 

Chris Fields Sighting

Seemingly buried on the depth chart, Chris Fields came out of nowhere to have a huge impact on the stunning comeback victory. 

Urban talked about how Fields had been coming on in practice and I love how Meyer goes out of his way to reward kids for busting their ass in practice. Still, you have to actually do something when you get your shot and Fields made the most of it yesterday. 

Fields came into the Purdue game with zero receptions on the year. To put that into perspective, 12 of his teammates had caught at least one ball over the first seven games. 

His first two grabs came on Ohio State's second possession of the 2nd half, a crucial touchdown drive that put the Buckeyes back in front, 14-13, with 7:41 left in the quarter. Fields accounted for 42 of the 80 yards on the drive, hauling in a seven-yard pass from Miller to set up a manageable 3rd and 3 that Hyde converted to keep the drive alive. Four plays later, Miller found Fields for 35 yards all the way down to the Boiler two-yard line. Again, Hyde would finish things off scoring on a give between Marcus Hall and Reid Fragel. Simply a huge catch and run from Fields to set up the score. 

Of course, the play Fields will be most remembered for yesterday occurred in the final seconds of regulation. 

Looking at 1st and goal from the Purdue two-yard line, Fields ran a short out route and made a spectacular grab on a low and outside fastball from Guiton. Fields made a hell of an adjustment on the throw and cleanly got his arms just under the football as it beelined for the turf. Excellent concentration. To come through in a big moment like that, coming into the game without a catch? Impressive. 

Though the touchdown grab got all the headlines, it was his decision on the punt that set up the possession that might have been the biggest play of all. 

With about 50 ticks left on the clock, Webster got off a 48-yard punt. Fields made a great decision to grab the punt off the bounce at around the OSU 30, keeping the ball from likely rolling to around the OSU 20, plus he was able to find the sideline and pick up nine precious yards. His effort kept the Ohio State offense from setting up shop somewhere near their own 20, instead giving them possession at the OSU 39. The excellent field position gave Ohio State a much better chance to find the end zone with just :47 left.  

Props to Fields for stepping up. Obviously, Ohio State loses without his production and decision-making. 

#5 Finally Struggles

For the first time all season, the Buckeyes didn't rely on Braxton Miller to win the game. 

Ready. Set. Panic.Braxton was just starting to wake when he was injured

Not only did they not have him for the decisive 4th quarter and overtime but even when he was on the field, he looked a lot more like Braxton 2011 than what we've seen from him over the first seven games of 2012. 

Braxton was simply awful in the first half, completing just 6/15 through the air with 52 yards and a pick. He was ineffective on the ground as well, rushing seven times for four yards. His throws were all over the place, often overthrowing his targets on the deeper routes and behind his receivers on the shorter routes. He also attempted a couple throws on 3rd down that even if completed, had no shot to move the chains. 

With Miller struggling to get anything going, the Buckeyes totaled just 101 yards and six first downs in the opening half. The 2nd quarter was particularly bad as Miller's offense ran nine plays for a net of zero yards. 

After a three and out on Ohio State's first possession of the 2nd half, Braxton finally awoke leading an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. He hit 3/3 on the march, including a 19-yard gash to Philly and the noted 35-yarder to Fields. 

Two possessions later, with OSU down 20-14, he finally got loose with his feet, peeling off the 37-yard run that would end with the state of Ohio holding its collective breath. 

Miller's final numbers read 9/20 for 113 yards and a pick through the air with 12 carries for 47 yards. The combined 160 yards from Miller, against 342 for the entire team, meant Braxton failed to account for at least 50% of the offensive yards for the first time all season. 

Despite his struggles, the Buckeyes still found a way to win the game and that's something they can hopefully hang their hat on should the situation present itself at some point over the final four games. 


What an absolute clutch effort from Kenny Guiton. Watching him step up like that is just one of the many reasons we're all in love with college football. 

Obviously, he made some tremendous plays but I think what impressed me most about his outing was just how calm and controlled he was during the game-tying drive. 

He didn't get happy feet in the pocket or rush any throws despite the magnitude of the situation. His first pass of the possession was right on target to Devin Smith, allowing Smith to eat up 39 yards to the Purdue 22. 

On the next play, he let the routes develop as he rolled right before hitting Evan Spencer in stride for eight more yards to the Purdue 14. Now facing 2nd and 2, he smartly threw the ball away instead of trying to force the issue, setting up 3rd and 2. Hyde kept the drive going with a three-yard run and four plays later, he found Fields for six. 

The toughest throw might have been the two-point play just because Heuerman was so wide open with so much on the line. Recognizing how open Heuerman was, he lofted a tear drop and Heuerman cradled it to set off a wild celebration in the 'Shoe. 

Guiton finished 6/11 for 77 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He proved he knows the offense and can make some throws after his earlier appearances really only showcased his ability to run the read option. 

I know Urban loves this kid and that love might actually be surpassed by his teammates. The entire roster rallies around this kid and it's truly a great thing to watch. 

That said, I know Urban wants to give him chances to play but I hope that any talk of putting him out there with Braxton at the same time is officially dead. Urban simply can't risk injury to Guiton doing anything other than playing quarterback when you consider how susceptible Braxton is to injury. 

Here's to hoping Braxton stays healthy and that the Buckeyes can jump out early on Illinois in two weeks so Kenny can get another chance to shine, in a scenario of choice rather than necessity. 

He's certainly earned any bit of playing time he gets. 


Comments Show All Comments

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Considering the pounding Brax has taken to this point, I would not mind rolling KG out there to start the PSU game. It's going to be a grind it out, feed Hyde kind of game anyways.

larzdapunk's picture

The Kenny G picture should be the lead photo on all articles for the rest of the week. 

shellmac's picture

I think it should be this weeks game poster.

Live every day as if it where your last because some day...... you will be right.

spqr2008's picture

Once he graduates, this should be a shirt. (cause that way he can get paid for it)

buckeyedude's picture

Seriously? We had four turnovers, lost our starting QB, and still managed to win?  I wasn't counting, but didn't realize we had that many turnovers.
Also, have to add that I love me some Braxton, and I look forward to him getting back behind the center, whenever that is, but I love the touch that Kenny G shows when throwing to his receivers. Maybe Braxton could learn a thing or two about not RIPPING the ball 100mph when you're standing only 5 or 10 yards away from the receiver. Also, Braxton has to learn not to "lock in" on one receiver.



Buckeyeneer's picture

I didn't realize that we had that many but one was that junk interception at the end of the half, when we were just doing a Hail Mary. Easy to forget.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

hail2victors9's picture

I think there should be a designation in the stat sheet that the INT was a "throw it up for grabs with a couple of seconds left on the clock" type of intereception.  Denard's against Michigan state was with :01 left in the first half and all but identical to one against Notre Dame in the "What the hell, Denard?" game. 
It would be equivalent to the "defensive indifference" stolen base not counting toward a runners stats. 

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

zosima's picture

First turnover was the fumble Braxton recovered prone and eventually Short came in and ripped the ball away. Horrible call, but glad we eventually overcame that.

The two interceptions sounded worse than they were. One was Braxton's hail mary to end the half. The other was Guitons second to last drive. He did not seem to have anyone open so threw one up that ended up acting as a servicable punt.

I can't remember the final turnover.

daytonbuckeye's picture

Braxton had two fumbles.

3 85 yards and a cloud of dust.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

This post is a great example of why 11W is so great.
The level of content/analysis is at the same level as that produced by major sports media outlets - probably even higher because Chris "specializes" in Buckeye football.
At the same time, because it's a blog, this piece can also include the hilarious mock photo of Kenny G while telling the staight dope about the ridiculous officiating yesterday, e.g. the b.s. no (holding) call on the Purdue KO return TD.
11W = best of both worlds. 

buckeyedude's picture

the Braxton recovered fumble that he was laying on and didn't get a "review" even.



Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yes, and maybe 15 other shady calls or no-calls.
For example, the consistently helpful ball spotting for Purdue, especially in the 1H when the point spread was still in doubt. Several of these generous spots weren't necessarily for 1Ds. Rather, instead of being 3rd and 3, it would be like 3rd and 1.5 yard.
I should review the game video closely, but then I'd have to rewatch the first 3.9 quarters of fugly football (instead, this morning, I fast forwarded to the end of the game + OT).
But if anyone wants to call me a conspiracy theorist, I might be persuaded to make the case for the shaddiness of officiating in this game. I'll even try to be as objective as possible.      

Ill_Buckeye's picture

btw did you happen to see the mark may tweet that a lot of the 11w people put out on twitter yesterday after the game insinuating that the officiating was somehow biased FOR osu. 
It felt for almost the entire game it was murphys law x10 and shoddy officiating was a large portion of it

Run_Fido_Run's picture

May is May, but I don't know what other call he was referring to besides the Fields 2-yd TD.
This morning, when I was rewatching the game-tying last minute drive, I made a point to check for possible holding on the 39-yd completion to Smith that got the drive going, and I truthfully did not see a damn thing on that play. So, I immediately concluded that Hope/Purdue were f.o.s. butthurt and so did not bother check for holding on subsequent plays, but maybe someone else noticed any holds the Buckeyes OL got away with?  

JLP36's picture

Marcus Hall got away with a big take down - on Guiton's INTERCEPTION


buckeyepastor's picture

Probably about the last call.  The only comments that I heard from him about the game were to say on the last TD that Fields didn't catch it and they missed the call.  Never mind the fact that no one else anywhere was left with that impression.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Poison nuts's picture

Apparently, the reason for that tweet was that he thinks Fields TD was not a catch (which it most definitely was). Oh well - what can you do - dude just sucks & always will.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Becuase May is the only viewer in the universe who thinks that Fields did not catch the ball, maybe that points to the real reason for May's tweet: draw attention to himself?  

Poison nuts's picture

Yeah - I'm pretty sure that's why he says all the idiotic things he does which is why everyone that says we should all just ignore him are right...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

MediBuck's picture

Actually, Fido, it's because he wants to forever make the world forget about this:
and this:

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

buckeyedude's picture

No, no, no! You're not a conspiracy theorist. I commented that there were several really good spots for Purdue where the official moved the ball ahead after the PU player went down. At least two, maybe three yards. I wish the B1G officials and Jim Delany himself would review these games sometime and see what I see with my own eyes! Because, damnit, I know what I saw!



Buckforlife's picture

I would love to see Guitons reaction when he see's that photo.

No relation to OSUFORLIFE...

osubuckeye4life's picture

That Guiton photo is so full of win! 

TheHannimal's picture

Was Braxton hung over yesterday? Even before he got hurt he was pretty lethargic.

Phenomenal Kenny G pic.

Poison nuts's picture

My stepfather and I watch the games together and he kept saying the same thing...whether he was playing hurt, or just not quite awake yet, it just seemed like he wasn't all there. Right when he looked like he was going to come out of his slumber and start pulling off his special brand of magic - he got injured (by what seemed to be an obvious horse - collar btw) 
The good news is that he's OK & I'd be willing to bet he'll be very ready to play whenever he's next able...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

TBDBITL chic's picture

It seemed like the entire team (not just Braxton) was sleepwalking most of the game. Luckily they woke up in a spectacular fashion :)


MediBuck's picture

I was actually concerned that he was a little shaken up following that dirty late hit by Kawaan Short at the final play of the half. The refs didn't protect our players at all and missed a number of key calls where our boys could have been seriously injured.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Poison nuts's picture

First of all - really great write on observations of the key moments & players in this game. Now, for one reason or another, I am usually way too emotionally invested in OSU games, but I think many of us are the same in that way. The roller coaster ride we all went on yesterday was a thriller indeed with a ending fit for Hollywood. The lowest of lows was replaced by the highest of highs. It was a great win in so many ways...
While I have read all the concerns about this team on this site, and agree with some of that, I could not have asked for a better scenario than what unfolded. Last year, the Purdue loss sucked the wind out of my sails in a big way & started a terrible losing streak for OSU that ended in a painful loss in the Gator Bowl. I thought it was beautiful & fitting that the roles were nearly reversed in this years rematch with OSU coming away with the hard fought win in OT! Seeing Danny Hope go from elated to having his already gray mustache turn white within 50 seconds was all the reason I needed to be thrilled about this win...Finding out that this team is all heart - that they can handle all the adversity in the world, and that our backup QB is one bad man to be relied on in the most difficult of situations -- was really the icing on the cake.
Pardon my French here but I just can't help it...Go Motherf*cking Bucks!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Ill_Buckeye's picture

I feel this was a galvanizing win that is going to make this team so much stronger. This has been such a fun year.
..and man, 2013... Can't. Wait.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I said the exact same thing last night on another thread - these are the kind of games that make team come together and the confidence and mental toughness gains from this game will be large!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Max Power's picture

Watching Kenny Guiton play yesterday speaks volumes to Jim Bollman's incompetence. I wonder what would've happened if Joe Bauserman led that final drive. I still cannot comprehend how the Walrus started the worst d1 college qb EVER over Guiton

ralEbuckI's picture

I wonder if with how decimated the special teams unit is, if Urban gives any thought to letting Basil unload on kickoffs.  I realize the advantage it gives us at times, pinning the opposition inside the 15/20, but when balanced against playing backups who may be ripe to giving up big plays and what seems to be a play with a propensity for causing furhter injuries, it would make you at think for a moment whether it is worth it.  I defer to those with more knowledge than me (e.g. the coaches) but it may be worth a consideration, at least until some of those dinged up are back and running.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Good thought. Have an upvote.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

DefendYoungstown's picture

Mad props to whoever shopped the photo, that is a masterpiece!!!

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

grant87's picture

Pic of KG is awesome.  So was how he pulled out the win.  (2 thumbs way up!!)

Maybe tomorrow, when today will be yesterday things will be clearer.


Arizona_Buckeye's picture

That picture is EPIC!!!  I'll be laughing about that all week!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

D. Anthony's picture

I honestly thought that was a picture of Venus Williams!!!

D. Anthony

avail31678's picture

Great to hear all the positive comments about the Bucks.  Yes, they continue to be "ugly" at times, but this is a team with HEART.  I'll take heart and excitement any day.  I was helping someone put dry wall up during the game (and planned to watch on DVR later, assuming we'd win).  We kinda started watching the game instead of working...and after Guiton threw the INT with 2-ish left, I went back to work and assumed we lost.  Then one of the guys said "there's 28 seconds left!  and we're on the 15!"  Never in a million years would I have thought we'd have won.
Awesomeness.  Go Bucks.  Dream season continues.   

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I hate to say it, or maybe I don't actually, but this team and season is starting to remind me of the 2001 team.  Ugly ugly ugly wins, usually in the last minute, regardless of how much we were favored.  Saturday I kept thinking of Craig Krenzel's holy Buckeye at Purdue... that team had heart and I'm starting to see it in this team!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

BeijingBucks's picture

Reminded me more of Cincy for some reason... in a game that should not have been close

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

D-Day0043's picture

Kenny Guiton needs to grow his hair long and rock the Jerry-curl. That would be awesome.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

NYC Buckeye's picture

Yea I agree on the most impressive thing about Guiton being his poise...  I mean he reminded me of a seasoned veteran NFL QB who had been there/done that before...  
The command of the offense was more than impressive, the lack of (at least showing) any type of nerves, he looked like a guy who had been preparing for this exact situation all week and was completely expecting to enter the game at the start of the 4th with the team trailing...  can't ace a test any better...
I mean coming from the backup QB position specifically, being that prepared, calm and confident just speaks volumes about this kid... and best of all, he just looked like he was having a great time out there...  with his excitement for the game showing through, its real easy to see why hes the most popular guy on the team... he deserves all the recognition he is getting and more...
I can't believe he didn't get a shot last year... I'm actually kinda pissed at Fickell now that I sat in the stands during Miami and Nebraska road games and watched Joe Bausermann throw the ball 375 feet above receivers head and out the back of the stadium...

AngryWoody's picture

Speaking of Bauserman, here is an 11W classic:

Our Honor Defend!

buckeyedude's picture

Just wondering: Were the three green passes on the football field "completions?"



Run_Fido_Run's picture

Or, the green dots might represent cases when Bauserbomb hit the general target area (the grassy field thingy), while not quite hitting the bullseye (the receiver).  

MediBuck's picture

Checkdowns for a loss of yards.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

NYC Buckeye's picture

I will never forget this chart...  

AngryWoody's picture

This game was amazing. I was at work and the game was on in the break room. At the end I was pumping my fists in the air and yelling "THATS WHY I LOVE OHIO STATE!!! WINNERS!! IT'S ALL THEY DO!!!". My coworkers were looking at me a little funny but I didn't care. That was awesome.

Our Honor Defend!