They often say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. With that being said, let's preview this week's opponent: the Purdue Boilermakers.
Coach Jeff Brohm is on the Right Track
Brohm took the head coaching job at Purdue after leading his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to four straight bowl games with a 30-10 record. He finished his first season at Purdue with a 7-6 record, giving the Boilermakers their first winning season since 2011. Saturday will be his first matchup against the Buckeyes.
As a former quarterback for the Louisville Cardinals and a number of NFL teams, Brohm knows the position. His up-tempo offensive scheme focuses on stretching the field and attacking the perimeter.
The History of the Boilermakers, Condensed
Purdue started playing football in 1887. A founding member of the Big Ten, the Boilermakers have had a rich history at the quarterback position. With Drew Brees, Curtis Painter, Mark Herrmann, and Kyle Orton, Purdue's quarterbacks hold four of the top ten spots on the career passing yards mantle.
The black-and-gold last won a conference championship in 2000 with Drew Brees. While Purdue has struggled in recent years, the program has remained one of the most historic in the nation, amassing over 600 wins in its century-long history.
Purdue's Offense is the Best the Bucks Have Seen
Purdue's history is rooted in passing the ball and nothing has changed this year. With David Blough at the helm, the offense is in the top ten in both total offense and passing yards. Blough threw for over 500 yards in a Week Three matchup against Missouri where they lost 40-37.
Rondale Moore, a 5-foot-9 true freshman receiver, is electrifying with the ball. With over 100 receiving yards in four games this season, the speedster has the potential to tear any defense apart.
Moore has 558 receiving yards and 139 rushing yards this season to pair with six total touchdowns. The back seven will have their hands full on Saturday night.
But Their Defense Leaves Something to Be Desired
The Purdue defense is nothing fantastic (414.3 yards allowed per game), but still poses a threat to the Buckeyes. Keep an eye on junior defensive back Jacob Thieneman, who leads the team in tackles with 45. The former walk-on is now a captain for the team and excels as a run-stopping safety.
The defense is most vulnerable through the air, coming in at No. 106 in passing yards allowed per game.
Brohm has the Train Moving Now
After losing three games to start the season by an average margin of fewer than three points, Purdue has gone on a three-game win streak. Quarterback David Blough has thrown for over 1,000 yards over their win streak and the Boilermakers have won by an average margin of more than 23 points.
Purdue. Big Brohm believer, and team absolutely killed itself with bad penalties late in first three games, all close losses. https://t.co/sEjYSWMfnd— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) October 16, 2018
Much like Ohio State, Purdue has relied on the play of its quarterback to hide its poor running game and bad defensive play. Hopefully the Buckeyes can right the ship and begin clicking on all cylinders in West Lafayette.