Mental Miscues Fuel the Fire As Boilermakers Rout Ohio State in West Lafayette

By Chris Lauderback on October 21, 2018 at 12:05 am
Ohio State got beat fair and square by Purdue but the list of self-inflicted wounds was shocking.

After a week of hearing the trip to Purdue could be a trap game, the hope was that Urban Meyer's Buckeyes would be ready to play in another tough, primetime road environment. 

Instead, Meyer's squad looked completely unprepared and without focus as a host of mental errors combined with a hell of an effort from Purdue had the Buckeyes disjointed and running uphill all night as the Boilers routed Ohio State in West Lafayette.

Coming into the game ranked 110th nationally with 8.0 penalties per game, the Buckeyes recorded 10 flags for 86 yards against the Boilermakers with more than a few of them changing the course of a possession. 

The biggest gaffe of them all occurred when Davon Hamilton inexplicably flipped over a blocker and into Purdue's punter turning a defensive stop into a roughing the kicker call and a first down at Ohio State's 31 yard line after the Buckeyes had trimmed the Boilermaker's lead to 14-6 early in the third quarter. 

With Hamilton's penalty giving Purdue new life, it would score four plays later, taking a 21-6 lead. 

2018 YTD 8.3 119 75.9 118
2017 6.9 100 67.1 114
2016 6.3 69 50.6 50
2015 5.8 51 50.1 46
2014 5.6 52 47.4 45
2013 5.2 45 45.6 55
2012 7.0 99 64.5 107

The Buckeyes racked up eight flags in the first half and failed to score on all four possessions in which they earned at least one penalty. 

Ohio State's first possession of the game featured back-to-back penalties including a false start from tight end Rashod Berry who leads the team with seven flags on the season. The second possession saw right tackle Isaiah Prince, who had two penalties this week after three last week, commit a false start turning a 3rd-and-3 into a 3rd-and-8 which the Buckeyes failed to convert. 

The fourth possession featured another Prince false start on third down and a Michael Jordan hold before a punt. Finally, the fifth possession of the half resulted in a missed field goal and included a Berry hold. 

Besides Hamilton's roughing the kicker dagger, the defense joined the party in the second half as Dre'Mont Jones roughed the passer on a 3rd-and-11 incompletion that should've given Ohio State the ball back. 

The 10 penalties versus Purdue marked the fourth time in eight games that Ohio State reached the double-digit mark. In all of 2017, the Buckeyes had just two games with at least 10 penalties and that team still ended up ranking 100th nationally with 6.9 penalties per game. 

Other mental lapses including giving up a fake field goal on 4th-and-3 late in the second quarter paving the way for a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rondale Moore on the next snap giving Purdue a 14-3 lead. 

Finally, well "finally" as in I only feel like listing one other example, Johnnie Dixon letting a kickoff roll around at the 1-yard line before deciding to pick it up and nearly get tackled in the end zone was a microcosm of Ohio State's focus on the night.

Credit Purdue and its head coach Jeff Brohm for kicking Ohio State's ass but credit the Buckeyes for bending over and giving them a stationary target. 

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