Three Key Stats : Ineffective Rushing Attack, Floundering Defense, and Red Zone Incompetency Doom Buckeyes in 49-20 Loss to Purdue

By Max Melnik on October 21, 2018 at 8:05 am

It was a long night for the Buckeyes. 

Nothing seemed to go right. The offense could not find its spark, and the defense did not fare much better. Overall, it was a memorable performance for all the wrong reasons resulting in a 49-20 loss for OSU. 

How did Ohio State manage to lose this game?  Read on for the three key statistics that led to Saturday's outcome. 

Buckeye rushing attack proves ineffective once again, only musters 76 yards

The Ohio State rushing attack is nonexistent at this point. 

Once again, the Buckeyes failed to rush for more than 100 yards. On 25 attempts, OSU only rushed for 76 yards with a meager 3.0 yards per rush attempt. Mike Weber was the leading rusher with nine carries for 45 yards. The futility of the rushing attack is noticeable in the play calling as well, with Haskins throwing the ball a massive 73 times. 

In comparison, the Boilermakers had an excellent day rushing the ball with 161 total rushing yards. The Buckeye rushing attack needs to show major improvement in the weeks to come if Ohio State wants to have a chance at rebounding and making the College Football Playoff. 

Defense flounders once again, Purdue racks up 539 total yards

As was mentioned earlier, Purdue enjoyed a successful day rushing the ball. With 29 attempts, 161 total rushing yards, and 5.6 yards per rush, it could certainly be said the Boilermakers were winning the battle in the trenches. 

The area where the Buckeye defense truly struggled, to no one's surprise, was in its passing defense. Purdue quarterback David Blough was 25-43, with 378 yards and three touchdowns. It seemed that no matter what adjustments were made, the Ohio State secondary simply could not make a play with the Boilermakers constantly making play after play through the air. 

Failure to Capitalize on Red Zone opportunities dooms the Buckeyes

Despite the lack of a rushing attack, at times it seemed as if Ohio State could actually move the ball relatively well. That is, until they entered the red zone. The Buckeyes had four separate occasions in which they drove the ball all the way into the red zone and failed to score a touchdown. The first such drive ended early in the second quarter when the Ohio State offense stalled at the Boilermaker six yard line. OSU would settle for a field goal. The second drive came towards the end of the second quarter when the Buckeyes would stall at the Purdue 15 yard line and miss a field goal. The Boilermakers would go on to score a touchdown before half. 

In the second half, OSU would once again stall at the six yard line and have to settle for a field goal. Midway through the third quarter Ohio State would find themselves in the red zone for the last time. At the Purdue two yard line, the Buckeyes could not convert on fourth down and turned the ball over on downs. 

Ohio State drove the ball into the red zone four times and only managed to come away with six points as a result of their efforts. Had the offense managed to find the end zone on these early trips to the red zone, this article could have potentially been about another Buckeye victory. With the loss, Ohio State drops to 7-1, and has a bye week to contemplate the loss before hosting Nebraska on November 3rd. 

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