A lot of folks are nervous about this game, and I get it.
Ohio State is 3-4 in its last seven trips to West Lafayette, its worst record against any Big Ten opponent on the road during that same span. And it easily could have been 2-5 if not for this sorcery. Playing a night game there with a banged-up team the week before the much-needed off week does not seem optimal.
Adding to that, Purdue has excelled at the one thing that's plagued the Buckeyes all year: explosive plays on offense.
But I ain't scared of the train people to the west, and this handy Tweet, Tweeted by noted Michigan Man Drew Hallett, will help you see why.
S&P+ Ranks:— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) October 19, 2018
OSU Offense: 4th
PU Defense: 84th
PU Offense: 17th
OSU Defense: 41st
PU Off. Explosivness: 9th
OSU Def. Explosiveness: 121st
At the risk of my father disowning me for using a baseball analogy, this is like an entire lineup of .450 hitters playing a team that's banking on hitting a solo shot every two or three innings. Yeah, Purdue's going to hit its home runs, but Ohio State's going to hit for average the entire game against a below average Boilermaker defense.
I'm not convinced this is even a shootout, but if it is, the team with the more consistent and efficient offense along with the far better overall defense is going to win. Ohio State is going to win.
I don't care if it's a night game. Actually, that just makes me more confident – you don't sleepwalk through a 7:30 kickoff in front of a raucous crowd on the road. The last time Purdue tried the primetime schtick against the Buckeyes they got drubbed 56-0. Ask Rutgers or Nebraska about night games as unranked teams against Ohio State. It doesn't work, play at noon instead.
If you're worried about Rondale Moore, I fully expect a breakout game and possibly a career performance, just like Tevin Coleman's 228 yards and three touchdowns in 2014, Saquon Barkley's 197 yards in 2015, and Artavis Pierce's 209 yards and two touchdowns this year. But here's the thing – all of those guys lost by more than 14 points.
Big plays, big performances and night games don't mean so much if your team is actually not that good, and that's what we're going to have here. The Buckeyes are rolling tonight. Book it.
|TIME (ET)||MATCHUP||FAVORITE||TV CHANNEL|
|12:00||MARYLAND @ #19 IOWA||IOWA (-9)||ESPN2|
|12:00||#6 MICHIGAN @ #24 MICHIGAN STATE||MICHI (-7.5)||FOX|
|12:00||#20 CINCINNATI @ TEMPLE||TEMP (-3.5)||ESPNU|
|12:00||ILLINOIS @ #23 WISCONSIN||WISC (-24)||FS1|
|12:00||#9 OKLAHOMA @ TCU||OKLA (-7.5)||ABC|
|3:30||#18 PENN STATE @ INDIANA||PSU (-14.5)||ABC|
|3:30||#1 ALABAMA @ TENNESSEE||BAMA (-28.5)||CBS|
|3:30||COLORADO @ #15 WASHINGTON||WASH (-17.5)||FOX|
|3:30||#16 NC STATE @ #3 CLEMSON||CLEM (-17.5)||ESPN|
|7:00||CONNECTICUT @ #21 SOUTH FLORIDA||USF (-32.5)||CBSS|
|7:00||#22 MISS. STATE @ #5 LSU||LSU (-6.5)||ESPN|
|7:00||#10 UCF @ EAST CAROLINA||UCF (-21.5)||ESPN2|
|7:30||VANDERBILT @ #14 KENTUCKY||UK (-13)||SECN|
|7:30||#2 OHIO STATE @ PURDUE||OSU (-12)||ABC|
|7:30||#12 OREGON @ #25 WASHINGTON STATE||WAZZU (-3)||FOX|
Word of the Day: Derail.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game Preview.
- Q&A With Purdue beat writer Mike Carmin.
- 10 Reasons to hate.
- Going For 3.
- Five Things to Know.
- Game Poster.
- Game Trailer.
- Our picks against the spread.
- Blake Haubeil to start against Purdue.
- Purdue's Rondale Moore will challenge the Buckeyes.
WHERE THE OFFENSE COMES FROM. Purdue is extremely fun to watch on offense, when they aren't playing your team. Jeff Brohm is an offensive genius and he ain't afraid to find plays from anywhere and stick them right into his offense like a kid playing backyard football.
From The Herald Bulletin:
But staying on the cutting edge takes work. It often means borrowing ideas from all over, even high school games.
"There’s a particular young man we’re recruiting pretty hard right now," Purdue receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard said. "We actually put in a play of his for our first game of the year and ran it because he scored a big-time game-winning touchdown on it. Nothing is off limits."
“That’s what’s so great about our offense and the head coach that we work for,” Purdue quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Brian Brohm said. “Most places you see a play and the head coach is going to want to see you diagram it out against every single look you can possibly get. They’re going to want to see it in practice three or four times. Then, six weeks later, maybe you’ll get to call it.
“We see it, we’ll put it in that day and we’ll run it.”
I have an odd feeling they'll have something special cooked up for the Buckeyes today, but as long as it doesn't involved a touchdown pass to a long snapper, I think we'll survive.
"CANCER SUCKS." College students are notorious for yelling dumb things when the ball is kicked off – Ohio State's rendition currently includes a sentence about viciously decapitating a fellow before stealing his shoes – but I think we're all going to be in agreement with Purdue's.
From the Indianapolis Star:
Purdue student -- and arguably the university's biggest sports fan -- Tyler Trent has bone cancer. But an entire stadium is about to give it right back to that cancer.
Purdue fans are adamant about this: Cancer sucks way more than any opponent, way more than its bitter rival IU.
Cancer is trying to take one of their own.
And so at Saturday's football game against Ohio State at Ross-Ade Stadium, instead of chanting their usual -- and controversial -- "IU sucks" mantra, Purdue fans will swap it with one they mean even more.
Oh hell yeah.
If you're a Buckeye in attendance, you better be screaming this at the top of your lungs when the ball is kicked off. Hell, I'll be joining in from my couch.
College GameDay put together a segment on Tyler that will run on Saturday morning, and while you won't want to miss it, it looks like it will absolutely ruin you emotionally.
Tom Rinaldi discusses @theTylerTrent, @PurdueSports fan battling cancer. Preview of feature (airing on @CollegeGameDay, Saturday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN) below; details on reporting here https://t.co/uwXejfKInY pic.twitter.com/vQ81sltqKI— ESPN Front Row (@ESPNFrontRow) October 19, 2018
Prayers up from Columbus, Tyler.
FIVE QUICK WINNERS. I went 4-1 last week. Pitt easily covered +22 points by damn near beating Notre Damn, Virginia Tech and North Carolina barely even reached half the 58 point total, Oregon won straight up and Buffalo covered by a just under a touchdown. The only one I missed was the line I openly said "this line terrifies me," and there was still a chance UCF covered in the second half.
The season total stands at 17-18, just under 50 percent. Folks, we're going undefeated this week.
Wisconsin/Illinois Under 57
Taking a gander at the forecast in Madison, Wisconsin, we're looking at a high of 46 with winds at a steady 21 mph. Folks, there's going to be a lot of running the ball in this game because the ball just ain't gonna go through the air. That means a ticking clock, a distinct lack of third downs, and limited chunks of yardage. I'm not convinced these teams would combine for almost a point a minute regardless of the weather, but that forecast just locks it up.
I want to get this out there, weather is just atrocious and windy as hell all over the midwest today. You could probably take the under comfortably in like 10 other games around the Big Ten and the MAC this weekend, this is just the one I like the best.
Michigan/Michigan State Under 41
It switched! I'm taking another under in the midwest this weekend. I know a total at 41 is scarily low, but these lines are set where they are for a reason – Vegas isn't just giving away money. This game was always going to be slow and low scoring, but add in 19 mph wins, rain and 30-40 degree temperatures and I firmly believe this game ends at a score of like, 21-10. My only concern here is that the bad weather forces some sort of kind of freak scoring play out of nowhere, but even then I think there is enough buffer.
Oregon +3 against Washington State
As much as I'd love Washington State to get the big when GameDay finally comes to Pullman, I just don't think it's going to happen. I think Oregon is the better team, and they've proven it up to this point with a really strong showing against Stanford in a game the Ducks should have won and Washington last week, when they did win. Meanwhile, Washington State is 5-1, but the quality wins just aren't there. I think Oregon wins straight up, but I'll take three points if you'll give them to me.
Ohio State -12 against Purdue
I told myself I wasn't going to touch this game, but I can't spew all those words about how confident I am and then not follow through with a pick that will count towards my record. I'm about that action. Everyone seems to think Purdue is going to hang with Ohio State in this game, but I just don't see it. I'm sure the Boilermakers will rattle off a big play or five, but I'm not convinced they will be able to move the ball with much consistently, and even if they do, I don't think they can stop Ohio State's offense at all. 13 points is only two scores.
USC +7 against Utah
I just think the wrong team is favored here, or at least that Utah should not be favored by a touchdown. USC looked bad to start the season against Stanford and Texas, but since then they're 3-0 with wins over Washington State and Colorado. While I think there's a solid chance USC loses this game – Utah is a good football team – I would have no problem with the Trojans being narrow favorites. If they're a touchdown underdog, I'll take the points.
LINK LOCKER. Man fought snakes to survive after falling down a 100-foot shaft... Joe Murphy was the Detroit Red Wings' top pick, then he became homeless... Ohio's medical marijuana industry literally doesn't know what to do with its money... That time the City of Seattle accidentally gave out 32 million emails, unredacted, for $40...