The Ohio State Buckeyes suffered a humiliating and heart-breaking 49-20 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers. As Ohio State entered this game ranked second in the nation, this loss dropped them out of the AP’s top ten. According to the polls, they’re ranked eleventh now. For the third year in a row, Ohio State has suffered a loss to an unranked team when it appeared as though they were on an accelerated track to the College Football Playoff.
In Ohio State’s case, what’s done is done and all they can do is move on. The Buckeyes were in this situation last season when they suffered two humiliating losses to the Oklahoma Sooners and the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes managed to recover after both losses as they went on to finish strong as they won the Big Ten crown. Given the bad loss to Iowa, they were held out of the CFP.
Ohio State’s next game will be against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 3rd. This week, the Buckeyes have their bye week, which gives them plenty of time to regroup and make the necessary adjustments in terms of improving. In other words, they have all the time they need to get ready.
The defense has the most room for improvement as they gave up a total of 539 total yards on offense, 378 through the air and 161 on the ground. Purdue quarterback David Blough exposed Ohio State’s defense and he was able to connect early and often with wide receiver Rondale Moore who caught 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Purdue running back D.J. Knox had 16 carries for 128 yards and scored three times.
Ohio State could not find a way to counter Purdue’s offense and their failure to force turnovers really affected them. Ohio State needs to improve in coverage and they need to find ways to get force pressure on the quarterback to avoid allowing opposing offenses to expose and torch them on the field.
The presence of Nick Bosa was missed as he is a player that can certainly generate pressure and force fumbles or errant throws leading to interceptions.
Ohio State’s offense was effective but the early struggles proved too much to overcome. By the time the offense found their groove, it was too little too late as Purdue was in complete control.
High-profile NFL backs Mike Weber and JK Dobbins only ran the ball a combined 20 times for 69 yards and no scores. Dwayne Haskins had 470 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw the ball 73 times. The Buckeyes have to get back to their routine ground-and-pound game.
The biggest lesson they learned is that the lack of balance is not ideal. Haskins is a NFL-type of quarterback, but they can’t rely solely on him as the tandem of Weber and Dobbins needs their touches.
Ohio State can still make the CFP by simply winning out. They might need to hope that Michigan continues to win down the stretch to hope for a top 10 or even top 5 showdown. A win against the Wolverines should put them in the CFP should they win out and win the Big Ten title.
However, first things first, they have to focus on Nebraska as getting ahead of themselves again will be the haymaker that ends their championship aspirations. Both conference and national championship-wise.