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October 15, 2012
With Purdue coming off an 0-2 Big Ten start, it gets no easier for the Boilermakers as they head to Columbus to face unbeaten Ohio State.
GoldandBlack.com will have much more on the Buckeyes throughout the week. In the meantime, here's a quick first look.
In their first year under former Florida coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes are 7-0, coming off a 52-49 win at Indiana.
Ranked seventh in this week's AP poll, the Buckeyes would be the heavy favorites in the Big Ten's Leaders Division if eligible to represent it in the Big Ten title game.
But as part of the fallout from former coach Jim Tressell's NCAA issues, the Buckeyes are ineligible for postseason play this year, making this season more about setting the tone for the years to come under Meyer, who won two national championships at Florida.
For the third consecutive week, the Boilermaker defense will face one of the league's marquee offensive talents.
Against Buckeye QB Braxton Miller, Purdue will hope for far better results than from its meetings with Michigan's Denard Robinson (235 rushing yards) and Wisconsin's Montee Ball (247).
Just a sophomore, Miller is already considered a Heisman Trophy front-runner after starting most of last season as a true freshman.
With just a below-average game against Purdue, the ultra-athletic 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback will eclipse the thousand-yard mark as a rusher in the season's eighth game.
Miller's completing 70 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdowns to just four interceptions, but it's his running ability that sets him apart and spear-heads a Buckeye running game that averages more than 260 yards per game and nearly six per attempt. Miller averages 7.1 yards per carry, a number that'd be even higher if not for sack-yardage losses.
He's scored on runs this season of 65, 37, 55, 31 and 67 yards among his nine rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, Ohio State has given up a lot of yards and points but has been able to simply outscore opponents in shootouts such as a 63-38 win over Nebraska and this weekend's 52-49 game at Indiana, in which the Hoosiers scored two late touchdowns.
The Buckeyes are 10th in the Big Ten in total defense, one spot ahead of Purdue.
But it was also able to grind out a 17-16 win at Michigan State in a low-scoring game.
As if the Buckeyes' prolific offense needs any help, Ohio State has scored two touchdowns off blocked punts, as well as a fumble recovery, an interception and a punt return.
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