November 3, 2013

Report Card: Purdue-Ohio State

The following is our Report Card for Purdue's game Saturday vs. Ohio State, a 56-0 loss.

Purdue-Ohio State Post-Game Report Card
Passing Offense:
What is there to say? The numbers frequently speak for themselves, and this is one of those times.

Quarterback Danny Etling was only 13-of-29 for 89 yards, with an interception. That's only three yards per attempt, an almost unfathomable number.

Want more? Etling was sacked six times for 49 yards of loss. So on those snaps that the quarterback dropped back with the intent to throw, Purdue netted a total of 40 yards.


Purdue's day didn't start well. On the second snap, with two receivers to his right, Etling rolled slightly that direction, zeroing in on slot man Cameron Posey. It was easy to read what Etling wanted to do from afar, and even easier from near; Doren Grant, the cornerback on the high side, left his receiver, correctly reading Etling and jumping in front of Posey. He raced 33 yards for a pick six, as Ohio State became the sixth defense to score against Purdue in eight games this season.

The offensive line, as we've said repeatedly now, is a killer. Six more sacks vs. Ohio State, in addition to the five each the previously two outings. Etling was cracked hard on several occasions - on the sacks, along with numerous other pressures - leading to wonder whether he'd last the game. A credit to him, he made it the full 60 minutes.

Etling has to be getting a little jumpy, knowing that he could be hit at any moment. It doesn't absolve him, but is worth factoring in when considering performance.

Purdue's wide receivers can't beat man-to-man coverage, probably a sign of their youth; physically, they just aren't as developed as they need to be, particularly against Ohio State cornerbacks.

Not a good day for anyone.

Grade: F

Rushing Offense:
Purdue rushed 27 times and netted 27 yards.

Again, the sack yardage in college football is factored into the rushing, so taking away Etling's 49 lost yards and Purdue gained 76. So that's a little better, I guess.

Raheem Mostert got the start, Purdue's third different starting running back in as many games, and looked good early. He had a five-yard run on the first snap of the game, but his second rush didn't come 'til the last play of the first quarter, and it was a 10-yarder. He had only three other carries.

Akeem Hunt netted 23 yards and Brandon Cottom had 16.

Etling and Cottom had a bad exchange, when the quarterback appeared to put the football on Cottom's hip rather than in his gut. The fumble resulted in one of Purdue's two turnovers.

Grade: F

Offense Overall:
Purdue generated only 116 yards on its 56 offensive plays, only 2.1 per snap.

The Boilermakers twice turned the ball over and they didn't score for the second consecutive week.

Purdue doesn't appear even close to being able to score right now.

Grade: F

Rushing Defense:
This report card is a regurgitation of numbers, but when the numbers are so astronomically bad it's close to all that needs said.

Purdue allowed 345 yards on the ground, on 41 rushing attempts, for an average of 8.4 per carry.

Carlos Hyde, who had only eight carries, had 111 yards; Kenny Guiton, the backup QB, had 98 on only nine attempts.

Hyde was nearly impossible for the Boilermakers to bring down. He not yet been tackled behind the line of scrimmage this season. Purdue had a couple of chances, but rather than go down in the backfield, Hyde was able to shake off would-be tacklers to get at least back to the line of scrimmage and often beyond.

Grade: F

Passing Defense:
Braxton Miller often looked like he was playing a video game, maybe some old school Super Techmo Bowl.

He could sit in the pocket, generally unmolested, and scan the field, looking for an open receiver. Frequently, he had multiple choices, at least one of which was wide, wide open. Case in point: On OSU's first possession, Miller found tight end Jeff Heuerman streaking up the left sideline.

Purdue's coverage breakdown - it happened repeatedly in attempting to cover a tight end - led Anthony Brown to have to choice which open receiving target to jump toward. When Brown shifted toward the middle of the field, Miller threw toward the high side. It was too easy.

Miller was 19-of-23 for 233 yards and four touchdowns; Guiton was 8-of-11 for 59 and a Tim Tebow-like jump-pass for a touchdown.

Purdue got next-to-no pressure on the OSU quarterbacks and didn't record a sack.

The only positive? Ricardo Allen made a heck of an interception, when he dove back toward a receiver while providing underneath coverage. He was a great athletic play that few others are capable of making.

But it doesn't make up for much else.

Grade: D-

Defense Overall:
Purdue allowed 640 yards of offense, seeming to negate all the positives it had gained two weeks earlier in the loss at Michigan State.

Then, the Boilermakers were able to make the Spartans one-dimensional. Not so against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes converted 8-of-12 third downs, keeping drives alive long enough to hold the ball for 35-of-60 minutes.

Grade: F

Special Teams:
Cody Webster had a special day, averaging nearly 50 yards on his eight punts, including two that went at least 67 yards and one that netted 78.

And he did that after a first that traveled only 15 yards. Of course, that first was a killer, as it set up Ohio State's first offensive touchdown on a short field.

Purdue didn't attempt a field goal, because it never got close enough to even consider it.

The return games were a wash, although you still feel like Purdue needs to be taking more advantage of its weapons in the kick return game.

Grade: C+

Purdue had multiple failures and few positives.

There's little reason to belabor the point.

Grade: F

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