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November 1, 2013

Matchup Preview: Purdue-Ohio State





GoldandBlack.com breaks down how Purdue and Ohio State might match up Saturday in Ross-Stadium.

When Purdue's running ...

Purdue showed some life against a Michigan State run defense ranked first nationally two weeks ago, but might be hard-pressed to repeat, with another talented defensive front coming up. That said, the Boilermakers are coming off another bye week spent working well in advance on the Buckeyes so maybe they can game-plan their way into some success, if nothing else. Still, the Purdue run game has been too ineffective this season as a whole to expect much in a game like this.

Advantage: Ohio State (decided)

When Purdue's passing ...

Ohio State has shown some vulnerabilities in the back half of its defense, but with the talent the Buckeyes have back there, those issues could disappear at any time. Purdue, of course, will have to give QB Danny Etling a chance. Ohio State leads the Big Ten with 20 sacks while Purdue has given up 10 total in Etling's two starts. Against another freshman QB, the Buckeyes bagged Penn State's Christian Hackenberg four times.

Advantage: Ohio State (decided)

When Ohio State is running ...

Though Purdue had great success slowing him last season, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is one of college football's most dynamic playmakers and running back Carlos Hyde has been on a tear this season. Hyde in particular will be a load for Purdue to bring down. The Boilermakers are trending upward in this phase after playing well at Michigan State in their more 3-4-oriented alignments, but the matchup here is one of the most daunting there is.

Advantage: Ohio State (decided)

When Ohio State is passing ...

Ohio State has found balance, complementing its outstanding run game with an extremely efficient passing game, taking advantage of Miller's improvement in that area. The Buckeyes have completed 70 percent of their passes this season between two starting quarterbacks and thrown 24 touchdowns to just four picks, with its run game making its quarterbacks difficult to sack. Big-play receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith.

Advantage: Ohio State (defense)

Special teams

Ohio State has very good kickers and punters and dangerous return men in both phases. Purdue punter Cody Webster is coming off a brilliant game at Michigan State, which is great for the Boilermakers, but certainly not ideal to be in that position.

Advantage: Ohio State (decided)

Intangibles

Ohio State's focus hasn't always been razor-sharp against Purdue in some of these recent meetings between the two teams - which is to take nothing away from the Boilermakers - and now has 20 straight wins in the books, a bunch of grueling games behind it and a run of three consecutive sub-.500 opponents next. Will it brings its A game? ... Purdue is again coming off an open week, so the element of surprise might be back in play, though at this point, what's left to change after so many freshmen have already been put on the field and the Boilermakers' strategies tweaked so much. ... Purdue gets wide receiver B.J. Knauf back from a suspension and maybe safety Landon Feichter, who's been injured. At the very least, it can't hurt.






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Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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