ANALYSIS: 5 things to know about Ohio State’s blowout win at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ohio State accomplished most of what it wanted to while beating Purdue 41-7 on Saturday.

The third-ranked Buckeyes overcame some bad weather and a handful of injuries to key players to improve to 6-0 with a big game against Penn State looming next week.

“I talked to the team all week about how if you want to be a championship team you’ve got to have competitive stamina,” coach Ryan Day said. “You’ve got to have competitive excellence. You’ve got to bring it every week. That’s playing in the Big Ten whether it’s Purdue, Northwestern or Iowa or some of the games we’ve struggled in the past — Nebraska — it’s playing on the road in October and November in this conference is not easy, and you’ve got to bring it.”

Here is what you need to know about the win over the Boilermakers:

1. Ohio State got the faster start it wanted.

After getting out of the gates slowly more often than not this season, Ohio State scored twice and gained 167 yards in the first quarter.

By halftime, the Buckeyes had 20 points and 269 total yards while holding Purdue scoreless and to 120 yards.

A week earlier, Ohio State had 142 yards, including just 16 on the ground, against Maryland.

“I think we just made that point of emphasis in practice,” said quarterback Kyle McCord, who completed 16 of 28 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. “I think that definitely translated to the game. We weren’t perfect by means, but we got out put some points on the board and obviously the defense did a good job.”

2. The Buckeyes were down to their fourth- and fifth-string running backs by the end of the game.

Starter TreVeyon Henderson was listed as questionable before the contest but did not play. Miyan Williams was also out, and Chip Trayanum left the game in the first quarter after taking a hard hit to the head.

(None of their injuries were specifically identified by the team, as is policy.)

“It’s like, ‘OK, how are we gonna run the ball here?’” Day said.

The answer turned out to be mostly sophomore Dallan Hayden, receiver Xavier Johnson Jr. and backup quarterback Devin Brown.

“I think Dallan started running well, but I have to look at the film,” Day said. “It seemed like we were rocking off the ball pretty good even though it was a pretty loaded box at times again.”

3. They still ran the ball effectively.

Ohio State ran for 163 yards on 39 attempts.

The latter was a season-high while the yardage total trailed only the 204 yards the Buckeyes gained against Western Kentucky in Week 3.

In his first extensive action of the season, Hayden ran for 76 yards on 11 carries while Johnson added 39 yards on five carries.

Brown had 20 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, mostly when he was inserted in the red zone as a “Wildcat” quarterback.

“To be able to run the way we did without having three of our guys is a good sign, but we’ve got to get healthy this week,” Day said.

Trayanum had 28 yards on six carries before leaving the game.

4. The defense had another strong game.

The Boilermakers picked up 44 yards on their first drive but missed a field goal. Then the Ohio State defense forced four straight punts, including three three-and-outs, while containing the Purdue running attack and harassing quarterback Hudson Card.

He was sacked three times and ended up 13-for-32 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown.

Devin Mockobee had a couple of explosive runs on a drive late in the second quarter and finished with 110 yards on 18 carries, going over the century mark in the fourth quarter against the second-team Ohio State defense.

5. Injuries are a concern for the Buckeyes.

With a top 10 showdown against Penn State coming next week, the biggest issues for Ohio State are related to health.

Aside from the running backs, No. 2 receiver Emeka Egbuka also missed the game, and cornerback Denzel Burke left with an apparent injury in the third quarter.

Day had no injury updates after the game.

He said during the week he thought Henderson would be available and Egbuka’s injury, which is to his right leg, is not expected to keep him out long term.

Burke could be a big loss as the junior is putting together his best season.

Game ball

Defensive ends Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau each had 1.5 sacks as the defensive line provided the most pressure it has all season.

Stat of the game

Ohio State converted 88 percent of its short-yardage opportunities on third and fourth down, by far the best of the season for the Buckeyes, who finished three of their first five games at a zero conversion rate and previously never topped 40.


Penn State at Ohio State, Noon, Fox, 1410

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