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On the road again

• Buckeyes travel to Purdue Saturday

November 11, 2011
dsp By RICH GIBSON - Buckeye Blitz (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

Following that memorable wild and crazy 33-29 win against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes must have considered victory over woeful Indiana a foregone conclusion. Well, not quite.

In fact, not until Carlos Hyde tallied a two-yard touchdown run in the game's final three minutes could OSU take a deep breath and secure a 34-20 triumph.

Entering 1-8 and with nothing to lose, the Hoosiers threw a mighty scare in Ohio State's plans to finish strong and earn a hoped-for high profile postseason bowl bid.

While that goal remains attainable (pending potential additional NCAA sanctions), Luke Fickell's Scarlet & Gray must totally refocus and concentrate on the business at hand.

Which this week means going on the road and battling the Boilermakers of Purdue at West Lafayette in a high noon kickoff.

Fickell expressed relief following last week's outcome and promised his team would practice hard, prepping for a Purdue team which has dropped three of its past four verdicts.

Coach Danny Hope's ball club discovered Wisconsin in a resentful frame of mind last week at Madison where the once-considered national title contending Badgers beat up on the Boilers by a 62-17 count.

To its credit, Purdue has played considerably better on the homefront, compiling a 4-1 record to date while finding the road an unwelcome hazard, losing all four of its visits.

While the Big Ten foes did not meet a year ago, Ohio State was victimized two seasons ago at West Lafayette, coming in second in a two team race, 26-18. Still, OSU maintains commanding 37-13-2 leadership in the all-time series.

Hope was indeed springing eternal earlier in the week as the fourth-year Boilers' coach spoke out regarding his team's apparent comfort zone at Ross-Ade Stadium.

"Other than the Notre Dame (10-38) outcome, our guys have played with confidence (here)," he told the local media. "We expect to have a full house (for Ohio State) and hopefully, we respond with a solid performance."

Purdue will be looking to do so behind a pair of productive juniors both of whom have played starring roles in 2011.

Quarterback Caleb TerBush is a good-looking 6-5, 225-pound Illinois native who's completed 122-of-199 throws, good for 1,386 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Black & Gold feature a pair of reliable targets for TerBush in wideouts Justin Siller (6-4, 215) who has landed 34 passes for 342 yards and Antavian Edison (5-11, 175), on the receiving end of 26 aerials for a team-leading 367 yards.

On the ground, tailback Ralph Bolden has inflicted 469-yard damage, scoring three touchdowns. Junior Akeem Shavers will also see spot duty.

A pair of seniors anchor the O-line - 6-8, 306-pound left tackle Dennis Kelly, and 6-5, 3-7-pound right guard Nick Mondek. At center is 6-3, 320-pound Cincinnati native Rick Schmeig.

On the defensive side, 6-1, 228-pound junior Dwayne Beckford has logged a team-leading 70 tackles at linebacker. Nose guard Kawann Short (6-3, 310) is the Boilers' leading pass rusher with 5-9, 176-pound corner Ricardo Allen leading the secondary with three interceptions including a pick-six.

The Bucks must also be aware of 6-4, 235-pound Texas native and fifth-year senior Gerald Gooden at defensive end. The linebacking corps includes 6-1, 229-pound senior Joe Holland.

Joining Allen in the secondary is West Liberty, Ohio native Logan Link, a fifth-year senior at strong safety.

Following last week's win over Indiana, Ohio State is averaging 25.6 points and surrendering 18.1 per start.

The Buckeyes are outrushing their opponents, 1,839-1,064. Up top, Braxton Miller and Joe Bauserman have combined for 1,039 yards. The Bucks' defense has yielded 1,745 passing stripes.

In but three starts, Dan 'Boom' Herron has netted 415 yards and is gaining 5.9 yards per attempt. Hyde continues atop the infantry list. generating 515 yards and six scores with Miller moving up with 447 yards and four scores.

Freshman Devin Smith owns a team-leading 227 receiving yards, a result of 10 catches, good for four touchdowns. Tight end Jake Stoneburner continues with a team-high six scoring receptions.

Linebacker Andrew Sweat has charted a team-best 33 solo and 33 assisted tackles with Jonathan Hankins in with 50 stops, including seven for minus yardage.

John Simon remains OSU's sacks leader with six. Michael Bennett has compiled three QB takedowns. In the secondary, Bradley Roby owns a team-high three pass thefts. Contributing two apiece are C.J. Barnett and Travis Howard.

Ben Buchanan has executed 50 punts, good for a 41.3 yard average. Buchanan has landed 20 kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Placekicker Drew Basil is 12-of-14 in field goal attempts with a long connection covering 47 yards.

BLITZKRIEGS

WITH three regular season weeks remaining, five Leaders Division teams remain eligible for the division title. Following Penn State's 3-0 division mark, Ohio State and Wisconsin are both 3-2. Illinois and Purdue are both 2-3....All six teams in the Legends Division remain in the hunt for a division championship. Michigan State sets the pace at 4-1, followed by Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa, each with 3-2 Legends records....

Purdue's Raheem Mostert was selected Big Ten Freshman of the Week after finishing last week's game against Wisconsin with 206 yards on five kick returns, an average of 41.2 yards per return....Boilers' sophomore punter Cody Webster ranks seventh in the nation, averaging 45.5 yards per kick. Webster is a Ray Guy Award nominee....

Saturday's game can be located on the following satellite radio channels - Sirius (112) and XM (192)....

 
 

 

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