THERE will be a spaceship, "Michigan Martians" and references to the Mayan calendar Saturday at the 'Shoe where the Buckeyes will tangle with the Purdue Boilermakers.
The unusual combination which focuses on the Mayan calendar will be on the football field at halftime when the Ohio State Marching Band performs.
Just think, if that the Mayans' calendar is interpreted correctly, it makes the National Collegiate Athletic Association's one-year bowl ban for the Ohio State Buckeyes meaningless.
The Mayans' Long Count Calendar concludes Dec. 21, 2012, so some think that means the world will end on that date. If that's correct, the Buckeyes don't have to regret the the NCAA's bowl ban, because the first bowl game for the Big Ten is scheduled Dec. 26.
For Saturday's game with Purdue, the band will perform a spoof on the Mayan calendar doomsday theme. Jon Waters, interim band director, told The Columbus Dispatch that the presentation will feature "a spaceship descent onto the field with Michigan Martians abducting an Ohio State cheerleader."
While it's doubtful the Mayans played football, they had large ballcourts to play all their games. The Great Ballcourt of Chichen Itza is 545 feet long and 225 feet wide.
It shows that they went for sports in a big way as the outside measurements for college and NCAA football fields including the end zone are 360 feet or 120 yards long and 160 feet or 53-1/3 yards wide.
The marching band's halftime tribute to video games during the OSU-Nebraska game received rave notices, and Entertainment Weekly called it "transfixing in its awesomeness."
Although there's no defense regarding the end of the world, OSU head football coach Urban Meyer in Monday's press conference emphasized the need for defense by OSU on the football field.
"I'm not happy at all with what's going on on defense,'' he said, referring to both players and coaches. "We can all get better. It's a team effort.''
Meyer referred to the Boilermakers' use of a bunch of different defenses, adding that the Buckeyes "just have to be on our game." He also said Purdue has good players and an aggressive scheme, noting, "It's not a vanilla scheme."
Purdue head football coach Danny Hope commented on the Buckeyes' defense, noting he thinks "they're very strong across the defensive front, and they have excellent linebackers and a couple of new faces in the secondary. But their defensive backs are very fast and very good size. But a lot of the same faces are back.
"They played in a really tough, hard-nosed football game two weeks ago against Nebraska in a key game. Looking at them on film, they are similar to us in some ways. Looking at their defense, it looked like they had some guys that were nicked up and trying to play, and that sometimes can negate the level of your performances in ways."
Purdue senior defensive tackle Kawann Short, an All-America candidate, is third nationally among active FBS players in career tackles for loss (42.5) and tied for 15th in career sacks (16.5).
His teammate, cornerback Ricardo Allen, has four career interception returns for touchdowns, and this record is tied for the most among active FBS players, and his 205 interception return yards are 10th nationally. Purdue punter Cody Webster's 43.2 career average is 15th among active FBS players, and wide receiver Raheem Mostert is second among FBS players in kickoff return average at 31.4.
Although Meyer was pleased with the win over Indiana last week, he said he could give a million different excuses about how things didn't go altogether well and added that "we have a long way to go. ... The will is there, the want is there, we've just got to do a better job."
The No. 7 Buckeyes will be working for their eighth consecutive win Saturday. With 7-0, they have the longest winning streak in five years.
Purdue's record to date is 3-3 and 0-2 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers defeated Eastern Kentucky, 48-6; Eastern Michigan, 54-16; and Marshall, 51-41, and they lost to Notre Dame when the score was 20-17 as well as to Michigan, 44-13; and Wisconsin, 38-14.
OSU had two 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver last week against the Indiana Hoosiers, and this is the first time in program history for that feat to be accomplished. Running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 156 years, and quarterback Braxton Miller rushed for 149 yards, and wide receiver Devin Smith had 106 receiving yards.
THE OSU-Purdue series began in 1913, and OSU has a 37-14-2 advantage. However, the two teams have split with three wins apiece during their last six games ...
OHIO State and the Ohio University Bobcats are the only two universities in the nation with 7-0 records ...