Purdue could present a challenge early on to the notoriously slow-starting Buckeye football team. The Boilermakers have outscored opponents by a combined 47-21 in the first quarter of games this year, and in two of the team’s last three games, they’ve scored a touchdown less than a minute in.
In addition, Purdue has a one-man version of the OSU “Freakshow.” Ohio State puts some of its most athletic players on the field in order to block kicks. Boilermakers defensive tackle Kawann Short, meanwhile, has a school record eight blocked kicks over the course of his career (6 on field goal attempts, 2 on extra points).
Short is also one of the top players in the nation, ranked 26th, in tackles for loss.
Purdue’s defense features Landon Fleichter, who has three interceptions this season. Ricardo Allen is only one career pick 6 away from tying the national record of 5.
Despite some of these individual efforts, however, the Boilermakers are still 71st nationally in scoring defense, giving up an average of 27.5 points per game.
Offensively, Purdue is a team still trying to find itself as well. They are 77th in total offense, and they’re ranked 45th nationally when it comes to scoring.
They used three quarterbacks in a 38-14 loss to Wisconsin last week: starter Caleb TerBush and backups Robert Marve and Rob Henry. The team just got Ralph Bolden back from his third knee surgery, and the running back is hoping to improve on his performance against the Badgers when he only had 7 yards on 4 carries. It looks like it could be awhile before he challenges their leading rusher Akeem Shavers.
The Boilermakers leading receivers are OJ Ross and Antavian “The Breeze” Edison.
They are coached by Danny “Get Used to It” Hope.
Ohio State plays Purdue Saturday at noon on 97.1 The Fan.