Saturday, October 23, 2010

BUCKEYES DOMINATE PURDUE, 49-0

Ohio State tailback Dan "Boom" Herron runs past the Purdue defense during the Buckeyes 49-0 victory on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State took a page out of the Wisconsin playbook on Saturday afternoon against Purdue — line up and shove the football down the opponent's throat.

The No. 10 Buckeyes (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) came out pounding the rock in Saturday's 49-0 win, using all five plays of their opening series of the game running the football with junior tailback Dan "Boom" Herron, who totaled 45 yards on the drive — including a 10-yard scoring jaunt less than two minutes into the contest.

It was abundantly clear early on that the Buckeyes' game plan was to physically punish Purdue (4-3, 2-1), a team that upset Ohio State on the road just a year ago.

It appeared as if the Buckeyes were exacting revenge on the visitors during Saturday's massacre. However, Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel stated that it may have more had to do with their loss last Saturday at Wisconsin, than the one last season at Purdue.

"Some people might of thought this game meant a lot because of last year, others might of thought it meant a lot because of last week," Tressel said. "I think every game means a lot when you're playing in the Big Ten. You never know, but most recent misery probably trumps past misery."

Later in the first quarter — following a muffed punt by Purdue — the Buckeyes went back to their savage ground attack, using Herron another four times on the short field for 18 yards. The drive culminated in Herron's second touchdown, this time from two yards out.

Herron rushed for 63 of his game-high 74 yards in the first quarter.

Herron's hard running — and the Buckeyes dominating play up front — would set up the passing game in a huge way later in the quarter.

On the fourth series of the game, Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor started heating up in the air, completing a 23-yard pass to Corey "Philly" Brown on third-and-long from his own 7. Pryor would then hook up with fullback Zach Boren for 18 on the next play, followed by a 27-yard strike to receiver DeVier Posey and later an eight yarder to Jake Stoneburner which set the ball up at the Purdue 1.

The 91-yard pass-heavy drive would be capped off by a Jordan Hall one-yard plunge to put the Buckeyes ahead 21-0 with 14:25 to play in the first half.

Posey hauls in a 22-yard touchdown from Pryor. (TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Later in the second quarter, Pryor would make things happen with his arm again, first on a third-and-long pass to receiver Dane Sanzenbacher for 26 yards, and then two plays later to Posey on a 22-yard back shoulder toss in the end zone for a 28-0 lead.

The Buckeyes weren't finished with their first half assault of the Boilermakers.

Facing a second-and-7 at their own 29, Pryor connected with Sanzenbacher over the middle for 56 yards, that ended with a personal foul on Purdue, giving the Buckeyes the ball at the Boilermaker 7. Pryor would come right back to Sanzenbacher over the middle again, this time for a seven-yard touchdown and a 35-0 advantage with 1:54 to play in the half.

Less than 15 seconds later, OSU safety Orhian Johnson picked off a Rob Henry pass and returned it seven yards to the Purdue 40.

Pryor and Co. would continue to dish out more punishment before the first half gun sounded.

After completions to Adam Homan, Hall and Posey for four, nine and 12 yards respectively, Pryor would hook up with Philly Brown on a 15-yard scoring strike and a 42-0 lead with 36 ticks left in the half.

Pryor ended the first half going 16-of-21 for 270 yards and three touchdowns passes. He completed passes to nine different receivers. Pryor would only attempt one pass in the second half before being replaced by reserve quarterback Joe Bauserman in the third quarter.

"The coaches talked a lot about coming out fast," OSU senior guard Bryant Browning said. "Last week we got behind and this week we needed to change the pace. I thought we went out, tried to execute and things went our way."

The Buckeyes would put it in cruise control the rest of the way, scoring one more time on a 23-yard scoring pass from Bauserman to junior tight end Spencer Smith in the final quarter of play.

The Buckeyes finished with 489 total yards and 28 first downs in the shutout win.

As dominating of a performance as the OSU offense put together on Saturday, the Buckeyes defense was just as special, holding Purdue to only 118 total yards in the rout.

The Buckeyes pressured Purdue quarterback Rob Henry all game long, holding the dynamic freshman to  just 84 total yards before he was pulled midway through the third quarter.

"After last week we just wanted to win," OSU senior linebacker Brian Rolle said. "But to get a shutout against a team that had quarterback that could run the ball, to shut him out and making him pass was just great. To give up a field goal would've been bad as well.

"But like we said, we have to keep our foot on the pedal and I think our guys did that. We didn't talk about Wisconsin, we didn't talk about anything, we talked about this game. We knew we had to stop the quarterback from running the ball and make him throw it and create some turnovers, and we did."

The Buckeyes front seven looked much improved from their performance a week ago at Wisconsin. They were able to dictate the outcome by dominating the line of scrimmage the entire day.

Rolle and defensive end Nathan Williams recorded sacks in the win, while linebacker Andrew Sweat led the way with eight tackles (2.5 for loss) for the Buckeyes, who will hit the road next week to play Minnesota.