No. 2 Ohio State at Purdue
When and Where: Saturday, Oct. 20, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind., 7:30 p.m. EDT.
It has been 12 years since Ohio State last had a Heisman Trophy winner. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins continues to build his case to end that drought as the second-ranked and unbeaten Buckeyes begin a tricky stretch of schedule Saturday at Big Ten rival Purdue.
There have been only two Buckeye quarterbacks among their seven Heisman winners — Les Horvath in 1944 and most recently, Troy Smith in 2006. The seven overall Heisman Trophy wins ties Ohio State with Southern Cal and Notre Dame for the most, but Haskins has emerged as a front-runner along with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa to be among the finalists at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York later this year.
Buckeyes look to extend win streak to 13
Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten East) received another huge effort from Haskins as it shook off some early struggles last Saturday to record a 30-14 victory over Minnesota.
Haskins became the first player in school history with back-to-back 400-yard games as he completed 33 of 44 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. The 33 completions matched a career high he set last week in the victory over Indiana, and he has thrown at least two TD passes in all seven games.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 13, 2018
Despite the gaudy numbers, both Haskins and coach Urban Meyer know there is much work to be done if the Buckeyes are going to not only win the East Division of the Big Ten but also stay in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.
“I don’t think we played particularly well today. We’ll know more when we get a film grade, and I’ll let you know on Monday how they played,” Meyer said post-game. “We gave up three sacks. We have to keep Dwayne upright. Short yardage is not a strength. Red zone is not a strength, and running the ball is not a strength. That’s something we’ve got to get figured out.”
“The offense, not everything’s going to be pretty,” Haskins added. “There’s going to be adversity no matter who we play, especially a team like Minnesota. They’re a great defense. We just had to fight through adversity, made the plays when they mattered, and that’s a good learning tool for next week.”
One area where Haskins has turned Ohio State into an elite team — again — is his decision-making in both the red zone and looking downfield. Inside the opponents’ 20, he is 20 for 32 for 184 yards and 12 touchdowns with only one interception and on plays covering more than 20 yards, Haskins is an astounding 31 of 32 for 1,059 yards and 16 TDs against just one pick.
Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill both have a chance to reach 1,000 yards receiving on the season. Hill is coming off the best game of his career after totaling nine receptions for 187 yards and a pair of scores versus Minnesota, highlighted by his one-handed grab-and-go.
Come for the great catch by KJ Hill, stay on for the even better celebration. pic.twitter.com/hlctaCywDt
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 13, 2018
He has 40 catches for 551 yards, narrowly trailing Campbell in both categories as the senior wide out has 43 receptions for 557 yards. Overall, Ohio State is averaging 46.3 points and 557.1 yards, but the run game is a concern considering J.K. Dobbins has been held to 229 yards on 64 carries over his last four games.
Boilers the hottest team in Big Ten West
Purdue (3-3, 2-1 West) is the hottest team in the West Division of the Big Ten as it looks to win four straight for the first time since opening the 2007 season with five victories.
The Boilermakers are coming off a 46-7 thrashing of Illinois last Saturday to complete a two-game road swing. David Blough continued his torrid play of late, completing 25 of 36 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns as Purdue rolled up 611 yards of total offense and got 150 rushing yards from D.J. Knox.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 13, 2018
“I struggled with this, I struggled wanting so bad to get after them and it was hurting me emotionally, physically and mentally,” Blough told the Lafayette Journal and Courier, referring to the broken ankle against Illinois last year that ended his season. “We needed to come out and do this. I needed to come out and have a good game. It feels good.”
During Purdue’s winning streak, Blough has thrown for 1,001 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 67.0 percent of his passes and averaging 9.44 yards per attempt. The Boilermakers have averaged 499.7 yards overall in those games, topping 500 in the last two.
Freshman receiver Rondale Moore continues to have a huge impact on the offense, leading the way with 45 catches for 558 yards and five TDs. He had four receptions for 101 yards and a score versus Illinois, recording his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
Isaac Zico added five grabs for a career-best 127 yards and two touchdowns, continuing a breakout year for the senior as he has contributed 20 receptions for 399 yards. Knox is 22 yards shy of setting a single-season career high as he enters this game with 540 rushing yards.
The Boilermakers’ 30-13 win over then-No. 23 Boston College on Sept. 22 ended a 20-game losing streak to AP Top 25 opponents. The new challenge is to end a 16-game skid against ranked conference rivals that dates back to a 21-14 win over then-No. 23 Illinois in 2011.
Purdue has also dropped 10 straight to AP Top 10 teams since a 26-18 upset of the seventh-ranked Buckeyes in 2009.
- 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games as an underdog of 10.5 points or more.
- 3-8 ATS in its last 11 home games vs. teams with a winning road record.
- 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- The over is 11-3 in its last 14 games as a home underdog.
- The over is 6-2 in its last eight games after scoring more than 40 points in its previous game.
- The over is 13-6 in its last 19 games following a straight up win.
Ohio State is:
- 35-13-1 ATS in its last 49 games after totaling less than 100 rushing yards in its previous game.
- 37-17 ATS in its last 54 games on grass.
- The over is 10-4 in its last 14 games as a favorite of 10.5 points or more.
- The over is 6-2 in its last eight games as a road favorite.
- The over is 6-0 in its last six road games as a favorite of 10.5 points or more.
Updated on Oct 20 at 3:40pm EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The line opened up at Ohio State -12 and it is now Ohio State -12.5. That is consistent with the fact that 52% of the bets are on the Buckeyes. Nothing to read into that.
Injury / Weather Report
There may be a little win at the start, but temps will be in the high 30s and it will be clear for the game.
Ohio State’s Injury Report:
The Buckeyes don’t kick many FGs, but they will be without K Sean Nuernberger. That could affect things if this is a tight game. They are also still missing Nick Bosa, who is out for the year. No other impact injuries.
Purdue’s Injury Report:
TEs Brycen Hopkins (19 catches, 352 yards) and Cole Herdman (7 catches, 93 yards) are both questionable as is backup QB Elijah Sindelar. Having injuries to your skill players is not good news against Ohio State
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There is something amusing about Meyer being upset after his team rolled up 500 yards of total offense, but he is rightfully concerned about the lack of balance after totaling just 92 rushing yards. Haskins has done everything and more asked of him, but at some point, the Buckeyes have to be something more offensively than players making big plays.
That means establishing Dobbins and the ground game similar to how they did previously this season. The Buckeyes may not get the huge numbers they achieved in racking up 600 rushing yards against lightweights Oregon State and Rutgers, but a more even distribution will keep defenses off-balance and allow Haskins to continue moving the ball while seeking out big plays like he has all season.
Purdue’s defense, save this most recent win and the victory over Boston College in which it forced four turnovers, has not been especially good. The Boilermakers allowed a winless Nebraska team to churn out 582 yards, and Missouri topped 600 against them. This Buckeyes offense is arguably better than both and should do similar damage — getting this line before it jumps over two touchdowns is ideal.
Full-Game Total Pick
Ohio State should enjoy plenty of success in this game provided it stays out of its own way. But with Meyer likely to work on the offensive line and the ground game in the week leading up to this contest, those fundamental errors will likely be minimized, and Haskins should be able to find plenty of creases in Purdue’s defense.
Offensively, Blough and the Boilermakers should be able to find enough success to make the over a comfortable hit. Ohio State has allowed 396 or more yards in four of its last five games, and if Blough can continue to avoid turnovers like he has during Purdue’s winning streak, the Boilers have a chance to make this a semi-interesting shootout.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 65.5 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Buckeyes have scored at least 29 points in every game and have scored 49 or more on four occasions. With the expectation of them establishing Dobbins from the outset to better sync the offense, Ohio State should be able to surpass Missouri’s output of 40 points against Purdue, which struggled against the Tigers pass-oriented offense.
Prediction: Pick: Ohio State OVER 40.5 points (-120)
Half-Time Side Pick
This appears almost too good to be true — the Buckeyes giving only a touchdown considering they have led by eight or more points in four of their seven games. While they did stutter against better opponents — Ohio State trailed at halftime versus TCU and Penn State and led by only three last week versus Minnesota, the hedge is Meyer has the Buckeyes ready to play from the opening kickoff and they lead by double digits at the break.
Prediction: Pick: Ohio State -7 (-110)
Half-Time Total Bet
The Buckeyes have exceeded 35 points by themselves on three separate occasions this season, and while the Boilermakers are a class above Oregon State, Rutgers and Tulane, the parallel to keep drawing is their home game against Missouri. Purdue gave up 27 first-half points as the over hit comfortably since it trailed by three at halftime. The belief is this game will not be as close, but the Boilermakers will reach double figures and help the over clear with relative ease.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 35 points (-110)
Half-Time Prop Prediction
This is a slightly more aggressive play than taking the Buckeyes to score first at -225, considering Ohio State has scored first in five of its seven games while Purdue has given up the game’s first points in four of its six contests. There have also been points in the first five minutes in five of the Buckeyes’ seven contests and in two of Purdue’s last four.
Prediction: Pick: YES to score in first 5:00 (-125)