Buckeyes Limp Past Purdue

Buckeyes Limp Past Purdue
Etienne Sabino Purdue 2008

Buckeyes Limp Past Purdue

In what could have been a blow-out, the Ohio State Buckeyes played conservative Tressel-ball with several key offensive players unavailable. Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins took his game to a whole new level against Curtis Painter and Boilermakers on Saturday as the defense only allowed 70 yards on the ground and stopped Purdue every time they got near the red-zone.

By Steve Patterson

Injures on Offensive

            A number of players on the offensive side of the ball for the Buckeyes were injured going into the game on Saturday and the offensive performance was not what anyone expected. Purdue has one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten this year but Ohio State could not pass the ball effectively and had trouble opening holes for tailback Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells. Only scoring three field goals on the day, the offense had to thank the defense and the special teams after the game for the blocked punt returned for a touchdown and shutting down Purdue all game long. 

            Starting left tackle Alex Boone was not 100% going into the game against Purdue and was seen limping throughout the plays he was available for during the match. Senior Steve Rehring filled in at left tackle at times but was also hobbled and could not control the defensive line of Purdue. Finally, true freshman Mike Adams took his turn at left tackle but also had difficulty.

Coach Jim Tressel described the offense as unable to be consistent during his post-game press conference due to line play. “Probably hit and miss. There was a moment where you looked good and there was a moment where you went backwards and we're not consistent at all and it will be interesting to watch the film, but from where I was, we certainly didn't control the line of scrimmage, that's where it starts.”

            In addition to the left tackle position, third starting wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher was unable to play due to a concussion he had during the Wisconsin Badger game the prior week. Others unable to perform on the offense due to injury included second string running-back Daniel ‘Boom’ Herron and starting tight-end Rory Nicol.

Defensive Looked Impressive

            The defense of Ohio State was the bright spot for the Buckeyes as captains Malcolm Jenkins and linebacker James Laurinaitis led the team to an impressive game against one of the best passing offenses in the country. Laurinaitis led Ohio State with 10 tackles and two pass breakups on the day. Jenkins blocked the punt in the first quarter for the touchdown return and intercepted Painter on Purdue’s last drive of the first quarter.

            Starting linebacker Marcus Freeman had 9 tackles against Purdue on Saturday while defensive end Thaddeus Gibson forced a fumble in the first quarter which started a drive that ended in one of the three field goals for Ohio State on the day. Gibson is a converted linebacker that has taken over the defensive end position and given tackles trouble in a number of important games this season.

            Coach Tressel praised the defense for their preparation and ability to take the ball away. “I thought the defense did a great job with their plan.” He told reporters after the game. “I think our defensive guys prepared very well. You could tell that they diagnosed things and broke on the ball, anticipated, knew the formations, the way that Purdue does things, and just kept coming, just kept coming and coming and coming and Purdue made some plays, but I think our defense never got flustered. They tried a couple over-50 field goals, was as close as they got, which that's pretty good, plus we came up with takeaways.”

BrutusReport.com
Tags: Buckeyes Football NCAA Ohio State
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