In continuing with the tradition of speaking to an enemy blogger about upcoming matchups Ian from Inside the Shoe was kind enough to volunteer for duty when it came to Ohio State. I understand why Ohio State fans might be a little leery of Purdue. Ryan Kerrigan is like a ninja. He lurks everywhere and strikes when you least expect it. Here is what Ian had to see about Purdue Harbor Part II: Kerrigan's Encore:
Hammer & Rails: Buckeye fans are thinking of revenge for Purdue Harbor, but The Boilers have played Ohio State very well the first two years. Do you see a blowout or another close game?
Inside the Shoe: I have a feeling it won't be a blowout, but it won't be a close one either. Both teams know what the other is thinking, so If I had to guess a score, I would say 28-17 Ohio State.
H&R: Ryan Kerrigan has abused the Ohio State line for the past two seasons, and our defensive line as a whole was a huge factor last year. What offensive line adjustments do you expect?
ITS: It seemed like last year that just as we were about to play Purdue, that the Buckeyes had finally come together as an offensive line. Obviously that was incorrect, and Kerrigan again toyed with us. Another key thing for your defense was that it did what no other team could. It confused the guys upstairs, and most importantly the O-Line itself. Purdue's line threw so many blitzes that all looked the same, but were totally different, and Ohio State's line just wasn't prepared. There is really nothing to do to really change anything. We have to prepare our linemen (who are the same from last year) and they will be paying close attention to Purdue all year. They have this one marked, trust me.
H&R: Why did Ohio State abandon its running game last year when Purdue had the worst run defense in the conference?
ITS: Typically when the run game doesn't work a couple times after throwing constantly, then Tressel just keeps airing it out. In perspective, Ohio State was still trying to find an identity at this point on offense, and they happened to go with a full on spread formation against Purdue. It was the first time truly running the spread, and Pryor hadn't matured enough to take the reins on an offense that runs with the quarterback and has to take reads, to try and trick the defense.
H&R: Do you think Pryor is a more rattled quarterback when playing from behind?
ITS: Terrelle Pryor is not the kind of quarterback to panic. I think that most quarterbacks can feel the pressure when being behind, just as any QB can. Last year, he was playing behind, and things just didn't click at any point. He had to make something out of nothing, and it wasn't too fair. Like you asked about the running game, if he could have had that option then the outcome might have looked a little different.
H&R: Finally, What do you expect from your defense against a bit of a wild card in Robert Marve?
ITS: Robert Marve is a dangerous quarterback, there is little to no doubt about that. It will be interesting to see how he handles Ohio State's defense that returns a fantastic group, including the leader Cameron Heyward. Heyward was mostly quiet last year against Purdue, and will try to lead the charge against the Boilermakers. Although this is Marve's first year starting at Purdue, I think the secondary will be ready for whatever he brings to the table. The coaches know they can't lose this game.