Saturday is likely going to be a bloodbath, but that doesn't mean Purdue is going to be completely ignored. Our friends at Land-Grant Holyland were happy to answer my questions about the Buckeyes this week. Here is what Brett Ludwiczak had to say:
T-Mill: This looks like a grave mismatch on paper, but we all know of Ohio State's troubles at Purdue recently. Is there even a small reason of hope for Purdue fans?
Brett: To put this as nicely as possible...no. I know there have been plenty of David vs. Goliath upsets in college football before, but this is not one of them. Even with the Boilermakers playing at home, it's hard to see a freshman quarterback in his third start leading a one-win team over a team that has won 20 straight games overall. I really liked the hiring of Darrell Hazell as Purdue head coach, and think that given time he'll get the program headed in the right direction, but it's a little too soon into his tenure at Purdue to expect them to beat a Ohio State team that is this talented.
T-Mill: Carlos Hyde, to me, looks like the biggest difference with the way he has been playing. What can slow him down?
Brett: With the way he's be running the last three games it's hard to imagine anything being able to stop Carlos Hyde right now. After missing the first three games of the season due to his highly publicized suspension, it feels like Hyde is making up for lost time. Even with missing those three games (and only getting five carries in the blowout of Florida A&M), Hyde sits at 590 yards rushing, and is on pace to give Urban Meyer his first 1,000 yard RB.
T-Mill: The biggest reason for Ohio State's struggles against Purdue have come from an inability to stop Purdue's defensive line. Are there concerns up front for the Buckeyes?
Brett: The offensive line for the Buckeyes has been steady this year, only giving up 11 sacks through eight games so far. It's been hard for teams to generate a lot of pressure on the Buckeyes this year because they do such a good job at spreading teams out and getting rid of the ball quickly. If teams do end up bring pressure on the Buckeyes and get through, more often than not either Miller of Hyde find a way to make them pay on the ground.
T-Mill: Against Penn State Braxton Miller was very, very good. Against Purdue twice he has had some subpar games. Does good or bad Braxton show up?
Brett: I would count on good Braxton showing up for the game on Saturday. The two games that Braxton has played against Purdue in his career are tough to get a full read on. In 2011 the Buckeyes were dealing with plenty of turmoil with Luke Fickell replacing Jim Tressel as the head coach, and Braxton was thrown into the fire as a true freshman. Last year saw Braxton hurt in the second half of the game and Kenny Guiton lead the Buckeyes to victory. Miller has been very accurate the last two games, hitting 40 of 51 passes, and has finally started to show some of that running ability that made him a Heisman trophy candidate last season.
T-Mill: Honestly, a lot has to go wrong for Purdue to have a chance here. Does OSU start to clinch up if the game stays lose for longer than a quarter?
Brett: If Purdue is able to keep things close for a quarter or more, I think you might see the Buckeye fanbase start to clench up, but not the football team. Ohio State has had to make second half comeback against Northwestern and Iowa this year, and in 2012 they played six games that were decided by a touchdown or less, so they have had some adversity training.