Purdue Travels To Undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes

By: Michael Robinson | Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Ohio State Buckeyes continue their march to a perfect season when they host the Purdue Boilermakers in an early 12:00 p.m. (ET) start on Saturday.

The Don Best Pro Odds screen opened Ohio State as a 16½-point favorite, but it has jumped to -19. The total is 62½ and will be shown on either ABC or ESPN2 from Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State (7-0 straight up, 3-4 against the spread) has a great chance to go undefeated in coach Urban Meyer’s first season. There are no more ranked teams on the schedule, although visits to Penn State and Wisconsin, plus a home date against Michigan, will provide healthy competition.

The Buckeyes are ranked No. 7 by the AP and No. 12 in the Don Best Linemakers Poll. They’re not eligible for the Coaches Poll due to sanctions and also can’t play in the Big Ten title game or a Bowl. However, that doesn’t mean these regular season games are any less important.

Meyer’s men have risen to the occasion against top-25 opponents at Michigan State (17-16 win) and hosting Nebraska (63-38 win). However, they’re 1-4 ATS ranging between 15½-35½ point favorites (dropping the last four). That includes last Saturday’s 52-49 victory at Indiana as 19-point chalk.

Dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller continues his Heisman worthy campaign. He had 211 passing yards last week and 149 more on the ground. He ranks sixth in the entire country in rushing (912 yards) and is also getting plenty of help from the bruising Carlos Hyde (454 yards in five games).

Opposing defenses can’t just worry about containing Miller’s running and throwing in the spread offense and the 57.5 PPG scored the last two weeks shows the unit is starting to peak.

Ohio State fans are more concerned about a defense that ranks just 69th nationally (400 YPG). Indiana had several big plays in racking up 481 total yards and the ‘D’ must play a lot better to cover Saturday’s spread.

The Boilermakers (3-3 SU and ATS) have had a tough start to their conference slate with home losses to Michigan (44-13) and Wisconsin (38-14). The run defense got gashed both games, allowing 304 yards in the former and 467 in the latter.

Coach Danny Hope’s team got dominated in time of possession with the rushing differential and it’s hard to score when the other team has the ball.

Purdue is now 0-3 ATS in its last three games after starting 3-0 ATS. The defense is allowing 41 PPG the last three, with the ‘over’ 4-0 in its last four.

Senior quarterback Caleb TerBush averaged just 92.5 yards passing the last two weeks. Robert Marve and Rob Henry also got snaps and were equally ineffective. Hope says TerBush will be the starter against OSU and play for a ‘sustained amount of time’ before considering a change.

Purdue has only played one game this year outside of Ross-Ade Stadium. That was September 8 at Notre Dame, a tough 20-17 loss as 14-point underdogs. However, the Boilers are not playing nearly as well right now.

Purdue is 6-2 ATS in the last eight against Ohio State, although getting blown out in Columbus (49-0) most recently in 2010.

The ‘under’ is 6-2 in the last eight meetings and would be 7-1 if not for Purdue’s 26-23 home win going into overtime last year.

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