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Purdue University

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College football preview: No. 4 Ohio State at Purdue

Records: Boilermakers (1-6, 0-3 Big Ten); Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0)

When: Noon today

Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 1380 AM

On the Web: To watch a video preview for the game, go to “Boiling Point” at www.journalgazette.net

3 matchups to watch

Purdue defense vs. Ohio State running game: The Boilermakers have struggled with gap assignments and tackling against tough rushing attacks like Wisconsin and Nebraska, and the Buckeyes bring more of that to West Lafayette today. Quarterback Braxton Miller is a dual-threat option, running backs Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde have combined for 1,109 yards and 15 touchdowns and five Ohio State rushers have two or more touchdowns.

Ohio State vs. Recent history: Although this looks like a blowout on paper, there’s reason to believe the Boilermakers could keep this game close – that reason being the way the Buckeyes have played in West Lafayette in their last four tries. Ohio State is 1-3 at Purdue, and the Boilermakers took the Buckeyes to overtime in Columbus, Ohio, during Ohio State’s undefeated 2012 season. The Buckeyes are 20-0 in their last two years but are wary of the challenges they’ve had on the road against Purdue, coach Urban Meyer said. Purdue, for its part, will hope for a hot start to try and force those doubts back into the Buckeyes’ minds.

Purdue offense vs. Ohio State defense: Freshman quarterback Danny Etling and his offense couldn’t put up points against Michigan State, the top defensive team in the country, during a 14-0 loss before its bye week. With two weeks to prep his team, coach Darrell Hazell hopes his offense can open up against the Buckeyes, who are also a stout defensive squad. Ohio State is No. 15 in the country with 19.1 points allowed per game. The Buckeyes give up just 95.9 rushing yards per game, sixth best in the country, and are limiting opponents to 240.3 yards passing per game, which is 79th in the NCAA. The Purdue offense is ranked 120th out of 123 FBS teams. None of those numbers bode well for the Boilers.

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Purdue 14

smorrison@jg.net

– Sean Morrison, The Journal Gazette

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