Do I have reason to sound a bit cocky? Well it may not be my nature but to this point entering week 10 going a perfect 12/12 last week at the DSI/BM contest plus sitting at 9-2 for 82% on my best bets sure why not? Probably my most effective CFB season in nearly 5 years, and there's no reason to stop now while on an emotional high. I do however caution those who are playing today that the board is a bit less inviting due to fewer quantity though there are spots out there to be picked. So please tread lightly as lines are a bit more set where upsets could play a role later in the season.
This afternoon Urban Meyer and company feature the 4th ranked Ohio St Buckeyes (8-0) against the pitiful pathetic Purdue Boilermakers (1-6) at Ross-Ade Stadium which this afternoon when the dust settles might be re-named Rolaids Stadium. We all now that Ohio St is running the nation's current longest winning streak at 20 games, but after last week's 63-14 punishing of Penn St this team continues to but the BCS pressure on the likes of Alabama, Oregon and Florida St with hopes of a potential title game in their future. The offense, in particular, appears to be on a high-speed treadmill averaging a conference best 47.2 points per game along with 296 rushing yards good for 9th in the country.
Standing out is the versatility at QB featuring the combination of Braxton Miller (89/126 1083 11 TD 2 INT) and Kenny Guiton (67/97 690 13 TD 2 INT) that has shredded opposing defenses with their mobility and accuracy. In week 9 Ohio State scored on six of seven possessions in the first two quarters, throwing deep for scores to wide-open receivers and jamming it between the tackles with Miller and Carlos Hyde (88-590 6.7 7 TD) making the most of gaping holes. Hyde wound up with 147 yards on just 16 carries (9.2) while running for 2 scores. Miller completed threw for 252 and 3 more scores. This offense is a well oiled machine especially in the ground game as Hyde teams well with Jordan Hall (79-519 6.6 8 TD) behind a solid line. While both QB's also have efficient scrambling ability out of the pocket, Devin Smith (35-524 6 TD) and Corey Brown (37-520 7 TD) provide blistering speed in the open field getting behind opposing secondaries.
It is a mark of how bad the 2013 season has been for Purdue that in one of their better performances, they were shut out. While showing a competitive spirit despite a 14-0 loss to Michigan St 2 weeks ago, the Boilermakers are dismal all around. Out of the 123 FBS teams, they are ranked 120th in total offense (278.6 ypg), 119th in rushing offense (76.1 ypg), 90th in passing yardage (202.4 ypg) and 119th in scoring offense (13.1 ppg). Freshman Danny Etling (47/99 832 3 TD 4 INT) took over from opening day starter Rob Henry (81/152 832 4 TD 6 INT) after not playing at all in the first four games while starting the last 2. DeAngelo Yancey has been the most productive of Purdue’s receivers (15-327 1 TD). There's also Akeem Hunt (24-239 2 TD) and Justin Sinz (21-159 2 TD) as shorter options for Etling. However with Ohio State's defense giving up just 19 ppg and raised as a key area of improvement heading towards the BCS, Purdue is faced with a nearly insurmountable challenge especially with the ground game representing nothing short of a disaster as evident by their 3 lone scores in that category. Throw out the 20-14 win over Indiana St and this Boilermaker defense is yielding nearly 39 points per contest including 92nd in the country against the run.
The Purdue weakness against the rush will be exploited to the max as Ohio State's offense plans to run Hyde down an opponent’s throat than do just about anything else. Miller has improved significantly in his reads and his decision-making in the last two games, and that experience should help him take advantage of a Purdue defense that will look to blitz with hopes to force him to make quick decisions. Sure is nice to dream isn't it. The Buckeyes will not look ahead nor feel intimidated away from the shoe as I go for 5 straight. Best of luck however you play!