COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — No. 4 Ohio State steamrolled the No. 19 Purdue Boilermakers 59-31 with the Buckeyes offense returning to peak form, including an impressive performance by quarterback C.J. Stroud, a massive day for wide receiver Garrett Wilson and dominating rushing attack.
Here’s more on those 3 takeaways:
C.J. Stroud goes off (again)
In his first true cold-weather game, the California kid delivered. Stroud went 31-of-38 for 361 yards and five touchdowns as he torched Purdue’s secondary all game long.
This is the third time Stroud has thrown for five touchdowns in one game — second-most in a season in Ohio State history.
Stroud threw two interceptions last week but had zero turnovers against the Boilermakers and was incredibly efficient with the Buckeyes scoring a touchdown on their first six possessions.
Perhaps most encouraging is the fact OSU went four-for-five in the red zone and six-for-seven inside the 25-yard line. Three of those red-zone touchdowns were through the air. In the last two weeks, the Buckeyes went two-for-nine in the red zone, so it’s good to see that part of the offense is back on track.
OSU’s rushing attack is all the way back
Ohio State failed to surpass 100 yards rushing against Nebraska last week — the first time since October 2018 they failed to do so when they lost to Purdue.
But the Buckeyes righted the ship Saturday, going off for 263 yards on the ground, including a 113-yard performance by redshirt freshman Miyan Williams. TreVeyon Henderson started as per usual and was excellent as per usual, totaling 98 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, including a 57-yard score.
Give a ton of credit to the Buckeyes offensive line, which acknowledged their below-average performance last week and responded by constantly pushing Purdue backward and opening holes like this one for Henderson and Williams:
Garrett Wilson is a bad man
Someone in the Ohio State receiver room is going to go bananas every week. That’s a fact. Last week, with Garrett Wilson out, Jaxon Smith-Njigba recorded a school-record 15 catches for 240 yards.
Wilson returned to the lineup Saturday and went bonkers: 10 catches for 126 yards and four total touchdowns, including a 51-yard rushing score.
Wilson is the 38th Buckeye in school history to score at least four touchdowns in a single game and the first since J.K. Dobbins 2019.
Smith-Njigba was outstanding once again, pulling in nine catches for 139 yards and one touchdown while Chris Olave hauled in nine catches, too, for 85 yards and one touchdown.
Bonus: Swiss cheese
That’s what Ohio State’s defense looked like at times. Pass-happy Purdue found plenty of ways to exploit the Buckeyes through the air. The Boilermakers rank first in the Big Ten in passing attempts per game and last in rushes per game, but still, OSU couldn’t stop the expected aerial attack.
Ranked 93rd in the country, the Buckeyes allow 247 passing yards a game and gave up nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns to the Boilermakers.
Luckily for the defense, Ohio State’s offense was tremendous, but the Buckeyes don’t want to find themselves in a shootout against a team that can also run the ball well, which Purdue can’t do.
After several weeks of suffocating defense, Ohio State needs to go back to the film room and figure out what went wrong and how to go about fixing it.