Ohio State offense fires on all cylinders in blowout of Purdue

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State raced out to a 35-point lead en route to a 59-31 win over Purdue on Saturday afternoon.

OSU’s C.J. Stroud won a quarterback duel with Aidan O’Connell as the Buckeye completed 31 of 38 passes for 361 yards and five touchdowns.

O’Connell, who threw for over 500 yards the week before in an upset of then-No. 3 Michigan State, hit 40 of his 52 passes for 390 yards and four touchdowns.

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes averaged nine yards per play while improving to 9-1 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State scored on all seven of its possessions in the first half while building a 45-17 lead.

The Buckeyes needed five plays for their first score, finishing the drive when Garrett Wilson ran a quick out and found himself wide open in the flat. Stroud got him the ball quickly, and Wilson outran the pursuit to the goal line for the touchdown.

No. 19 Purdue answered with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that started with a 23-yard pass to David Bell and ended with a 25-yard pass to Jackson Anthrop, who was wide open in the end zone after Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman appeared to be in no-man’s land caught between two receivers.

Ohio State struck back quickly with a six-play, 78-yard scoring drive that featured a 49-yard catch-and-run by Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who took a shovel pass in the backfield around left end and sprinted down the sideline before being forced out of bounds.

TreVeyon Henderson capped the drive by pushing into the end zone from three yards out to make it 14-7 with 7:04 to go in the first quarter.

Purdue got the ball and went on the march again, but Jerron Cage jumped on a fumbled handoff at the Ohio State 43-yard line. The defensive tackle’s efforts were quickly rewarded as Henderson took a handoff over left guard and sprinted untouched for a 57-yard touchdown. He got through the line clean as a linebacker was a step slow filling the hole, then the freshman outran two Purdue defensive backs who might have had an angle on someone without Henderson’s breakaway speed.

The Buckeyes kept pouring it on after getting a stop on defense.

Stroud led them on another 75-yard scoring march, this one capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass to Smith-Njigba.

They got the all right back after Chris Booker hit Anthrop on the ensuing kickoff and knocked the ball loose. Palaie Gaoteote pounced on it at the 12, and two plays later Stroud hooked up with Wilson for a 12-yard touchdown. Wilson reached back and snagged the ball with both hands behind the Purdue defender to finish the score.

That gave Ohio State a 35-7 lead with 13:28 left in the second quarter.

Purdue ended that 28-point scoring run with an 80-yard scoring drive capped by O’Connell’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Broc Thompson.

The Buckeyes needed only four plays to respond as Wilson took a handoff and sprinted around end and found nothing but daylight. His 51-yard touchdown run restored Ohio State’s four-touchdown lead midway through the second quarter.

Noah Ruggles hit a 30-yard field goal with 18 seconds left to cap the scoring in the first half.

That came after a 61-yard Purdue drive for a field goal.

Purdue outscored Ohio State 14-7 in the third quarter as the Boilermakers took advantage of a softened up secondary and marched down the field twice for O’Connell touchdown passes.

The Buckeyes scored on a 24-yard pass from Stroud to Wilson on the first possession of the second half.

The hosts tacked on another early in the fourth quarter when Stroud faked a handoff and rolled right to find Olave in the flat. He did the rest for a 5-yard score.


Michigan State at Ohio State, Noon, ABC, 1410

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