Purdue is often a thorn for Buckeyes


None of them will have any effect on Ohio State’s game at Purdue on Saturday, but there is no denying the Buckeyes have played some weird, wild, breathtaking and sometimes bitterly disappointing games against the Boilermakers in Ross-Ade Stadium the last two decades.

Since 2000, OSU has played at Purdue seven times and won only three of those games, which seems out of balance with the overall record of those two teams in those 19 seasons. OSU has won eight Big Ten championships since 2000 and Purdue has won one.

The best memory from a road trip to West Lafayette for Ohio State since 2000 obviously is a 10-6 win in 2002.

Ohio State was down 6-3 to Purdue and down to its last chance when Craig Krenzel threw a game-winning 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins on fourth down with 1:36 to play to keep the Buckeyes unbeaten only and on the road to the national championship game.

OSU needed a yard for a first down. The first option on the play was a short pass to tight end Ben Hartsock. Another option was for Krenzel to run the ball.

But when he saw Purdue’s safeties crowding the line and Jenkins a step ahead of the cornerback covering him, he decided to go for an all or nothing throw to his favorite wide receiver.

Even with so little time left, that wasn’t the end of the tension for Ohio State. Purdue wasn’t done until Chris Gamble intercepted a pass at OSU’s 11-yard line with 45 seconds to play.

Purdue’s most memorable game from its four wins would have probably would have to be a 31-27 victory in 2000 which eventually helped send the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 34 years.

Drew Brees completed 39 of 65 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns to lead Purdue from behind twice in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter but Purdue went in front 24-20 with 5:59 when Brees threw a touchdown pass to Vinny Sutherland. But the next time Purdue had the ball, Brees threw one of the worst passes of his careeer, Mike Doss intercepted it and two plays later OSU scored to take a 27-24 lead.

But with Purdue at its own 36-yard line, wide receiver Seth Morales got 10 yards behind the closest Ohio State defensive back, Brees dropped the ball into his hands at OSU’s 20-yard line and he ran untouched to the end zone.

Not many things went right for Ohio State during the ill-fated 2011 season, so it is no surprise that the Buckeyes lost at Purdue and lost in stunning fashion.

After being behind almost the entire game, Ohio State scored with 55 seconds to play on a touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Jordan Hall to tie the game 20-20 and lined up for what looked like it would be the game-winning extra point.

But Purdue blocked Drew Basil’s kick – his first miss of the season – and went on to win 27-23 in overtime.

In 2009 there was no last-minute play that crushed OSU in a 26-18 loss at Ross-Ade It was five turnovers, four of them by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, that did the most damage to an Ohio State team that was ranked No. 7 at the time and lost only two games that season.

It is probably just a statistical oddity, but Purdue is the only Big Ten school where Ohio State does not have a winning record in its last seven times there.

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By Jim Naveau

jnaveau@limanews.com