The Ohio State football team looks to keep their perfect record intact this Saturday as they travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the 2-4 Purdue Boilermakers. While Ohio State has continued to improve since opening the season with a 23-3 win over the Indiana Hoosiers, Purdue has stubbed their toe multiple times this year.
The Boilermakers lost their season opener to Fresno State 35-39 before going on the road in week two and defeating Virginia Tech in a weather-delayed Saturday afternoon contest by the score of 24-17. They then came back home and were overrun by Syracuse for a second-straight season, this time by the score of 20-35.
After going 1-2 in their non-conference play, Purdue hasn’t faired any better during their three conference games. They lost a 17th consecutive game to Wisconsin, defeated Illinois 44-19, but then followed that up with a 14-20 loss in Iowa City against the Hawkeyes.
This just isn’t a very good Purdue team. First-year head coach Ryan Walters is in the midst of a rebuild and to make matters worse, he announced this week that the Boilermakers will be without starting tight end Max Klare, right tackle Marcus Mbow, and cornerback Marquis Wilson for the remainder of the season. Plus, running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. will not be available for Walters against the Buckeyes.
In short, Purdue isn’t healthy going into this big home game, but at this point in the season, who is? Ohio State will more than likely be without wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, who left last week’s game in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Speculation is that Ryan Day will hold him out of this week’s game against Purdue. An increased role for super senior and do everything Swiss army knife Xavier Johnson is expected in Egbuka’s absence.
Given both teams’ health concerns, Ohio State’s shaky past in West Lafayette, and the apparent bad weather that could be awaiting the Buckeyes when they arrive at Purdue, let’s dive into this week’s confidence level.