COLUMBUS, Ohio — Identifying Ohio State’s biggest nemesis over the past few seasons is no problem. Figuring out why, exactly, Purdue has been able to give the Buckeyes so many problems recently is the hard part, and there might not even be a simple solution for what happened in a few eye-opening losses.
But no matter what the Boilermakers have done right or Buckeyes wrong, the recent series history hardly needs to be rehashed to ensure the latter team isn’t overlooking the next opponent on its schedule. Even a team stocked with freshmen and sophomores who have never lost a game in their careers with No. 4 Ohio State have experienced what it’s like to struggle with a bad bunch of Boilermakers, putting them on high alert for Saturday’s trip to Ross-Ade Stadium.
+ EnlargeKirk Irwin/Getty ImagesJeff Heuerman’s two-point conversion catch in the final seconds sent last year’s Purdue game to OT.”It’s every year, and I have no idea why,” junior linebacker Curtis Grant said. “There is always that one team that is always out to get you, and Purdue seems like that team. “That sticks in my mind a lot. The last two years since I’ve been here, they’re always out to get us. We’re not expecting anything less.”
The Boilermakers apparently have saved their best for the Buckeyes over the last few meetings, including two victories at home, one of them a stunning upset of a team ranked No. 7 in the country in 2009. But even when Purdue doesn’t win, it has found a way to still make life miserable for Ohio State, as it did a year ago in the Horseshoe when it was seconds away from wrecking an unbeaten season before Kenny Guiton came off the bench to stage a late rally and ultimately keep the perfect record intact in overtime.
The Buckeyes still have plenty of players who were around for another game that required overtime with the Boilermakers in 2011, a decision that didn’t go their way after having what would have been a game-winning extra point blocked. Those memories remain fresh in their minds, and they’re certainly not looking to add to the collection with so much on the line and so little room for error in the hunt for a national title.
“Our coaching staff does a great job, regardless of who we’re playing, making sure that we’re prepared every week,” tight end Jeff Heuerman said. …
Continue reading this article at ESPN: History with Purdue keeps OSU focused