WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Critical areas and key players as No. 4 Ohio State pays a visit to struggling Purdue on Saturday at noon at Ross-Ade Stadium as the Buckeyes try to stay in the thick of the BCS race. Boiling blood: There might not be a good explanation for why the Buckeyes have struggled recently against the Boilermakers, but they certainly know it’s true. Purdue has won twice in a row at home and took an Ohio State team that went undefeated a year ago to overtime in a game that required a miraculous drive from backup quarterback Kenny Guiton just to force an extra session, facts that haven’t escaped coach Urban Meyer or his veteran leaders. Even Meyer’s first signing class, a group that has never lost a game with the program, is aware of the danger of overlooking the Boilermakers thanks to that close call last season, and the Buckeyes have been on high alert all week to try to avoid something similar.
Passing fancy: A few Buckeyes had given Braxton Miller a hard time about not scoring a rushing touchdown entering the Penn State game last week, so he went out and produced two of them. But the offense has been operating just fine without the junior quarterback running wild, as he often did a year ago, and the Buckeyes have his arm to thank for their recent explosiveness. Miller is coming off two of the finest games of his career in the passing game, and the Buckeyes have plenty to show for it collectively with 97 points in victories over Iowa and Penn State. Miller added three touchdowns through the air against the Nittany Lions, bumping his completion percentage to 70.6 in the process and giving Ohio State yet another way to pick apart defenses.
+ EnlargeChuck Rydlewski/Icon SMIThe highlight of Bradley Roby’s season so far was probably his blocked punt against Northwestern.Roby restart: Initially there appeared to be some buyer’s remorse about his decision to return for another season with Ohio State, and Bradley Roby’s uneven play early in the season surely didn’t help him feel much better about holding off on the NFL for another year. But the redshirt junior tried to simply wipe his personal slate clean after hitting the midway point of the season with mixed results, and he bounced back against Penn State with perhaps his most consistent performance at cornerback. …
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Five things: Ohio State at Purdue