Ohio State Football: Why Purdue Was the Buckeyes' Most Important Win in 2012

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 20:  Jeff Heuerman #86 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after catching a two point conversion against the Purdue Boilermakers to send the game into overtime on October 20, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Purdue 29-22 in overtime. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Every football season has its signature moment, and the Ohio State Buckeyes can look back on a game that they should have won more convincingly and call that the biggest win of the year.

Beating Wisconsin and Michigan at the end of the season were obviously tremendous in their own way. But each game had plenty of moments where it looked like the Buckeyes were going to win.

OSU had every reason to lose a game in which it somehow won 29-22 against Purdue in overtime.

A loss would have also ended a shot at a perfect season, and may have slowly derailed the positive energy directed towards going unbeaten.

The Buckeyes had given up all sorts of big plays and never got their offense going. All seemed lost when Braxton Miller went down in the third quarter with what looked like a devastating injury.

OSU committed a safety, fell behind seven and followed it up with a turnover with under three minutes left to play.

After a defensive stand to get the ball back, coach Urban Meyer made sure that his backup quarterback, Kenny Guiton, knew that he had full confidence in him to tie the game.

He did tie the game, throwing a touchdown pass to Chris Fields and the game-tying two-point conversion to Jeff Heuerman with three seconds left.

OSU got the ball first in overtime, scored and shut down the Boilermakers to secure arguably the most stunning win in years.

The win threw the players and fans into a frenzy. And we all know the eventual aftermath; the Buckeyes completed their perfect season.

If they hadn't beaten Purdue, that obviously would not have happen.

But, could Ohio State have found the resolve if it suffered a loss to finish out the season with the same amount of energy and drive?

Luckily, the players, coaches and fans will never know.

If you ask people in five years which game was the springboard, very few might think of this win over Purdue being that win.

But at this point, there's little doubt about why OSU's dramatic comeback win was the most important of the 2012 season. It wasn't just about winning a game.

It was about creating a belief; a confidence that the Buckeyes felt they could win any game they played.


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