Ohio State vs. Purdue: Top Players to Watch in Big Ten Clash

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent INovember 1, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 19:  Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates with Jamal Marcus #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes after the Buckeyes defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 34-24 at Ohio Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State hits the road in Week 10 to take on Big Ten rival Purdue, and there's no doubt about which team is favored to win. 

The Buckeyes enter the game undefeated, having just annihilated Penn State last Saturday 63-14 to the delight of the home crowd in Columbus, Ohio.

Unless this team suffers a mental breakdown between now and the final weekend of the season, Ohio State should be undefeated when it takes on Michigan at the Big House. 

Purdue, on the other hand, has only managed one victory this season. The Boilermakers have only managed to score seven points in the past two games—during which time they've been outscored 58-7 by Nebraska and Michigan State.

From the frying pan into the fire sounds about right for this upcoming contest for the Boilermakers. Regardless of the lopsided nature of this game, there are excellent players to watch on both teams. With that in mind, here's a look at who they are. 


Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

Braxton Miller is one of the most exciting players to watch in all of college football. 

He's playing particularly well of late too, making Ohio State unbeatable in the process. Since returning to action four games ago after missing a couple of games with an injury, Miller has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Im
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

He's also been effective as a runner, pounding out 321 yards and two touchdowns in the same period of time. 

If Purdue has any hope of pulling off a legendary upset, then its defense must first and foremost shut down Miller—a task that's far easier said than done. 


Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue

If the Boilermakers do end up with an upset victory at home against Ohio State, then you can be sure defensive tackle Bruce Gaston will have something to do with it. 

Nov 17, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (2) is tackled by Purdue Boilermakers defensive tackle Bruce Gaston (90) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Spo
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the players from Purdue set to line up in this contest, Gaston is the one most likely to make big money playing this game at the next level. At 6'2" and 305 pounds, he has the ideal size to become a dominant defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

He also has the quickness and strength needed to be a force in the middle for Purdue in this upcoming game. Through seven games, Gaston has already racked up 21 solo tackles and three sacks—big-time numbers for a trench warrior. 


Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

It's almost a given that Ohio State's offense will light up the scoreboard against Purdue's No. 106-ranked scoring defense (34.4 points allowed per game). 

With that in mind, Purdue will necessarily pass the ball more often than it usually does in this game, which means viewers will be treated to the Bradley Roby show on a regular basis. 

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1:  Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates scoring a touchdown after Zac Murphy #45 of the Miami Redhawks fumbled a punt during the third quarter on September 1, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State de
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The cornerback from Ohio State hasn't been as dominant on the perimeter than some expected this season, but he's still considered to be an excellent pro prospect. Though not as tall as some of the bigger corners in the pro game, he is speedy, quick and plays the ball well in the air.

With two interceptions and eight passes defended, he's been an active player for the Buckeyes on defense this year. 


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