The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes kept their national championship hopes alive on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind., blowing out Purdue 56-0 to improve to 9-0 on the year and 21-0 overall under Urban Meyer, per CBS Sports' Eye on College Football on Twitter:
FINAL: Ohio State 56, Purdue 0. Buckeyes move to 21-0 under Urban Meyer w/ largest margin in series history.— Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) November 2, 2013
Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller was sensational in the first half, throwing for over 230 yards and four touchdowns, a personal record for one half, per ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter:
For the 1st time in his career, Braxton Miller has 4 pass TD in a half.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 2, 2013
Like the final score suggests, this game was an absolute blowout. Ohio State out-gained Purdue 640-116 in total yards and possessed the ball for 10 more minutes than the Boilermakers.
|Ohio State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten)||28||14||7||7||56|
|Purdue (1-7, 0-4 Big Ten)||0||0||0||0||0|
As expected, Ohio State started lightning fast on Saturday, as Doran Grant intercepted Danny Etling and returned it for a touchdown less than a minute into the first quarter. Following a 40-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Jeff Heuerman on the Buckeyes' first offensive drive, Purdue was trailing by two scores just three and a half minutes into the game.
After two more touchdown passes from Miller, including this crafty one to Philly Brown, Meyer's squad led 28-0 heading into the second quarter.
Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton even got in on the fun in the second quarter, putting Ohio State up by five touchdowns with this jump pass reminiscent of Tim Tebow a few years back at Florida.
Following Miller's fourth touchdown pass of the half, Ohio State made its way to the locker room with a cushy 42-point lead. At halftime, Sports Illustrated writer Stewart Mandel proposed an excellent idea for Meyer and the Buckeyes:
If Ohio State wants to REALLY impress the voters, it should let Purdue use Braxton Miller in the 2nd half.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 2, 2013
Meyer didn't hand Miller a Purdue jersey, but did the next best thing, handing Guiton the keys to the offense in the second half.
Guiton would rush for two more touchdowns in the second half, inflating Ohio State's lead to 56 points with just under 11 minutes to play. At that point, the Buckeyes let off the gas and coasted home to the finish, earning their second shutout win of the season.
Key Player Grades
Braxton Miller, Ohio State, QB: A+
It's very difficult to play better than Braxton Miller did in the first half against Purdue on Saturday. Aside from his interception, Miller was almost perfect, completing 19 of 23 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns.
When you only need a quarter to give your team an insurmountable lead, you're doing something right.
Danny Etling, Purdue, QB: F
In Danny Etling's defense, he didn't have a whole lot of help on Saturday. Still, the freshman's performance left a lot to be desired. Etling opened the game by tossing a pick-six, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
He would finish 89 passing yards and an interception on 13 of 29 passing.
Carlos Hyde, Ohio State, RB: A
Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde wasn't quite as devastating as Miller on Saturday, but nonetheless the senior was effective. Hyde only needed eight carries to rack up 111 yards rushing on Purdue's defense.
His 13.9 yard-per-carry average is the most of any game of his college career.
The Buckeyes will have two weeks to celebrate their blowout victory over Purdue. Ohio State is idle in Week 11 and will return to the field on Nov. 16 at Illinois. At 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten, Purdue has been eliminated from both conference championship and bowl contention this season.
The Boilermakers will aim to bounce back when they host Iowa next Saturday.
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