Urban Meyer: Loss to Purdue 'Exposed' Ohio State's Glaring Weaknesses

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2018

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches from he sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Purdue Boilermakers blew out No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday night, 49-20, and after the game, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer offered a blunt assessment of his team.

"The glaring shortcomings we have were exposed," he said, per Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com. "Number one, off the top, is our red-zone offense. We go down there a few times, two field goals and one missed field goal. We've never had this issue. We're going to get a real thorough evaluation of that. And then the big plays on defense."

Meyer also touched on the team's 10 penalties in the contest.

"It's been an issue this year," he said. "Not very disciplined. I think they're effort penalties, but just, I mean, ridiculous."

Giving up big plays doomed Ohio State down the stretch.

Already trailing 21-6 in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes allowed D.J. Knox to scamper 42 yards for a rushing score. After matching that touchdown two minutes later, Ohio State again allowed Knox to find paydirt, this time on a 40-yard run. And Purdue put the game away late, with David Blough's 43-yard touchdown strike to Rondale Moore and Markus Bailey's 41-yard interception return for a score.

Despite the score, Ohio State had no issue moving the ball between the 20s, finishing with more first downs (31-24), total yards (546-539) and time of possession (31:17 to 28:43) than Purdue. But the Buckeyes failed to score in three of their five trips inside the red zone, managing just two field goals from those opportunities. 

Perhaps more surprisingly, however, was that Ohio State struggled to gain any traction in the run game, rushing for just 76 yards. That put an incredible burden on quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who finished 49-of-73 for 470 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

"I never thought I would have to throw the ball 73 times for us to win," Haskins said after the loss, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "You've got to do what you do to win. We just didn't do that today."

With the loss, Ohio State's national title aspirations took a blow, but the Buckeyes remain a contender in that regard. Addressing the issues exposed by Purdue will be the key for a Buckeyes team now fighting for its Big Ten and College Football Playoff life.