Point/Counterpoint: aOSU v Purdue (11 Warriors sounds off)

(Special Thanks to 11 Warriors' Jason for contributing)

Greetings Boilers. I am here to provide you with a blueprint to getting your team into a position to steal the game in Columbus.

As with any fan that's watched entirely too much football, I've come to know what weaknesses there might exist on each side of the ball for the Buckeyes. These are those weaknesses

WHEN PURDUE HAS THE BALL Sheets has had an excellent season and he'll get his here and there. But where Purdue really has a chance to do some damage is attacking the middle of the OSU secondary. I know Painter is off to a rocky start, but you don't put up his career numbers if you're crap. If he can get it going this game and and the line can protect long enough, Orton, Tardy and Smith all have the size to work in the middle of the field where the Buckeye safeties hit better than they cover.
The key to doing this is establishing some semblance of a rushing threat so Laurinaitis and the linebackers get sucked up a little. USC was able to do it with ease, Troy got scored their lone touchdown by throwing over the middle and Wisconsin took advantage of the Buckeye safeties with throw to the deep middle to put themselves in position for a field goal at the end of the first half. Avoid the sidelines, because the corners are good, but the middle of the field is there.

WHEN OHIO STATE HAS THE BALL Pryor and Wells are going to make plays. Your best bet is to try to limit their damage and then when you can, put the team in down and distance holes by blitzing Pryor on early downs. After the opening two drives in Madison, when he seemed to move the ball at will, the Badgers decided to come after Pryor a bit and got him several times. He doesn't have any type of serious rapport with any one receiver yet, so the time is ripe to be able to pull this off. He's also shown a weakness for trying to create when there's absolutely nothing there -- often losing gigantic chunks of yardage in the process.

The option and Pryor's passing game will only continue to improve, but right now in his career, he's still prone to making the types of mistakes that take the team out of scoring position.

Here's what I think:
Excellent analysis, Jason. It's almost like you watch film and spend hours thinking about ways of helping your team better itself. Sadly, Purdue's coaching staff doesn't do that too much...But, if they do, say come out strong versus an opponent, they surely will not make adjustments at halftime as I'm convinced they believe, by rule, a team must stay in a scheme for an entire contest. If Purdue does what you suggest, and succeeds, look for the vest to make adjustments at the quarter or half and Purdue to do nothing to counter...thus, the Bucks will run away in the final two quarters.

I tend to agree with you about Painter- he's no schmo...but he sure has played like one lately. Purdue has no threat of the deep ball, whether on the sideline or in the middle. In fact, there's only been one pass completed for more than 40 yards on the season...and that was v. Northern Colorado. Plus, Painter's achilles heel has always been throwing into the middle of the field.

The starting premise that Sheets will get yards in chunks might be harder to come by than you think too as Tiller and Z seem to think the draw is the smartest running play they can run with the undersized back and the underwhelming run-blocking line...Sweeps and delays seemed to have worked well...but you won't see too many of those. If you do, Sheets will get his yards.

Defensively, Purdue almost never blitzes...it works too well when they do. Instead, they apply a super-slow collapsing pocket that gives opposing quarterbacks the option to run as it breaks down or pick the place to pass (usually in the middle due to poor LB pass coverage). Purdue's team is not untalented or horribly slow or undersized, but they are absolutely poorly coached and underprepared...not to mention emotionally dead in most games. Nice combo.

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