Football Bowl Subdivision
       === Struggling Boilermakers seek upset of undefeated Buckeyes ===
 Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes put
 their perfect record on the line once again, as they play host to the Purdue
 Boilermakers in Big Ten Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
 Purdue opened the season with wins in three of its first four games, but the
 start of conference play hasn't been as rewarding with the team losing two in
 a row to Michigan (44-13) and Wisconsin (38-14). Scoring a total of 27 points
 in the last two outings is a far cry from the 105 the team put up in its
 previous two bouts -- wins over Eastern Michigan and Marshall.
 Ohio State has made Urban Meyer's first season as head coach a memorable one,
 even if the Buckeyes can't win the Big Ten title or go to a bowl game due to
 NCAA sanctions. The team recently won at Indiana, 52-49, marking the second
 straight week and third of the year in which OSU scored at least 52 points --
 56-10 win over Miami-Ohio on Sept. 1, 63-38 win over Nebraska on Oct. 6 being
 the others.
 Ohio State owns a 37-14-2 advantage in the all-time series with Purdue, which
 includes a 25-5-2 mark in Ohio Stadium. The Boilermakers have won in Columbus
 just twice in the last 60 years.
 The Purdue offense struggled to find its footing last week against visiting
 Wisconsin, generating a mere 252 total yards. RB Akeem Hunt didn't get a whole
 lot of touches, but did make the highlight reel as he scored on an 81-yard run
 late in the fourth quarter. RB Ralph Bolden appeared in his first game of the
 season as he continues to rehab a serious knee injury suffered in the 2011
 season finale, and he finished with seven yards on four carries. The
 Boilermakers used three QBs in the game, and the trio combined to go just 11-
 of-31 for 124 yards with no TDs and one interception. They were sacked a total
 of five times.
 As for the defense, it was battered into submission by a bruising Wisconsin
 rushing attack, as star RB Montee Ball ran for 247 yards and three TDs,
 helping the Badgers hammer out 467 yards on the ground. The Boilermakers did a
 decent job against the pass, yielding just 178 yards and one TD. The PU
 defense was on the field for nearly 39 minutes, and got a solid effort from S
 Landon Feichter, who tallied a dozen tackles, 10 of which were unassisted, and
 he had an interception as well. LB Will Lucas made two of his four stops
 behind the line of scrimmage.
 While acknowledging that the unit was a bit banged up coming into last week's
 contest, Purdue head coach Danny Hope was disappointed with the overall effort
 of his defense.
 "The result was from our team not being fundamental. We tried to tackle but we
 were diving at ankles. We weren't able to wrap guys up and were diving at
 ankles too much. We needed to cover in the back half of the defense and cover
 them better. We weren't able to stop their play action attack and they had
 guys wide open. That kind of thing is inexcusable If you load the box up you
 have to be able to cover up in the back half of the defense."
 For the season, Purdue is allowing (27.5 ppg) nearly as many points as it is
 scoring (32.8 ppg), while being outgained on average by roughly 25 ypg
 Shavers (324 yards, three TDs) heads the team's rushing list, while Caleb
 TerBush (74-of-121, 721 yards, eight TDs, six interceptions) has taken the
 bulk of the snaps, and O.J. Ross (38 receptions, 299 yards) and Antavian
 Edison (31 receptions, 371 yards, five TDs) headline the receiving corps.
 No defensive player has more than 33 tackles (Lucas), but Feichter has three
 picks and DT Kawann Short has four of the team's 11 sacks.
 Braxton Miller threw for 211 yards and two TDs while rushing for 149 yards and
 a score, helping the Buckeyes roll up 578 yards of total offense in last
 week's high-scoring affair at Indiana. RB Carlos Hyde led all ground gainers
 with 156 yards and a TD, and WR Devin Smith finished with only two catches,
 but tallied 106 yards and a pair of scores. WR Corey Brown, who pounced on an
 on-sides kick late in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory, led all OSU
 receivers with six grabs (51 yards).
 The Ohio State defense failed to come up with a turnover or a sack, and
 surrendered 352 passing yards to the Hoosiers, who scored 22 points in the
 fourth quarter to make a game of it. Converted FB Zach Boren led the Ohio
 State stand with eight tackles.
 While obviously pleased his team has yet to lose a game this season, Meyer is
 concerned with the play of his defense.
 "Spread offenses right now are really exposing us. We have got to get
 something fixed. I don't want to take anything away. We are 7-0 and we ran the
 ball for 350 yards and had two guys really haul it running the ball. But we
 have got to get back to work."
 He went on to say, "I have to get more involved and find out what the issues
 are. I know injuries are an issue. When you take your starting fullback and
 start him at inside linebacker, you have a little problem. I don't think you
 can pinpoint one thing right now. I have got to find out. I am going to
 increase my involvement with the defense."
 The Buckeyes have allowed more combined points in their last two games (87)
 than they did in the first five (85), and their effort against the run (122.3
 ypg) this year has been more impressive than versus the pass (277.7 ypg). The
 opposite holds true for the team's offensive performance, as it rushes for
 263.6 ypg and passes for 188.9 ypg.
 Miller has thrown for 1,271 yards with 11 TDs and four interceptions, while
 also leading the team with 912 yards and nine scores on the ground. Hyde has
 about half the number of yards (454) as his signal-caller, but has found the
 end zone seven times. As for the receiving corps, Brown has nearly twice as
 many grabs as Smith (41-21), but the latter leads the way in both receiving
 yards (457) and receiving TDs (six).
 Linebacker Ryan Shazier continues to pace the OSU defense with his 65 tackles,
 while CB Travis Howard has three interceptions, DB Bradley Roby has 12 PBU,
 and DL John Simon three of the club's 16 sacks.
 10/17 11:04:42 ET