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PRESS BOX BLOG: PURDUE AT OHIO STATE
October 13, 2008

SCS.com What a beautiful sunny day in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State is hosting Purdue in an important Big 10 match up. If Purdue could get the win, it would resurrect their season. Ohio State is trying to gel and click offensively and defensively.

3:02 PM - After finding my seat, grabbing a plate of food, and connecting to the internet, I can finally sit down and relax. The box is buzzing with news of Michigan, Ohio State's biggest rival, is going down to the hands of Toledo. What an embarrassing loss for Rich Rodriguez and the Wolverines.

The rest of the buzz is about the Red River Rivalry. They should have never removed the word 'shootout' from the name of the rivalry. This is one crazy game.

3:11 PM - What a weird day in college football. West Virginia only scores 17 against Syracuse. Michigan losing to Toledo. Virginia handling East Carolina. Illinois getting upset by Minnesota. Today is "Sleepwalk Saturday."

3:18 PM - Man, the OSU Marching Band, is a sight to see. Their ramp entrance and script Ohio is a true wonder. Every college football fan needs to see this live.

3:24 PM - Every expert and member of the media picked Oklahoma to beat Texas. Shows what we know. The Big 12 South is way up for grabs. If Texas loses to Missouri next week, OU is right back in it

3:33 PM - Ready for kickoff. Let's hope this is a good game. I am looking for a few things.

1. Can Kory Sheets gash this OSU defense, which is soft up front?
2. Can Pryor keep the offensive potent and balanced?
3. Can the Buckeyes avoid the upset and handle Purdue like Penn State did?

3:40 PM - OSU opponents beware, they have a new stud kick returner. Lamaar "Flash" Thomas. His number? The same as Ted Ginn Jr's, 7.

3:44 PM - OSU blocks a punt and return it for a touchdown. Purdue cannot make these type of mistakes if they want to beat the Bucks.

3:50 PM - Curtis Painter has just passed the 10,000 yard career mark. Too bad his senior season is going so poorly. His NFL future is bright.

3:55 PM - OSU has all the momentum. They are playing with a swagger that was not there earlier in the year. Pryor is the reason, no doubt in my mind. Pryor's freshman buddies are starting to see the field.

I am going to keep an eye on Vandy and Mississippi State. 7-3 Vandy at halftime.

3:58 PM - OSU still has trouble running the zone-read, QB draw, and option game with Pryor.

4:00 PM - This drive s huge for Purdue. Starting at their own 16, down 7-0. They need points on this drive.

4:07 PM - Purdue was in hurry up mode and driving down the field. They were having offensive success without running the ball. Then, an OSU defensive end, Thaddeus Gibson, broke free from the line and forced Curtis Painter to fumble, which was recovered by the Bucks. Drive killer.

4:09 PM - Chris Wells has the nastiest stiff arm in football. Cornerbacks are no match for him.

4:12 PM - Dominating drive by OSU, but they stalled at the 7-yard lne. 10-0. Pryor is struggling with the short quick passes across the middle. He is a true freshman, so Buckeye fans will let it slide.

4:16 PM - It is such a treat to sit in the press box. The buzz, the reporters, the photographers, the view, it is all a lot to soak in. But as a youngster, it is great prep. It is an amazing view from up here. I can see almost all of the Shoe.

4:18 PM - Buckeye interception. Even with the ball in Purdue's territory, Tressel is being way to convervative. Let Pryor play. Roll him out. Let him air it out. OSU misses a field goal. Good hold by Purdue. Bad playcalling by Tressel.

4:25 PM - Who is the best defensive player for OSU? Not James Laurinaitis. It is Malcolm Jenkins, who is a 1st round lock. The senior cornerback has a blocked punt, an INT, and he just dropped a pick six but the incompletion was on a 4th and 2. That was Purdue's big chance to cut into the OSU lead. Now OSU has great field position, at their own 48.

4:33 PM - Purdue's defense is keeping OSU out of the end zone. 13-0 late in the 2nd quarter. The Boilermakers are not going away quietly.

4:44 PM - Purdue cannot bust the big play. Ohio State's defense is playing stingy today. 13-0 with 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. OSU would love to go up 20-0, and Purdue would love to keep it 13-0 because they get the ball back to start the 2nd half.

4:48 PM - 3 and out for OSU. Pryor is not throwing the ball. He is holding it was to long and taking way to many sacks. He is still learning.

4:50 PM - Like I thought, Vandy is struggling with the spotlight. Down 17-7 early in the 4th quarter. There is no such thing as an easy game in the SEC.

4:59 PM - End of the half 13-0. OSU is moving the ball, but their offense has yet to score. Purdue is staying alive.

5:11 PM - What a half time show! The Best Damn Band In The Land aptly named.

5:22 PM - Kory Sheets is becoming more of a factor. Two nice runs in a row. The playaction is opening up.

5:29 PM - Purdue is on the board after a 53-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs, a school record. 13-3 OSU leads.

5:35 PM - Offensive line injuries are really hurting OSU right now. The holes are not opening up and Pryor has less and less time every snap.

5:41 PM - OSU drives down the field, but punts yet again. Purdue is going to have to earn it. They will start at their own four. This is dangerous territory if they go 3 and out

5:44 PM - Down goes Vandy. America's underdogs have been beaten by Croom's Bulldogs. Vanderbilt is not used to these high expectations. They obviosuly could not handle the top 15 ranking. Tough loss.

5:48 PM - The Shoe is coming alive. After starting at their own four, Purdue went 3 and out. OSU returned the punt to the Purdue 38. The crowd is begging for an offensive score.

5:53 PM - OSU gets a 1st and goal and runs two poorly executed running plays in a row. 3rd and goal from the 11 is not a good situaton for young Terrelle Pryor. End of the third quarter.

5:55 PM - Pryoor scrambles but is stopped at the 5-yard line. The first two plays put OSU in a bad position. The play calling is very questionable. 16-3 early in the 4th. Painter needs to rally the troops and score a touchdown on this drive.

6:00 PM - Texas Tech is on upset alert. Nebraska is down seven, with the ball and two minutes left.

6:10 PM - Purdue had a solid drive going. They were near midfield when OSU got its first sack of the day. That might have killed Purdue's chances. Painter has not looked good today. Maybe it is because the OSU defensive backs are having their best game of the season.

6:15 PM - Ohio State, Georgia, Miami (fl), and Texas Tech have added to "Sleepwalk Saturday." (Note - All four teams won, but none looked overly impressive).

6:17 PM - Ohio State's defense will not allow Purdue to get anything started. With 7:32 remaining, I am going to pack up and head down to the field. OSU's offense needs an identity, but their defense found their voice today. This team has potential, but it has yet to click like Penn State has. 16-3 with time running low. Has Tressel ball made a return to Columbus, Ohio? I think so.

6:22 PM - Ohio State ball with 5:14 left. This game is over and I am heading down to the field.

8:12 PM - The Buckeye faithful were slightly disappointed with their 16-3. They want to see their Bucks, who started the season ranked number two, click more on offense. Ohio State is a work in progress. The play calling must improve for Ohio State to win the Big 10. Games against Michigan State and Penn State in the next two weeks.

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