Bucks and Boilers Have Provided Some Moments

COLUMBUS – Ohio State and Purdue don’t play every year in college football but when the two teams meet, Ohio State fans get nervous. That is saying a lot in a series where the Buckeyes lead 40-15-2, but recent history has shown that nobody gets to the Buckeyes more than the Boilermakers.

At least in terms of when the game is played in West Lafayette (Ind.).

Ohio State has won one of the last four, two of the last six and three of the last eight at Ross-Ade Stadium through the years.

Fortunately for Ohio State fans, this game will be played at Ohio Stadium, a venue where the Buckeyes have not lost to the Boilermakers in the last nine meetings, the last loss dating back to 1988 and the next most recent home loss is more than 50 years ago, all the way back to 1967.

Even with that, three of the last four home wins for the Buckeyes against Purdue have been by two scores of fewer including a seven-point win in 2012.

While so much attention will be focused on how the “Spoilermakers” have turned not only the Big Ten but the college football world on its ear with top-five upset wins of (then) No. 2 Iowa and (then) No. 3 Michigan State, Ohio State has its own history to contend with.

We’re taking a look at a couple of recent games in the series, both home and away as Purdue has proven to be Ohio State’s kryptonite at a surprising level.

The Losses

2018: The Buckeyes were No. 2 in the nation, 7-0 on the season and just come off of a 30-14 win over Minnesota and had an open week on the other side of the Purdue game. It was a windy evening for a 7:42pm kickoff in West Lafayette and the Buckeye got jumped by a Purdue team sporting a healthy diet of Rondale Moore. Moore would account for 12 receptions, 170 yards and two scores as David Blough would throw for 378 yards. Dwayne Haskins would attempt a school record 73 passing attempts as the Buckeyes could not run the ball behind an always reliable duo of Mike Weber and JK Dobbins. Ohio State finally showed some life in the 4th quarter when Haskins would find Johnnie Dixon on a 32-yard touchdown pass to close the margin to two scores, but Purdue would immediately answer with a 40-yard TD run by DJ Knox and despite a Terry McLaurin late touchdown, the Buckeyes not only lost this game but were blown out 49-20.

2011: Nobody is going to have fond memories of the 2011 season, the first year after Jim Tressel and the year before the arrival of Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes were 6-3 on the season but on a three-game winning streak including an unforeseen win over Wisconsin two weeks prior. The Buckeyes would travel to Purdue and spot the Boilermakers a 10-point early lead before the Buckeyes would answer on a Braxton Miller to Jordan Hall touchdown strike to close the gap to just three points. Ohio State, down six points, would score in the final 55 seconds of the game on the second Miller to Hall connection, this time from 13 yards out. Ohio State would only need a successful point after to take the last and presumable escape with a win. It was not meant to be as Drew Basil’s PAT was blocked and it forced overtime, tied at 20. Ohio State would have to settle for a 33-yard field goal in the top of the first overtime and Purdue would answer with a one-yard Robert Marve TD run to secure the 26-23 win. Ohio State would go on to lose the next three games of the season including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl to wind up 6-7 on a forgettable season.

2009: The Buckeyes were No. 7 in the nation while Purdue was only 1-4 on the season with first-year head coach Danny Hope. This game will be remembered as the Ryan Kerrigan game as the Purdue defensive lineman made an investment in his future, dominating the Buckeyes to the tune of three sacks and four tackles for loss. Ohio State would find itself down 23-7 at the end of three quarters and despite cutting it to a one-score game in the middle of the fourth quarter after a Terrelle Pryor to DeVier Posey touchdown and ensuing two-point make by Pryor, the Buckeyes couldn’t answer on their final drive despite driving to the Purdue 38. A 4th and 14 prayer would go unanswered and Ohio State would drop a 26-18 decision to the Boilermakers.

1960: We bring this one up only because Ohio State was No. 3 in the nation at the time, part of the “Spoilermakers” narrative. This game is different than many of the other losses as Ohio State held a four-point lead late into the third quarter on a Bob Ferguson one-yard touchdown rush as Ohio State would then go up 21-17 on the home team. The Buckeyes would not be able to hang on however as Bernard Jones would break his third touchdown run of the game in the final seconds of the third quarter, this one from 32 yards out, to give the Boilermakers the final score of the contest in a 24-21 win.

The Wins

2012: It is hard to believe that Ohio State and Purdue have not played at Ohio Stadium since 2012, also known as the Kenny Guiton game. We could just finish the section calling it the Guiton game but for those who don’t remember, Purdue would open up a 22-14 lead in the 4th quarter as Ohio State would only briefly hold the lead once in this contest. Purdue would see the lead move to eight after a safety and the Buckeyes would be down their starting quarterback as Braxton Miller was knocked out of the game and Kenny Guiton was inserted into the lineup. It did not start smoothly as Guiton was intercepted by Landon Feichter with 2:40 left in the game but the Buckeyes would get another crack at it, but there was no margin for error as the Buckeyes brought a 7-0 record into this game. Guiton would connect with Chris Fields on a two-yard touchdown with just three seconds left in the game but there was still a matter of the all-important two-point conversion. “Kenny G” as the fans liked to call him had an answer for that and would find tight end Jeff Heuerman in the end zone to tie the game up at 22-all and force overtime. A Carlos Hyde one-yard run would be the difference as Ohio State would escape with the 29-22 win as Caleb TerBush could not connect with Crosby Wright on the final play of the game. Ohio State would go on to a 12-0 season, but a postseason ban would keep the Buckeyes from playing for any sort of national championship.

2008: This game would be much more nondescript than the 2012 game as Ohio State would win 16-3 with nearly half of Ohio State’s output coming on a special teams play where Malcolm Jenkins would block a punt and have Etienne Sabino pick it up and take it in 20 yards for the touchdown. Ohio State would settle for a pair of Ryan Pretorius field goals along with a 49-yarder from Aaron Pettrey to round out the scoring. Terrelle Pryor would throw for less than 100 yards and while Purdue’s Curtis Painter would throw for more than 200 yards, the Buckeyes did not allow the Boilermakers to score any touchdowns, only relegated to a single field goal by Carson Wiggs.

2003: Another home game, another overtime game. This time the Buckeyes would need a Mike Nugent field goal in overtime to secure the win in this battle of top-20 teams. There were only two touchdowns scored in this game and Ohio State’s offense would account for zero touchdowns. Ohio State would get their score on a Kyle Orton fumble in the shadow of his own end zone that Mike Kudla would fall on for the Ohio State score. That would give the Buckeyes a seven-point lead in the 4th quarter. Purdue would answer seven minutes later on a 11-yard touchdown run by Jerod Void, tying the game at 13-all with less than five minutes left. Ohio State had a chance to win this game in regulation, but a 41-yard Nugent try was blocked by a leaping Bobby Iwuchukwu, sending the game to overtime. Ohio State would connect on a 36-yard field goal in overtime where Purdue would miss its own similar kick, giving the Buckeyes the three-point win.

2010: We are going out of order but post this game to show that Ohio State can win a game at home against Purdue by more than just a score. Sadly, the NCAA does not recognize this game as the wins of the 2010 have been stripped from the record books but for anyone that was at the game or watched it, the NCAA can’t erase the memories of the 49-0 route of the Boilermakers. Terrelle Pryor would throw for three scores (and two picks) as Dane Sanzenbacher, DeVier Posey, Philly Brown and Spencer Smith would all have receiving touchdowns (Joe Bauserman would throw for a touchdown in this game as well). Boom Herron would rush for 74 yards and two scores while Jordan Hall would have a rushing touchdown of his own. Ohio State would hold Purdue to 30 yards on the ground and 110 yards passing in an absolute blowout.

C’mon Nooner! How did you not mention 1968 when the Buckeyes upset the highly ranked Boilers and their star LeRoy Keyes 13-0? It was my first time back after graduating and serving a year in Nam. Can assure you, the Buckeye faithful were really excited. (Of course, forgetting the drubbing they gave us in 1967 was appropriate! 🙄😬)
Where is the 2002 “Holy Buckeye” game?
I didn't need to talk about that game, this is about games that either have been forgotten or chosen to be forgotten. I didn't need to tell the story of Holy Buckeye for the 400th time really.

All four of the wins I talked about were in Columbus because this '21 game is in Columbus and I was illustrating some of the games in Columbus at that part of the story.

Ohio State has not lost at home to Purdue since 1988 and the loss before that was 1967, so I really was not going to write about home losses because they were infrequent and not as relevant to the story.
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Mid 80's at Purdue. Last few minutes of the game. Down marker showed 3rd down. It was actually 4th. Receivers were covered so Tomczak threw the ball away. GAME
Nice article Kevin. It caused me to remember a Sat. in 1968 when I was at the shoe and watched Woody and the super sophmores take down Mike Phipps, Leroy Keyes, and the number 1 Boilermakers. Still one of my favorite games of all time.