After beating Nebraska, Ohio State remains in the thick of playoff contention. The Buckeyes will need to keep winning, but, after upending Michigan State last week, Purdue will try to upset its third top-five opponent this season.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, November 13, 2021 – 03:30 PM EST at Ohio Stadium
High Highs and Low Lows
Purdue might have had one of the most interesting seasons up to this point. The team is 6-3, which isn't anything very special. But beating two top-five teams -- first Iowa and then Michigan State -- is quite special.
These two wins against fop-five opponents show the ceiling of this Purdue team. The Boilermakers are capable of beating the most highly-ranked teams.
In other words, when they have a good match-up, the reward can be very high for Boilermaker backers: they can see their team easily cover the spread and even win straight-up at plus odds.
Type of Team
In order to establish the likelihood of a strong outcome in favor of Purdue, it is critical, for your NCAAF betting, to understand which type of team is most likely to give the Boilermakers trouble. This season, Purdue's worst games came against Notre Dame, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Those four teams have something in common: physicality in the trenches. They share a proclivity to play a very hard-nosed type of football. Notre Dame and Wisconsin have garnered the strongest reputations for this type of football with strong and powerful offensive lines and physical and successful running backs who progress to the NFL.
Minnesota and Illinois have also made physicality a point of emphasis, the latter with its so-called 'barge' ball, which consists in employing very heavy sets with lots of blockers. Illinois, in its play-calling, emphasizes the run, as does Minnesota with its physical offensive line play.
Ohio State's Offensive Line vs. Purdue Run Defense
In contrast to these four teams, Ohio State's offensive line will not maul its opponent. The Buckeye offensive line has struggled especially lately. Marred by the positional discontinuity in the o-line, the Buckeye run game has been statistically below average in recent games.
Inconsistencies -- such as in the first half against Penn State -- and general mediocrity -- as against a Cornhusker front seven that had struggled massively against strong ground games but held Ohio State to 90 yards on 30 carries -- constantly threaten to make the offense one-dimensional.
Purdue's run defense has suffered against mauling offensive lines but not against the more athletic and speed-based type of run games. For example, its athleticism and discipline were on display against Nebraska's mobile playmaking quarterback, Adrian Martinez, who squeaked out 18 yards on 10 carries against Purdue. Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson may be a track star with his 100-meter times, but this is not a good match-up for him.
Purdue Offense vs. Ohio State Defense
Offensively, a Purdue team that owns the nation's seventh-highest pass-play rate matches up well against a Buckeye defense that ranks 86th in limiting opposing pass yards per game. OSU's pass defense ranking is particularly unimpressive given the fact that OSU has faced only three teams that rank top-70 in passing yards per game.
When the Buckeye pass defense has had to encounter higher-quality players, it has not gone well. So far, Ohio State has seen two of the Big Ten's top-five leading receivers.
One of those two was Penn State's Jahan Dotson, who amassed 11 receptions and 127 yards against Ohio State. 11 receptions remain tied for Dotson's season-high in receptions while 127 yards is still his second-highest receiving total of the season. The other was Nebraska's Samori Toure, who accomplished a season-high 150 receiving yards against the Buckeyes.
Know for your college football bets that Purdue will benefit uniquely from having the Big Ten's leading wide receiver, David Bell. Despite having played one fewer game, Bell has 69 more receiving yards than the Big Ten's next-leading wide receiver, Dotson. With Bell, among others, to throw to, Aidan O'Connell will look to build off his historic 500-yard passing game against Michigan State.
After facing the Spartans and Cornhuskers, he has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions in the past two weeks. Even against lower-quality pass attacks, like Rutgers', Ohio State's pass defense is vulnerable against the big play particularly as opposing players repeatedly manage to accrue a lot of yards after the catch.
Given Purdue's weapons in the air and the Buckeyes' marked problems against the pass, the Boilermaker pass attack can keep pace with Ohio State's.
Ohio State is not the type of team to bother Purdue. Of course, Ohio State has its weapons at wide receiver. But Purdue, given its own superbly capable pass attack and Ohio State's problematic secondary, can at least keep pace.
For the above reasons, invest in Purdue with your NCAAF picks.
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