College Football

Stroud Shines as Ohio State Beats Purdue

Sep 2, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) celebrates after wide receiver Chris Olave (2) scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State avoided the Purdue trap with an overwhelming show of offensive force on Saturday. Quarterback C.J. Stroud was a remarkable 31-38 for 361 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air, while wide receiver Garrett Wilson accounted for 4 total touchdowns. Miyan Williams also emerged as a threat in the backfield alongside Treveyon Henderson, as the two combined for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries. Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell had another outstanding game, passing for 390 yards and 4 touchdowns. But it simply was not enough to overcome the Ohio State offensive barrage.

How it All Happened

The two teams wasted no time getting to work, as Stroud and O’Connell quickly traded touchdown passes to make it 7-7. However, a pair of Treveyon Henderson touchdown runs quickly made 21-7 Buckeyes at the end of the first, and there was no looking back from there. Stroud opened the second quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba. With the game quickly getting away from Purdue, kick returner Jackson Anthrop fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and Ohio State jumped on the ball at the Purdue 12 yard line. Two plays latter, Storud found Wilson in the end zone to make it 28-7.

O’Connell tried to keep things close with a touchdown throw of his own to Broc Thompson to cut the score to 35-14. But Wilson continued his big game with a 51-yard touchdown run for the Buckeyes. The two teams traded field goals going into the locker room, making the score 45-17 Ohio State at the half. Stroud found Wilson in the end zone yet again to start the third quarter. Purdue showed resilience, answering with back-to-back scores through the air, making it a 52-31 game headed into the 4th. Chris Olave would be on the receiving end of the game’s final touchdown pass, and Ohio State secured a dominating win home, 59-31.

What is Next for Both Teams?

Ohio State now faces a brutal end to their schedule, and they must win both games. The Buckeyes host 9-1 Michigan State next week, before heading to Ann Arbor to face 9-1 Michigan. The good news for Ohio State fans is if Ryan Day’s team can win both games and the Big 10 title, there is no doubt they will make the playoffs. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and it all starts with Michigan State.

For Purdue, the remaining road is fairly easy. After overachieving despite a brutal schedule, the Boilermakers take on 3-7 Northwestern and 2-8 Indiana in the upcoming weeks. At 6-4, Purdue is already bowl eligible, but finishing the season strong would greatly enhance the quality of the bowl game they are invited to. Also, 8-4 sounds much better than 6-6. After what Purdue has already accomplished, it seems likely they will win out.

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