Ohio State Could Miss College Football Playoff; Loss To Purdue Too Much To Overcome

Even if the Buckeyes finish 12-1 and win the Big Ten, their loss to Purdue might be too much to overcome, Jerry Palm says

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 29, 2018 - 7:36 am

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Ohio State had flirted with disaster for several weeks, and in West Lafayette on Saturday, disaster struck. Purdue pummeled the Buckeyes, 49-20, in a game eerily similar to Ohio State’s 2017 meltdown in Iowa City, when the Buckeyes lost 55-24 to the Hawkeyes.

“It’s very similar to last year,” CBS Sports college football analyst Jerry Palm said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They got left out because of a loss like that to Iowa in a game that they were just never competitive. Even if Ohio State is able to come back and win the Big Ten – which they still could do – they might be in a situation where the committee is saying, ‘Well, they just didn’t show up one week. This other team might have a loss, but at least they were competitive week in and week out – and in the game that they lost.’ That’s what kept them out of the playoff last year, and it could do the same for them this year.”

The one noteworthy difference, of course, is Iowa handed Ohio State its second loss last season. If the Buckeyes finish as a 12-1 conference champion, they could still make the playoff.

But based on Saturday, Ohio State likely won’t finish 12-1.

“Purdue came out and played at a pretty high level, but also they got some help from Ohio State, who did not play very well,” Palm said. “A lot of unforced mistakes, bad penalties, Haskins overthrowing a wide-open receiver who had nobody within 20 yards of him – (it was) an easy touchdown, except he just made a bad pass. There were multiple occasions of that. They couldn’t get the running game established, and Haskins wasn’t up to the task of going toe-to-toe with David Blough and a very prolific Purdue offense.”

Dwayne Haskins finished 49-of-73 for 470 yards and two touchdowns but the Buckeyes had just 20 points to show for it. They made five trips to the red zone and failed to score a touchdown all five times.

“Once the field got shorter, it was harder for Ohio State to operate,” Palm said. “They were having trouble running the ball anyway. Purdue was really just manhandling the Ohio State offensive line and not letting them establish a run game at all. They were having a lot of success throwing the ball to the flats, but once the field gets shorter, you don’t have that open space to work with for the guys after they catch the ball. The part of the game that was working for them didn't have enough room to operate.”

Ohio State, which fell from No. 2 to No. 11 in the rankings, has a bye this week. The Buckeyes (7-1) host Nebraska (1-6) on Nov. 3.