The outcome was a milestone on several fronts. Purdue beat a ranked team for the first time since 2003, snapping a 19-game winless streak against top-25 teams. The Buckeyes saw their 17-game conference road winning streak go by the boards, one short of the all-time mark set by Michigan from 1988 to 1992.
Also, Purdue first-year head coach Danny Hope notched his first conference victory. He also became the first Boilermakers coach to knock off a ranked team in his first season since 1970.
"I've been proud of our football team every Saturday even if some others might not have been," Hope said. "We stuck together and knew we could do this. We didn't have any doubts that we could win. We knew if we could eliminate our mistakes, we could beat any football team. We kept believing and stuck together, and I'm really proud of our team."
The Buckeyes simply made too many mistakes on offense. In the first half alone, quarterback Terrelle Pryor fumbled away one possession, punt returner Ray Small muffed a return and offensive guard Bryant Browning was called for holding, wiping out a Brandon Saine touchdown run.
Pryor's fumble – on the second play of the game – set the tempo for an ugly game by the Ohio State quarterback. He committed three other turnovers, including a pair of third-quarter interceptions. The second came right after OSU cornerback Devon Torrence had grabbed an interception of his own to keep the Buckeyes in the game.
The Boilermakers cashed in on Pryor's second pick, however, moving 47 yards in just six plays to take a 23-7 advantage with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter. Ohio State never recovered. Ohio State committed five turnovers in all – three fumbles and two interceptions – and that provided a wide disparity on the stat sheet for the second week in a row. The Buckeyes ran only 59 plays for a total of 287 yards while the Boilermakers rolled up 361 yards on 83 plays. Time of possession was also lopsided – Purdue held the ball for just over 36 minutes to just under 24 for OSU.
Making matters worse, even with the Buckeyes held onto the ball they couldn't do much with it. They converted only 5 of 14 third-down plays; Purdue was 7 for 18 on third downs.
Pryor finished the game with 17 completions in 31 attempts for 221 yards and one touchdown against the two picks. He also ran the ball 21 times for a net of 34 yards and a TD. The only other ball-carrier for the Buckeyes was Saine, who rushed seven times for 32 yards.
When asked by reporters following the game if he ever thought about benching Pryor during his struggles, OSU head coach Jim Tressel shook his head.
"Ohio State lost," he said. "The players, the coaches. We don't do that. I know that's what you'd like to write but Ohio State lost. We'll go back and evaluate every play and try to get better."
Purdue senior quarterback Joey Elliott clearly outplayed his Ohio State counterpart. Elliott connected on 31 of his 50 attempts for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Most of his completions went receivers Aaron Valentin and Keith Smith into the middle of OSU's soft zone. That duo combined for 22 receptions for 222 yards and two scores.
The Boilermakers got on the scoreboard first with a 32-yard field goal from kicker Carson Wiggs at the 12:47 mark of the opening period.
OSU quickly wiped out that deficit with a three-play, 66-yard drive that culminated in a 6-yard run by Pryor that gave the Buckeyes a 7-3 lead with 11:28 remaining in the first quarter.
The rest of the first half was all Purdue. Following Small's muffed punt, Wiggs booted a 27-yard field goal to make it 7-6 at the 8:55 mark of the second quarter, and then drilled a 55-yarder against the wind on the final play of the first half to make it 9-7 Boilermakers.
That score proved to be a momentum-changer, especially in light of the fact the Buckeyes had a touchdown wiped out three minutes earlier. Saine broke through the Purdue line for a 14-yard scoring run that would have pushed Ohio State's lead to 14-6. But Browning was called for holding, and on the next play, Pryor fumbled as he was sacked and Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan recovered.
Purdue built on its late first-half momentum by taking the opening kickoff of the second half and marching 67 yards in eight plays to increase its lead. Elliott connected with receiver Valentin on a 15-yard touchdown pass, stretching his team's advantage to 16-7 with 10:58 left in the third quarter.
Elliott and Valentin hooked up again following Pryor's second interception, this time for a 23-yard touchdown to push the Boilermakers out in front by a 23-7 score with 3:35 remaining.
The teams traded field goals early in the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes finally got in the end zone again. Under a heavy rush, Pryor somehow found receiver DeVier Posey for a 25-yard touchdown and then tacked on a two-point conversion to make it a one-score game at 26-18 with 7:14 remaining.
After the OSU defense held, the Buckeyes had one more scoring chance with 5:04 remaining. But after moving to the Purdue 29-yard line with 2:37 remaining, Pryor threw incomplete and then took a third-down sack when the Boilermaker rush overwhelmed the OSU offensive line. It was the fifth sack of the day against Pryor.
Then on fourth-and-14, the sophomore quarterback threw too short down the field to Small and the ball was knocked away by Purdue defensive back David Pender.
The Ohio State defense created three turnovers of its own. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and Torrence had interceptions while safety Kurt Coleman had a fumble recovery. Coleman appeared to create another fumble early in the game, but officials ruled the Purdue ball-carrier's forward progress had been stopped and blew the play dead.
1998: No. 1 Ohio State 45, Minnesota 15 – Another game, another blowout for the Buckeyes. Yet things weren't all happy in after the game.
Head coach John Cooper said his team had a subdued attitude after the Golden Gophers continued fighting after falling behind 31-3 in the first half.
"We're getting spoiled around here," Cooper said in the Oct. 24, 1998, edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "I went into our locker room after the game and our players came in and were acting like it was another day of practice.
"I said, ‘Guys, you just won. You beat a pretty good football team 45-15. You should be happier than you are.' "
Ohio State dominated the game, piling up a season-high 586 yards of offense and holding Minnesota's offense to a touchdown and a pair of field goal. The Gophers also added a safety on a blocked punt to finish with 15 points.
OSU quarterback Joe Germaine became the first player in school history to throw for 300 yards in consecutive weeks. He completed 27 of 39 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns. However, even he was not elated with his performance because he threw two interceptions.
"I don't know what it is," Germaine said. "We have all the reason to be happy with the game we played. We scored 45 points, and the defense scored a touchdown.
"But I just think we have so much going on this season, we want everything to be perfect."
It did not take the Buckeyes long to reach the end zone. OSU scored on its second possession when Germaine connected with receiver David Boston on a third-and-goal from the Minnesota 6-yard line.
The Golden Gophers responded with a 24-yard field goal by Adam Bailey, but after that Ohio State scored the next 24 points to blow the game open. Matt Keller scored on an 8-yard run to close the first-quarter scoring, and Boston added this second score of the afternoon with a 53-yard haul. Joe Montgomery burst through for a 12-yard touchdown run, and Dan Stultz booted a 19-yard field goal.
Despite the large deficit, Minnesota did not quit, scoring 10 points in the final three minutes of the second quarter to make it 31-13 at halftime.
The Buckeyes' defense did not allow a point after halftime, and Michael Wiley extended the lead with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. The Gophers added a safety on a blocked punt through the back of the end zone, but less than a minute later, Central McClellion capped the scoring by intercepting a pass and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown.
1992: Ohio State 31, Northwestern 7 – Bobby Hoying came off the bench to replace injured quarterback Kirk Herbstreit and led the Buckeyes to a victory over the visiting Wildcats.
Hoying entered the game with under six minutes left in the second quarter when Herbstreit left after reaggravating an ankle injury. Hoying struggled in his in his only previous appearance in front of the fans at Ohio Stadium, throwing an interception against Bowling Green that was returned for a touchdown.
That performance and this one were completely different. Hoying was calm and cool in completing seven of 11 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. He led and OSU offense that piled up 391 yards and had its second highest scoring output so far in the '98 season.
"Bowling Green was probably 100 percent butterflies and today was just minimal," Hoying said in the Oct. 24, 1992, edition of BSB. "I was just anxious. I was ready to go today, and it was just so much different. I think that's because of my maturing through the year. I've had the chance to go with the first string in practice a little bit, and I think that's all it was. I felt more comfortable with the guys up front and they really got it done.
"As far as my performance was concerned, I'd probably give myself a B-minus. There were two or three throws I should have hit and I just barely missed them, but I missed them. I didn't make any real big plays, but I didn't do anything to hurt us. So I think there's a lot of room for improvement, but I'm happy."
Ohio State sophomore defensive back Tito Paul blocked two points, and while the Buckeyes only managed three points out of the big plays, it set the tempo for the Buckeyes. The OSU running attack, led by backup tailbacks Eddie George and Butler By'not'e, combined for 186 yards. Starting tailback Raymont Harris added 53 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Two of Harris' scores came in the first half as the Buckeyes built a 17-7 lead. His third made it 24-7, and Hoying capped the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joe Metzger early in the fourth quarter.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak and just days after longtime Columbus sportscaster Jimmy Crum called on Cooper to resign.
1987: No. 17 Ohio State 20, Purdue 17 – In his first career start as a flanker, Vince Workman caught four passes for 88 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown reception and a 30-yard haul that set up a game-winning 50-yard field goal by Matt Frantz with 3:10 left.
Workman added 11 rushing yards and returned a kickoff 61 yards and a punt 11 yards.
The only thing Workman didn't do was throw a pass, but he had already done that twice in the '87 season.
"If Coach (Earle) Bruce wants to put me at guard, I'd try my best to block," Workman said in the Oct. 24, 1987, edition of BSB. "It's going to take a while to get used to it (playing flanker). I did well today, so naturally I'm going to like the change. But I just want to help the team out any way I can."
It looked like the Buckeyes would be able to cruise to victory after building a 17-0 halftime lead. Workman's touchdown reception started the scoring, and embattled quarterback Tom Tupa added a 6-yard quarterback scramble. Frantz capped the first-half scoring with an 18-yard field goal with just 22 seconds left before intermission.
Purdue responded by scoring the first 17 points of the second half. Jonathan Briggs made a 25-yard field goal, and quarterback Doug Downing connected with Calvin Williams for touchdown passes of 10 and 30 yards.
That set up Frantz's game-winning boot. His 50-yard field goal went 50 yards and six inches.
"I'll take it any way I can get it," Frantz said. "I don't feel bad one bit about barely making a 50-yard field goal."
Frantz had already missed two field goals from 46 and 43 yards, but with the Buckeyes facing a fourth down at the Purdue 30, Bruce and assistant coach Randy Hart asked Frantz if he could make the kick with a 15-mile per hour cross wind at his back.
"We decided we better ask the kid what he thought about making the kick," Hart said. "He said, "Hmm, I can kick it."
"A couple of the coaches told me to go up to the head coach and look him in the eye and tell him I could make it," Frantz said. "(Bruce) asked me twice, ‘Can you make it?' " " ‘Yes.'
" ‘Can you make it?
"I said, ‘I know I can make it,' " Frantz said emphatically. "So he let me go in and kick it."
1981: Ohio State 34, Illinois 27 – For the second straight season, the Buckeyes outlasted the Fighting Illini in a high-scoring affair.
Ohio State had just a little more firepower in the victory, much like in its 49-42 victory over Illinois in 1980. Despite the large number of points scored, the OSU defense played a big part in the victory. The Buckeyes trailed 27-24 early in the fourth quarter when Illinois quarterback Tony Eason gave his team the lead for the first time on a 5-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-3 play. After that the defense held the Illini at bay as the OSU offense rallied.
"I think the defense did a real fine job in the second half," Bruce said in the Oct. 24, 1981, edition of BSB. "An outstanding job against a tough offensive football team."
Tim Spencer scored on an 8-yard run – his second trip to the end zone in the game – to give the Buckeyes the lead for good with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter. Bob Atha tacked on a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Spencer finished with 131 yards rushing on 26 carries. Jimmy Gayle added 119 rushing yards and an 8-yard touchdown run that capped a 21-point first quarter scoring burst by the Buckeyes.
"We established a rush today," Bruce said. "You saw a fine runner in there in Jimmy Gayle, and Tim Spencer too, for that matter."
Eason completed 27 of 47 passes for 368 yards, but he was primarily held in check in the second half.
The win was the 70th for Bruce as a collegiate head coach.
1970: No. 1 Ohio State 28, Minnesota 8 – Ohio State sprinted out to a 28-0 lead in the game's first 23 minutes before coasting to victory on homecoming.
OSU's triple option attack was effective against the Golden Gophers. Rex Kern and John Brockington both scored twice, with Brockington leading the rushing attack with 187 yards.
Despite the win, many of the fans at Ohio Stadium were frustrated with Ohio State's lack of offensive success in the second half. The only score after halftime was by Minnesota and came on a Craig Curry touchdown pass to Kevin Hamm for 12 yards.
1964: No. 2 Ohio State 17, USC 0 – The Buckeyes avenged a 32-3 loss in Los Angeles the previous year by handing the Trojans their first shutout loss in 29 games.
Fullback Willard Sander started the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown that capped a 16-play, 63-yard drive in the first quarter. The Buckeyes built on their lead shortly before halftime with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Don Unverferth to Greg Laskuta that gave OSU a 14-0 lead at the break.
Bob Funk completed the scoring with a 24-yard field goal in the foruth quarter.
Ohio State held USC's vaunted "student body" rushing attack to just 64 yards. The Buckeye defense also forced five turnovers.
1959: Ohio State 15, No. 6 Purdue 0 – The Buckeyes delighted a homecoming crowd by blanking the Boilermakers.
Ohio State intercepted three Purdue passes and dominated its visitors. Dave Kilgore kicked two field goals, and quarterback Tom Matte scored the game's only touchdown on a 32-yard run. Ohio State also managed to score a safety when Purdue's Jim Tiller was tackled in the end zone. He had fielded an OSU punt at the Purdue 16 and ran backwards in an attempt to avoid tacklers.
1953: No. 17 Ohio State 12, Penn 6 – Dave Leggett started at quarterback for injured John Borton and led the Buckeyes past the Quakers.
Without Borton's throwing talents Ohio State struggled offensively. But the Buckeyes still managed to win thanks to a 93-yard scoring drive that broke a 6-6 tie in OSU's first game against an Ivy League opponent since 1940.
1942: No. 1 Ohio State 26, Purdue 0 – Fresh off a victory over USC that propelled them to the top spot in The Associated Press poll, the Buckeyes cruised against the visiting Boilermakers.
Ohio State scored in each quarter to hold on to its No. 1 ranking. The Big Ten dominated the rankings, with Michigan at No. 3, Illinois fifth and Wisconsin seventh. Minnesota (14) and Iowa (19) were also in the top 20.
1936: Northwestern 14, Ohio State 13 – The Wildcats and Buckeyes traded the lead four times before host Northwestern emerged victorious.
Both of Ohio State's touchdowns came on passes. Nick Wasylik threw a TD pass to Mike Kabealo and Tippy Dye threw one to Frank Cumiskey. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Merle Wendt missed the extra point after Kabealo's touchdown and that proved to the crucial play of the game.
Ohio State also committed six turnovers to help the Wildcats' cause. The loss marked the first time the Buckeyes had lost consecutive games since 1930.
1931: Ohio State 20, Michigan 7 – A crowd of 58,026 at Michigan Stadium watched the Buckeyes come to Ann Arbor and leave with a victory.
Bill "Blond Express" Carroll scored two rushing touchdowns to lead the way. He reached the end zone on scoring plays of 10 and 2 yards. Ohio State's final touchdown came on a 45-yard punt return by Carl Cramer.
The loss was the only one suffered by Michigan in 1931. The victory was a nice rebound for the Buckeyes a week after losing at home to Vanderbilt.
1925: Ohio State 9, Columbia 0 – Ohio State thrilled its Ohio Stadium crowd by defeating the Lions.
Columbia was favored in the first meeting between the schools because of its powerful rushing attack, but the Buckeyes silenced the Lions and dominated every facet of the game. OSU took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter on a short touchdown run by fullback Marty Karow. Early in the third quarter, tackle Leo Uridil kicked a 28-yard field goal to cap the scoring. That score was set up by a blocked Columbia punt by guard Ed Hess and end "Cookie" Cunningham.
Ohio State outgained Columbia 247-156 and punter Elmer Marek helped the cause by averaging 46.8 yards on 10 kicks. His longer boot went 60 yards.
1914: Illinois 37, Ohio State 0 – After back-to-back wins to open the 1914 season, the Fighting Illini handed the Buckeyes their first loss.
The loss began a streak of 89 consecutive seasons in which the Buckeyes and Illini played on the gridiron. The series was halted when Illinois came off OSU's Big Ten slate in 2003 and 2004.
1908: Western Reserve 18, Ohio State 0 – The Buckeyes stumbled leading up to their annual game against Michigan by dropping a contest to Western Reserve.
The Buckeyes held a 2-2 record heading into a home game with the Wolverines.
1903: Ohio State 59, Kenyon 0 – OSU improved to 5-0 with a rout of visiting Kenyon. The game was the third played by the Buckeyes in a seven-day span. Ohio State beat Denison Oct. 10 and Muskingum Oct. 14.
1896: Ohio State 12, Otterbein 0 – The Buckeyes defeated Otterbein in a game that was held in Canton.
The game was played in the hometown of presidential candidate William McKinley, who was in the midst of his successful run for the White House. Originally scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, the game was delayed until approximately 3:45 p.m. to allow fans coming from Columbus via train to make it. Because of the late start, the game was called because of darkness with six minutes remaining.