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Instant Analysis: Ohio State-Purdue

Staff Columnist
Posted Oct 7, 2007

Chime in if you've heard this before: sound percentage offense, no huge mistakes in the kicking game, and a tough defense led by the linebacking corps. Yeah, it's Tressel Ball, and it's back in a big way.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are playing that familiar brand of football once again, and the Purdue Boilermakers--talented but green and a bit undersized--were simply no match for the beast of the Big Ten. The team that's about to rise to No. 3 in America (in the weekend's upcoming polls) affirmed its place in the national title chase by putting Purdue to sleep almost as quickly as the crowd in West Lafayette revved up.

The Buckeyes won the game the way Jim Tressel wants them to win: by pulling ahead early, clamping down defensively, and giving the opposition no chance to breathe. With efficient quarterbacking from Todd Boeckman, who is rounding into form as Troy Smith's successor, the Bucks took a 14-0 lead before anyone's seat was warm in Ross-Ade Stadium. With a typically tenacious effort from James Laurinaitis (that's getting to be a blessedly and blissfully broken record in Columbus these days), Ohio State placed two hands around the necks of the Boilermakers. And with a no-frills style that's become Tressel's trademark in central Ohio, the visitors simply silenced their homestanding challengers. A workmanlike demeanor gave Joe Tiller's upstarts no opportunity to mount a legitimate comeback. This game was over as soon as it began, a testament to a Buckeye team that's playing with the personality of its coach.

For his own sake and for the sake of his team, Tressel can only hope he doesn't acquire a schizophrenic outlook as this Autumn continues.

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