Wednesday briefing: Revenge tour rolls on
October, 17, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesOhio State's last meeting with Purdue wasn't particularly pleasant, as the Boilermakers defeated the Buckeyes last season in overtime.COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The quest for perfection is greater than the need for revenge.
But Ohio State is certainly aware of what happened against Purdue last year, and in some cases the veterans are still stinging from another loss in the series two years before that.
So while the search for retribution doesn't seem nearly as urgent as it did before games against Michigan State and Nebraska earlier this season, the Buckeyes are obviously trying to continue their trend of shutting down losing streaks to Big Ten opponents before they can ever start.
"It’s definitely a chip on our shoulder," cornerback Bradley Roby said. "When you go into a game, it’s like, ‘We lost to these guys last year, we can’t lose to them this year.’
"Especially last year we felt like we should have won the game, so it gives you more of an incentive to go out there and make plays and win the game more dominantly [after] a loss the year before."
Going back nearly a decade, the Buckeyes have used that mindset to consistently battle back in those situations to settle the score -- which they've already done twice this year alone.
Ohio State hasn't lost consecutive games to a conference opponent since Wisconsin went back-to-back in 2003 and '04, though technically the Boilermakers will bring a two-game winning streak to Ohio Stadium due to the sanctions that vacated a 2010 blowout loss on their last visit. Whether those losses came consecutively or not, the Buckeyes who were around for both of them clearly don't want to deal with another one.
"Oh man, yeah," wide receiver Jake Stoneburner said. "I wouldn’t say it’s the driving force, but they’ve beaten me twice. We blew that last year with the extra point, we’ve lost twice at their place, so you never like losing to a team -- especially twice. I don’t feel like we should have lost those games, so we definitely want to beat them.
"It’s not really revenge, but we don’t want to lose."
That's true for every week, of course. And the Buckeyes have bigger goals in front of them than simply getting even with the Boilermakers.
But that would be a nice bonus for them anyway.
"We’re trying to get to eight wins, you know, the only thing we want to do is win every game," Stoneburner said. "That has a lot to do with beating Purdue, so as long as we can beat Purdue and they happened to beat us last year, we’ll take it as a revenge game -- and I’ll take both of those."
Two-way action: Zach Boren is just a linebacker for the time being. But if the Buckeyes can get healthy at the position again before the end of the season, the senior might still wind up with a chance to carry the ball again before his career ends.
"Maybe when [Etienne] Sabino gets back," Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. "I’ve been thinking about that. I’d love to hand him the ball just to reward him some time down in the red zone or something."
Until Sabino heals from the fractured bone in his leg, though, Boren will be focusing on his new responsibilities on defense. After leading the team with eight tackles in his first appearance at the position, he's expected to start at middle linebacker against Purdue.
Bumps and bruises: Nathan Williams is expected to return from the concussion that kept the defensive end out of the win over Indiana last week. A healthy Williams and improved play from freshman Noah Spence will enhance the options available for a banged-up defense and allow for more flexibility after a rough outing against the Hoosiers.
Other injury updates provided by Meyer:
- Jordan Hall: Ruled out as the senior running back continues to recover from a partially torn ligament in his knee.
- Ryan Shazier: Meyer called the linebacker "sore," but said he's ready to play.
- Joshua Perry: Part of the group of injured linebackers that led to Boren's move a week ago, Meyer called him "fine."
Braxton Miller, Ohio State Begin Spring Drills
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35