Commentary

Purdue's offense will test vaunted Buckeyes defense

Updated: October 4, 2007, 2:08 PM ET
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com
The Ohio State Buckeyes face their first ranked opponent of the season Saturday at Purdue (ABC, 8 ET), where they haven't played since a 2004 loss. It's a matchup of OSU's league-leading defense (197.6 yards per game, 7.2 points per game) against the Boilermakers' offense, which ranks first in the conference in passing (309.8 ypg) and scoring (45.4 ppg). The outcome could hinge on how well Purdue's defense (seventh in the Big Ten in scoring at 20.4 ppg, 10th overall at 384.4 ypg) performs.

• Ohio State has held Youngstown State, Akron, Washington, Northwestern and Minnesota to a combined 36 points. That matches the fewest points allowed through the first five games of any season in OSU history. The Buckeyes also allowed 36 points through five games in 1894 and 1975.

• OSU can match the school record for consecutive Big Ten victories with its 17th straight league triumph on Saturday. The Buckeyes have a 23-game regular-season winning streak overall, which is the best in school history.