Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross already has two more catches this season than he did all of last year.
Ross has a career-high 35 catches this season.
O.J.s having a heck of a year, and Im not surprised because hes worked really hard in playing football and doing well is very important to O.J., Purdue coach Danny Hope said during his weekly teleconference Tuesday.
The junior leads the Big Ten averaging seven receptions per game.
Hes done a great job of catching the balls that we have thrown to him. He has very strong hands – cat-quick hands – and has been a big playmaker for us throughout the course of the season, Hope said.
Hes very talented, very fast, even though hes a bit of a short strider, he will run a 4.3 or low 4.4 every time in the 40-yard dash. And he bench presses close to 400 pounds. So he has some great physical tools, and hes playing very well.
Indiana scored all 27 of its points in last Saturdays 31-27 loss to Michigan State in the first half.
Offensively, we struggled in the second half, a bunch of three-and-outs, 4 of 15 on third downs, plus we are at the 5-yard line (and) we did not get the TD, with only 45 plays getting positive yards, completed passes, running; we need to get that up, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said Tuesday.
When you play a good defense, its hard, but we need more positive plays. Effort was good, energy in the first half was awesome, tempo was awesome, zero turnovers was good.
Overall, we had a great first half. We just need to back it up with a good second.
Paul Griggs has emerged from a tight race as Purdues field goal kicker. The freshman is 3 for 3 on the season and is 12 of 13 on extra points.
Hes become a lot more consistent, Hope said. When we evaluated him when he came to our camp he was an outstanding prospect. We thought one of the very tops in the nation. And we certainly still feel that way.
Griggs made both of his field goal attempts Saturday against Michigan.
He came on board as a true freshman and had some competition and had to press through that, Hope said. But he had been very consistent in practice. Hes got excellent leg strength. He has some polish, for a freshman specialist. So I think hes a star in the making, with great potential and becoming more consistent in practice and in the game.
So I think his performance speaks for itself.
Ohio State running back Rod Smith, a Harding product, returns to the state to face the Hoosiers.
Smith has rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns this season for the No. 8 Buckeyes. He is averaging 6.3 yards per carry.