COLUMBUS, Ohio – After two landslide defeats, losing a close one didn’t feel any better to Purdue.
Caleb TerBush and the Boilermakers had No. 7 Ohio State right where they wanted. The Buckeyes were down by eight points with 47 seconds left and a long way to go to the end zone. They were also missing their star quarterback.
But backup Kenny Guiton threw a TD pass with 3 seconds left and followed it with another completion for the tying two-point conversion to force overtime. From there, the Buckeyes scored on a run by Carlos Hyde, and the Boilermakers misfired on four passes. That was enough for Ohio State to seal a 29-22 victory.
The past couple of weeks we got blown out at home, TerBush said, referring to 44-13 and 38-14 losses to Michigan and Wisconsin, respectively. Then we fight down to the wire at Ohio State. It would have been a huge win for us. It’s disappointing, but as we learned from the past couple of weeks, we have to move on.
What could have been a historic day for the Boilermakers (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten) ended up as their third consecutive loss. There were plenty of high points – Akeem Hunt sped 100 yards with a kickoff in the first quarter, and the Boilermakers were in command for most of the game. But the bottom line was another setback.
Asked if this was the most devastating loss in his four seasons with the Boilermakers, Purdue coach Danny Hope smiled and said, I didn’t say that, you did. No.
But he wasn’t happy with how his team handled the last few minutes. He certainly wasn’t happy with the officiating, either. He felt Ohio State got away with a lot of holding calls.
In home losses to Michigan and Wisconsin, his defense gave up 82 points, 771 yards rushing, and 1,054 total yards. Purdue’s defense ranked 97th in the nation against the run (200 yards per game), 76th in total defense (412 yards), and 71st in scoring defense (27.5 points).
But with 2:40 left, strong safety Landon Feichter, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, intercepted a tipped pass by Guiton. All Purdue had to do was run out the clock.
Before the Boilermakers even got their hands on the ball, however, a lineman jumped offside. Three plays later, Purdue was forced to punt.
That was huge, said TerBush, who completed 19 of 30 passes for 230 yards and two scores with one interception. All we needed was one first down and we would have been able to run the clock out. That false start (penalty) killed us.
Cody Webster’s 48-yard punt and Chris Fields’ 9-yard return gave Ohio State one last gasp from its own 39. The Buckeyes made the most of it, driving the length of the field, scoring, and then forcing overtime.
In overtime, Ohio State quickly scored as Guiton, who took over when standout Braxton Miller was injured and left late in the third quarter, handled the pressure with the poise of a starter.
Team spokesman Jerry Emig said the sophomore had been taken to the hospital and his shoulders, head and neck were evaluated. Miller’s father, Kevin, was with him in the hospital.
He passed all of the tests, and he’s getting ready to be released, said Emig, who added that there were no symptoms of a concussion or other serious injury.
TerBush then threw two incompletions, hit on a 5-yard gainer to Holmes, and then was hurried and misfired on a last shot at the end zone.
Ohio State fans flooded the field in celebration.
Before the game we talked about playing 60 minutes, Feichter said. Unfortunately, we played 59 minutes and 30 seconds.