WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — D.J. Knox rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns, David Blough threw for three more scores and Purdue shook up the College Football Playoff chase with a 49-20 blowout of No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday night.
The Boilermakers (4-3, 3-1 Big Ten) won their fourth straight overall, their second in a row over a ranked team and pulled off their biggest upset since taking down then-No. 2 Ohio State 28-23 on Oct. 6, 1984. Purdue also set a school record for points scored against the Buckeyes, besting the previous mark of 41 in 1967.
Mistake-prone Ohio State (7-1, 4-1) had its 12-game winning streak snapped, fell out of the Big Ten East lead behind rival Michigan and now must fight away its way back into playoff position.
Blough outplayed Heisman Trophy candidate Dwayne Haskins Jr. on a night the Buckeyes didn’t reach the end zone until early in the fourth quarter.
Blough went 25 of 43 with 378 yards and sealed the victory with a 43-yard pass to Rondale Moore with 3:37 to play. It was Blough’s third straight 300-yard game and his fourth this season.
Haskins wound up 49 of 73, shattering the single-game school records in both categories, and had 470 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. But he missed receivers down the field on a windy night at Ross-Ade Stadium and was nearly picked off a couple of times before Markus Bailey scored on a late 41-yard interception return.
The Buckeyes were also called for 10 penalties and faced their largest halftime deficit of the season, 14-3, before giving up four scoring plays of more than 40 yards in the fourth quarter.
It was no fluke, either. The Boilermakers dominated the first half by playing keep away.
Isaac Zico capped Purdue’s longest scoring drive of the season, 98 yards, with a spectacular one-handed catch before running out of bounds to make it 7-0 late in the first quarter. Ohio State responded by quickly marching down the field helped by two 15-yard penalties against Purdue’s defense before settling for a 24-yard field goal.
Blake Haubeil then missed a 33-yard field goal wide left with 1:51 left in the first half and Blough took the Boilermakers 80 yards in 84 seconds, using punter Joe Schopper’s first-down run on a fake field goal to set up a 9-yard scoring pass to Moore.
The Buckeyes tried to turn up the pace and the intensity in the second half but that didn’t work, either.
After closing to 14-6 early in the third quarter, Davon Hamilton was called for roughing the kicker and the Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance with Knox’s 1-yard TD run. Haskins finally hooked up with Johnnie Dixon III on a 32-yard TD pass to make it 28-13 and Terry McLaurin on a 34-yard TD pass to make it 35-20 with 4:40 to go, but Blough’s TD pass to Moore and Bailey’s interception return sealed it.
Buckeyes: This wasn’t just a loss. It was ugly. Ohio State struggled to run the ball again, made far too many mistakes in all three phases and couldn’t keep up with Purdue’s speed late. Urban Meyer’s third true road loss since becoming the Buckeyes’ coach won’t be forgotten any time soon.
Boilermakers: Purdue’s first four-game winning streak since 2007 is easily the biggest win of coach Jeff Brohm’s second season in West Lafayette. Now the Boilermakers head into the most challenging part of their schedule with momentum and visions of a Big Ten West title.
Ohio State was the only top 10 team to lose Saturday and is likely to take a tumble in the rankings, given the score and how poorly the Buckeyes played. The Boilermakers may have to wait at least another week to crack the Top 25, but they should get the attention of voters this week and may pick up some votes.
Buckeyes: Have a bye week to contemplate what went wrong before hosting Nebraska on Nov. 3.
Boilermakers: Head to No. 24 Michigan State next Saturday, hoping to build on their momentum.