What's the mood of the Purdue football team after allowing the most points in program history?
"Anytime you get beat bad a couple of weeks in a row, you have to make sure things don't start slipping from a confidence standpoint," coach Danny Hope said of the 22-point loss to Michigan and the 45-point loss at Wisconsin.
"I think we have good leaders on our team that stepped up and said some of the right things about how we need to approach it. We have to stick together. Right now is when it will sneak up on you, if you're not careful."
The Boilermakers have three games remaining including Nov. 12 against Ohio State and followed Nov. 19 against Iowa at Ross-Ade Stadium. The final regular season game is Nov. 26 at Indiana.
"We have tough opponents coming up but we also have some realistic opportunities," Hope said. "We're playing in Ross-Ade where we can play a lot better. If we can do that, we can expect to win.
"I think the football team has a sense of urgency about it. We have a lot to play for. It's a big weekend coming up and we'll show up and be ready to go."
--The news doesn't sound good for left guard Peters Drey, who saw his streak of 20 straight starts snapped. Drey has been dealing with a back injury for several weeks.
"We're going to plan like he's not going to be ready," Hope said.
Fifth-year senior James Shepherd started in Drey's spot against the Badgers. Sophomore Kevin Pamphile also saw playing time. Pamphile was recently moved from the defensive line.
"He didn't hurt us any at all," Hope said about Pamphile.
Hope overheard one of Pamphile's teammates joking around with him earlier Sunday.
"His mom didn't know he had moved to offense. She watched the game on TV and looked and he wasn't in there. He hadn't told anyone because it's happened so fast."
--Hope said defensive end Ryan Russell is doing more this week and is ahead of where he was last week. Russell, who played about 20 snaps against Wisconsin, is dealing with an ankle sprain.
--During pregame warmups against the Badgers, Hope didn't like the tempo. He gathered his players in a huddle and challenged them to pick up the intensity.
"One thing you can't do is come in on Sunday and say, 'Man I wish we would've been ready to go,' " Hope said. "I didn't like the tempo in pregame. I wasn't sure where we were at but we knew we better get ready to go.
"I couldn't tell where we were at. I didn't like the tempo in pregame and if I don't like the tempo, I can change that."
SERIES HISTORY: Ohio State leads Purdue 38-13-2 (last meeting, 2010, 49-0 Ohio State)
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Boilermakers will attempt to get their running game on track after 2 12 games of lackluster production. But they'll be facing one of the Big Ten's top defenses. Purdue has produced one 100-yard rusher this season -- Ralph Bolden in the season opener -- and needs to find more yardage on the ground.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Big plays have haunted Purdue the last two games, surrendering 36 points to Michigan and a school-record 62 to Wisconsin. The Boilermakers have allowed 1,140 yards the last two weeks, including more than 700 on the ground. Ohio State doesn't feature a dynamic offense but its ball control style will likely cause the Boilermakers problems.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "A couple of weeks ago, we had played very well against a top-ranked Illinois team and we have had a couple of tough games against some really talented opponents at their place, and tough times, and we lose two games." -- Purdue coach Danny Hope.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL THIS WEEK'S GAME: Ohio State at Purdue, Nov. 12 -- Two years ago, the Boilermakers stunned the Buckeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium to snap a five-game losing streak. The Buckeyes have won three in a row, while Purdue needs two wins in its last three games to become bowl eligible.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Forcing the Buckeyes into passing situations is the main key. Ohio State's strength is running the ball, but Purdue has to stop the run and make the Buckeyes throw to win the game. The offense has to generate a rushing attack and convert on third down.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Caleb TerBush -- The Boilermakers need a big game from their junior quarterback, especially through the air. TerBush has struggled in the last two games and the offense hasn't moved the ball consistently. Purdue has scored on its first possession the last two weeks, but hasn't keep up the momentum.
DT Kawann Short -- In order to slow down Ohio State's rushing game, Short has to play big. He's capable, but needs to step up. For Purdue to have any chance it must stop the run.
LB Dwayne Beckford -- Has been productive the last four weeks, registering double-digit tackles. He will need to play big again. Has to get off blocks and make plays, so Ohio State's talented backs don't reach the second level.
--LG Peters Drey missed last week's game (back) at Wisconsin and not expected to play the rest of the season.