Sunday, September 16, 2007

November 13th, 2004

I must admit, I was concerned yesterday. Washington looked (on paper) like they could knock us down and beat us badly. All the hype surrounding Jake Locker was a bit intimidating.

In the end, it was only hype. Locker is a good player, but he still was starting for only the third time in his career. He was no match for the Ohio State defense, not even in the confines of his own home.

This morning, I was reflecting on the game, and how I was perhaps overly-concerned about Washington. Then I remembered November 13th, 2004.

On that day, Purdue beat Ohio State 24-17. We played horrible football that day. Purdue had 26 more offensive plays than we did. We turned the ball over 4 times. But yet we had the game tied at 17 with less than 4 minutes to play. But we let the Boilermakers go 80 yards in 8 plays to win the game with 2 minutes left.

But we learned a lesson.

Since that day, Ohio State is 27-3. In addition, we simply will not let substandard opponents defeat us.

The following week, we embarrassed 7th-ranked Michigan 37-21 and haven't looked back since.

The three losses since November 13, 2004?

- Penn State in 2005. They won the Big Ten the same year, going 11-1.
- Texas in 2005. They went 13-0 that year, won the Big 12 and the National Championship.
- Florida in 2006. They went 13-1 that year, won the SEC and the National Championship.

Translation - if you're going to play Ohio State, you'd better come at us with a lot. You'd better be championship-quality. If you're not, you'll be disappointed.

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