COLUMBUS, Ohio — Garrett Wilson scored four touchdowns and led explosive No. 4 Ohio State to a 59-31 win over No. 19 Purdue on Saturday in front of 101,009 fans at Ohio Stadium.
Wilson, who caught three TD passes and ran for another 51-yard score, finished the game with 10 receptions for 126 yards. He led a receiving corps that included Jaxon Smith-Njigba (9-139-TD) and Chris Olave (9-85-TD).
“That could be a team that wins it all,” Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm said. “We were lucky to hold them to 59.”
Quarterback C.J. Stroud completed 31-of-38 attempts for 361 yards for five touchdowns. Running back TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 98 yards on 13 carries, including a 57-yard scoring run.
As a team, the Purdue offense racked up 481 yards.
Quarterback Aidan O’Connell was efficient through the air, completing 40 of 52 passes for 390 yards and a season-high four touchdowns.
“That was the first time we’ve seen heavy throwing,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “We’ll probably learn some things from that.”
It was O’Connell’s fourth 300-yard game in Big Ten play this season along with his second consecutive game with at least 40 completions. He was 40-of-54 for 536 yards last week against Michigan State.
“He played real efficient football today,” Brohm said of his quarterback. “He’s getting in a good rhythm and knows how to look around for all his receivers.”
David Bell, the Big Ten’s leader in receptions and receiving yards per game, had another productive day. The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist made 11 catches totaling 103 yards, continuing to build on his school record with his 16th career 100-yard game.
Entering the game tied for fifth in school history alongside Greg Orton with 203 career receptions, Bell moved into fourth by passing Tim Stratton (204). He also produced his 16th career 100-yard receiving game to increase his school record.
Milton Wright added seven receptions for a season-high 98 yards.
Jackson Anthrop entered the contest with two receiving touchdowns and equaled that total on Saturday, matching his career high from 2017 against Louisville. He had receiving touchdowns or 25 yards and nine yards, finishing the day hauling in seven receptions for 66 yards.
After forcing a Purdue punt on its opening possession, the Buckeyes took advantage of great field position and scored five plays later on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Wilson for the 7-0 lead with 11:45 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Purdue answered on its next possession on a 25-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Anthrop. The seven-play drive that tied that game at 7-all covered 75 yards with just under nine minutes left in the quarter.
OSU retook the lead, 14-7, on Henderson’s 3-yard run up the middle, capping the Buckeyes’ scoring drive that covered 78 yards on six plays with 7:04 on the clock.
The Boilermakers were driving on its next possession but fumbled. The ball was recovered by Jerron Cage to give the Buckeyes possession on its 43-yard line. Henderson then scampered 57 yards on the next play for the touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
Ohio State scored on a 20-yard pass from Stroud to a wide-open Smith-Njigba early in the second quarter to make it 28-7.
Purdue fumbled on the ensuing kickoff at its 12. Ohio State’s Chris Booker forced the fumble and it was recovered by Palaie Gaoteote IV. Two plays and 11 seconds later, Stroud found Wilson for a 12-yard touchdown reception to put the Buckeyes up 35-7 on their fifth-consecutive scoring drive.
The Boilermakers cut into the lead, 35-14, on its next possession with a 12-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Broc Thompson, but Ohio State used another quick strike to make it 42-14 after a Wilson 51-yard run four plays into its sixth possession of the game.
The Boilermakers, on their next possession, drove to the Ohio State 14 where Mitchell Fineran kicked a 32-yard field goal to cut the lead to 42-17.
The Buckeyes ended the half with a 30-yard field goal by Noah Ruggles to make it 45-17 at the break.
The Buckeyes picked up right where they left off at the half with a 24-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 call from Stroud to Wilson to make it 52-17 early in the third.
Purdue answered with a 24-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Milton Wright to end a seven-play, 75-yard drive with just under eight minutes to play. The score made it 52-24 Buckeyes.
After the Buckeyes were held off the scoreboard for the first time in nine possessions, the Boilermakers marched 87 yards on 10 plays to score on a 9-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to Anthrop to make it 52-31 Ohio State.
The Buckeyes tacked on a garbage touchdown with 12:51 left in the fourth on a 5-yard pass from Stroud to Olave.
“Ohio State has great talent, especially with the O-line and QB. At the end of the day, they made more plays than us,” Brohm said. “They came ready to play and executed really well on the offensive end.”
Purdue falls to 6-4 and 4-3 in the Big Ten West. The Boilermakers will face Northwestern at Chicago’s Wrigley Field at noon Nov. 20.