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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- In its second-straight thrashing of a Big Ten foe, Ohio State kept its national championship dreams alive with a 56-0 stomping of Purdue.
The Buckeyes, which find themselves ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings, Buckeyes amassed 640 yards of total offense against a seemingly hapless Boilermakers squad.
In the process, Ohio State captured its 21st-straight win under the direction of coach Urban Meyer in a place where it had lost three of the previous four contests before Saturday's blowout.
With a bye week next weekend, his crew will prepare for their final three games of the year before entering the postseason.
Inevitably, it seems talk of the Buckeyes' position on the national stage will continue to be a hot -- and rather pertinent -- topic of discussion, as three unbeaten teams with arguably better resumes (Alabama, Oregon, Florida State) currently sit in from them.
Meyer, though, dismissed the notion of blowing out teams at all costs for the sake of style points to keep pace with the squads ahead of Ohio State.
"That's not something we discuss, we discuss playing for championships in November and that's what we're doing," he said. "The goal of this team is to come back faster and stronger than they went into the bye week. I got to make sure we're not worried about anything like that."
The streak continues
Sure, Ohio State's schedule is beyond mediocre this year. Even last season's slate of games was relatively weak. But winning 21-straight games -- regardless of some of the competition -- doesn't seem like something to scoff at.
Against the Illinois on Nov. 16, the Buckeyes will have the chance to tie the program record of 22-straight games from 1967-69.
It's become a point of pride for Ohio State fans, but Meyer and company insist they're trying to approach each game as its own season.
After all, getting wrapped up in such a feat could ultimately do the Buckeyes in if they're not careful.
"We try not to focus on it too much, we just try to focus on our opponent," said Carlos Hyde, who had 111 yards rushing on just eight carries.
"I feel like if we get caught up focusing on this winning streak, we'll lose track on who we're playing so we're just trying to focus on our opponent."
The senior running back, whose surging play has helped will his squad to victory as of late, said Ohio State carries with it a certain level of concentration that might bode well for it down the stretch.
"I definitely feel like everybody's more focused. We getting towards the end, we got this bye week coming up, let everybody get rested and get back fresh and come out these next three games and be explosive," he said.
In particular, such motivation stemmed from a rather embarrassing loss to Purdue in 2011 at Ross-Ade Stadium.
"I was here when we came here and we took a loss. It was more than just me, it was a bunch of guys that was here when we lost here. That haunts you. You want to come back in here, we got a good streak going right. The last thing we want to do is come and here and take an L because we're not focused. Before the game, coach got us a little riled up and told us let's go."
He's not the only one who let such memories of that game two years ago fuel him Saturday.
"Since I've been here, I have two years playing Purdue and neither one of them are real pretty," said junior tight end Jeff Heuerman. "We were here my freshman year and I remember that and we knew we had to come in and make a statement with our win."
Heuerman reiterated Hyde's sentiment.
"It's a big thing we talked about all week -- we got a really focused team right now. It's really special and coach Meyer talked about it all week -- a team playing with a purpose and with such focus it's a hard team to beat. I think that's where we're at right now."
Huge day for Heuerman
So while we're talking about Heuerman, it must be noted that the tight end had a historic game against Purdue Saturday.
The junior, who hauled in five catches for 116 yards and one touchdown, became the first tight end to have a 100-yard receiving game since former standout Rickey Dudley had 106 yards against Tennessee in the 1996 Citrus Bowl. In fact, Heuerman's outing is the most by a Buckeye tight end since 1983.
"My job is easy, it trickles down. You get the good play call and the good protection from the O-line and the good throw from the quarterback and all I do is catch the ball," he said.
"I got to thank those guys because without them, nothing's happening."
Meyer expanded more on Heuerman's day and said it wasn't necessarily part of the game plan.
"It wasn't dictated to him. A lot of those, if you really watch the play, it's just the defense is dictating the ball where it's going," he said.
"Heuerman is an excellent player, I wish he more touchdowns, more catches but once again, a defense dictates where the ball is going."
At least against the Boilermakers, it went to him early and often.
Now in his second season at Ohio State, Meyer said this is the type of offense that he had hoped to see having.
"Our offensive line is blocking people, there's a bunch of targets. Our tight end had a great day today. The one thing about when you play with extended receivers, it's not you're saying 'Get the ball to him.' The defense dictates where the ball goes," he said.
"Push the rewind button to one year ago facing the same team. Who you going to throw the ball to? I don't know. Now you got five, six targets that actually want to see the ball in their hands and they've earned that right."
And Meyer's right. Against Purdue, the Buckeyes had 11 players catch at least one reception.
In terms of total offense, Ohio State amassed 640 total yards and 350 of it came in just the first half.
Decker has an MCL sprain
After leaving game action Saturday with an apparent knee injury, Meyer confirmed that sophomore right tackle Taylor Decker has an MCL sprain that will take about a week to recover.
Additionally, Meyer said junior linebacker Curtis Grant, who left the game briefly, is fine and that junior defensive lineman Michael Bennett suffered a stinger.
It's partially why Meyer is comfortable with having a bye this weekend despite obvious momentum from wins against the Boilermakers and Penn State last Saturday.
"I think it's a great time for a bye week. You know why? Because that's when it is," he said, half sarcastically. "We're just taking a positive approach to it and like I said, it'll be a very intense bye week because we got to make sure we're coming back faster and stronger than we went into the bye week and that has to happen."
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