Ohio State improved to 2-0 for the season Saturday afternoon with a 52-3 shellacking of Rutgers.
Leading the way for the Buckeyes was sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who completed 20 of 23 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns without throwing an interception. Haskins’ work was all done in the first half and a brief cameo in the third quarter as Ohio State pulled the starters for most of the second half.
After the win, the BSB staff handed out Buckeye Leaves for standout performances, and Haskins was a popular – but not unanimous – pick.
Nick Bosa dominated Rutgers from the start, setting the tone for the Silver Bullet defense with five solo tackles. The 2017 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year also had one sack, three tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry.
Rutgers had the ball with 5:00 left in the first half when Bosa stuffed Raheem Blackshear behind the line of scrimmage, setting up 2nd-and-11. Then after a Chase Young unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Rutgers a 1st-and-10 opportunity with 1:48 left in the half, Bosa shut down any comeback hope by stuffing Jonathan Hilliman for a three-yard loss.
Dwayne Haskins was impressive enough week one to earn a Buckeye Leaf, but I went with Mike Weber who rushed for 186 yards and accounted for four scores.
This time, though, Haskins was the clear-cut winner. He completed 20 of 23 passes for 233 yards, tossed four touchdowns and looked flawless when throwing the deep ball, finding Johnnie Dixon for a pair of scores on deep post routes into Ohio State’s south end zone.
His ability to throw the ball hard and with precision and touch is something I have not seen, with this level of consistency, at Ohio State in my lifetime. Granted, it hasn’t come against the best of competition, but his arm is impressive and if Ohio State’s offensive line can consistently give him a clean pocket, I don’t see how the “Dwayne Train” slows down anytime soon.
I can’t argue that Haskins had a great game. Honestly it was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from an Ohio State quarterback. But defensive end Nick Bosa was – as he will be in every game this season – the best player on the field.
Bosa didn’t play in the second half, but he racked up five tackles (three for losses), a sack and a quarterback hurry before the break. And quite frankly, even on the plays he didn’t make it to the QB, Bosa made the Rutgers offensive line look silly. He’s the most dominant player on the team, and one of the most dominant linemen Ohio State has ever had. For that, he gets my Buckeye Leaf for the second week in a row.
Dwayne Haskins was lights out for Ohio State as he completed 20 of his 23 passes (87 percent) for 233 yards and four touchdowns to zero interceptions. In heavy rain, Haskins didn’t flinch. In fact, the sophomore quarterback threw the ball even better than he did in his Sept. 1 debut against Oregon State.
How many times would the Buckeyes have dropped back to pass with J.T. Barrett still operating the offense? This unit is heading in a completely different direction from where it was throughout its past few years and, under the guidance of second-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, Haskins’ growth is really starting to show through only two starts.