Andy Anders: Another Dominant OSU Win
Ohio State staked its claim as a national title contender by eviscerating Wisconsin on Sept. 24, and I believe Saturday will be a continuation of that caliber of play from the Buckeyes.
That means a blowout of Rutgers, OSU’s Big Ten doormat since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten East division in 2014. Ohio State has won seven of the two sides’ eight meetings by 35 points or more, the closest margin between them a 49-27 Buckeye win in 2020. A cavalcade of successful trick plays was required to even get Rutgers that close.
There’s no reason to believe this year won’t be another snoozer. The Scarlet Knights are off to a solid 3-1 start with a Power Five nonconference win over Boston College, but if Iowa can muster a 27-10 road win against Rutgers, Ohio State should do much worse to the New Jersey-based outfit at home.
Ohio State 59, Rutgers 7
Jack Emerson: Buckeyes Roll Past Rutgers
In his second act as Rutgers’ head coach, Greg Schaino has improved the Scarlet Knights from perennial basement dweller to a somewhat respectable program within his first three years back in Piscataway.
Rutgers is by no means a contender in the Big Ten this season, but boasts a much improved defense and has jumped out to a 3-1 start to the season.While the Scarlet Knights’ defense ranks No. 9 in total defense, allowing just 249.5 yards per game, it has gone largely unchallenged — playing against the likes of Boston College, Wagner, Temple and Iowa. Rutgers appears to be catching the Ohio State offense at the worst time, as well, as the Buckeyes have posted 77 and 52 points in each of their last two games. I fully expect the Ohio State offense to continue that stretch of scoring outbursts against the Scarlet Knights, based primarily on the talent gap alone.
Rutgers also has several question marks on offense, most notably at the quarterback position. Third-string quarterback Evan Simon will likely lead the Scarlet Knights into Ohio Stadium, and while he hasn’t been bad in his relief of veteran Noah Vedral and rising star Gavin Wimsatt, he doesn’t boast enough talent to crack this clicking Ohio State defense.
The Scarlet Knights are yet to beat Ohio State since joining the Big Ten and I fully expect that trend to continue tomorrow.
Ohio State 62, Rutgers 10
Braden Moles: Pick A Score, Any Score
Ohio State has won the last eight contests against Rutgers, and there has not been a singular reason given to expect that will change on Saturday.
The Buckeyes’ offense is among the best in the nation – and is the best according to some metrics – and the defensive overhaul has proven successful thus far under defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who helped Ohio State turn in one of the most dominant performances against Wisconsin in series history.
Rutgers, meanwhile, has a capable defense – one that may be a paper tiger, however, given the level of competition early in the season – and can’t accomplish much of anything on offense with a rotating quarterback carousel. They average 185.8 rushing yards per game, though, so good for the Scarlet Knights. Ohio State has allowed just 111.3 per game, so this is one area that could provide intrigue, as well as Rutgers’ battles once the Buckeyes’ second-string defense enters the game.
Much like the Buckeyes’ win over the Badgers, Ohio State will be able to jump on Rutgers early and never look back. Hopefully the Buckeyes don’t get caught looking ahead to Michigan State, because the Spartans…well, at least Penn State and Michigan will be here soon enough.
Ohio State 55, Rutgers 14