2019 Game Preview: Ohio State vs Rutgers

Ohio State got the news Wednesday that Chase Young will be returning to the field for the Penn State game. That is probably the best news Rutgers could have received, as they do not have the face the best defensive player in America. However, they will still face a tough test against one of the statistically dominant teams in the country, and a team that has an average win margin of 42 points.

Despite winning, Ohio State dropped from first to second in the college football playoff rankings, but as long as they can remain in the top 4, they will represent the Big Ten in the playoffs. This game this week will not do them any favors, even if they win big. All they need to do is show what they have shown week in and week out that they are one of the most complete teams in the country. A loss to Rutgers will surely post a black mark bigger than the Iowa and Purdue losses from the previous seasons. Ryan Day though has been masterful at keeping his team focused. 

The Big Ten race will ultimately still come down to what happens in Columbus next week. Even though Penn State lost to Minnesota, a win against the Buckeyes all but locks them as the representative for the Big Ten East. Ohio State can’t be looking ahead though, and needs to get to 10-0 before it can get to 11-0, and that starts with this weeks game against Rutgers.

Head Coach: Nunzio Campanile (Interim)
2019 Record: 2-7
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State Preview: During the media this week, a lot of the focus has been around the Chase Young situation. Now that that is resolved, the media and fans and team can focus on the game this week. Rutgers should not be a challenge for Ohio State this week, as they lost to Maryland 48-7, who Ohio State just beat 73-14 this past weekend. Using math and probability based on those games, there is reason to believe Ohio State will score a lot of points, and its the reason why the spread is at 52 points. 

Justin Fields did not have his best statistical game last week against Maryland, but was still able to put up 4 total touchdowns. For the season, he has 1859 yards passing, and 27 touchdowns, against 1 interception. He is also at 347 yards rushing, and 10 total rushing touchdowns. With this game and presumably atleast 4 more games left, he is within striking distance of the record for total touchdowns in a season, which was just set by Dwayne Haskins last year at 54. Fields would need to through more touchdowns passes to get to the passing mark, but his dual threat ability has been what has kept defenses honest when playing against this Buckeye team.

JK Dobbins has 1200 yards even for the season and 11 touchdowns. Like most of the starters, he will most likely play just the first half of the game, and hopefully can break the 100 yard mark. He is getting closer to passing Ezekiel Elliott for rushing yardage. Master Teague has 699 yards so far with 4 touchdowns. He has been getting more involved with the offense, and with the opponent match up, he should get plenty of playing time against the Scarlet Knights. Dont be surprised to see Demario McCall and Marcus Crowley get some touches too. 

Chris Olave paces the receivers with 454 yards and 9 touchdowns on 33 receptions. Ben victor is nect with 391 yards and 22 catches and 4 touchdowns. KJ Hill is now 14 receptions away from breaking the all rime receptions record, and has 361 yards for the season along with 5 touchdowns. Garrett Wilson continues to climb in place of injured Austin Mack, and has been starting now and punt returns. He has 216 yards for the season now with 4 touchdowns.

Rutgers Preview:  Chris Ash started the season as the head coach for the Scarlet Knights, but was let go before the month of October. Rutgers enters the game 2-7, with their two wins against non power 5 opponents UMass and Liberty. They have been shut out 3 times so far this season, and have had 3 games of 10 or less points. They are averaging 280 yards a game offensively, which will be a big test against Ohio State who is only giving up 215 yards a game. They are also allowing 431 yards and 37 points a game, which Ohio State will look to expose. 

They have not had a consistent starting quarterback, with 3 different players getting playing time. Johnny Langan is their current starter, and he has thrown for 498 yards so far this season, will tossing 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He does have a dual threat presence though, as he is their second leading rusher with 242 yards on the ground and 2 rushing touchdowns. 

Isaih Pacheco is the teams leading rusher with 541 yards on 23 attempts and 6 touchdowns. The next leading running back is Kay’Ron Adams, who has 139 yardd and 1 touchdown for the season. Aaron Young as also eclipsed the 100 yard mark with 137 yards. They might try to rotate backs to keep their players healthy.

Rutgers has 2 players who have over 300 receiving yards with Bo Melton, who has 312 yards and 1 touchdown, and running back Raheem Blackshear, who has 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next leading receiver is Isaiah Washington who has 197 yards and touchdown. 

Linebacker Tyshon Fogg leads the team in tackles with 75. As a team, they have 11 sacks for the season. 

Buckeye Spotlight: Master Teague. The starters will be in only for the first half, so I dont expect a lot of yardage from the starters, but the backups will be marquee, and none of them are bigger than Master Teague. He is on pace to break 1000 yards, despite having the leading rusher in front of him getting the lions share of the carries. He is the 6th leading rusher in the Big 10 with 699 rushing yards for the season. His role might be limited with Penn State and Michigan upcoming, but this will be his game to shine and give Ohio State fans a preview of what to expect next year when Dobbins is expected to leave for the draft. 

Scarlet Knight Spotlight: Points. The talent gap is real between these two teams, and each team has the same amount of players and practices, and both get equal share of the money, but Rutgers has not been great this season. The test for them will be if they can manage to get points against this Ohio State defense, which they have been shut out 3 times in conference play, by Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana. 

Water Cooler Stat of the Game:  1916. Ohio State has only scored one 100 point game in its history. That was in 1916 against Oberlin, where the final score was 128-0. Showmanship will probably be in effect, and I dont expect Ohio State to put up 100 points against Rutgers, but if there is a game or situation on their schedule to do it, this would be the game. 

Prediction:  I dont think the Buckeyes are too worried about dropping in the polls, although this is the first time that a team has dropped in the polls after winning. This will be the last tune up game before Ohio State comes back home for their final home game, and Chase Young will be back. Ryan Day can make the comments he wants about taking it one week at a time, but this week is really just a game that as long as they show up, its not a contest. I expect the starters to be out there until the end of the first half like last week, and if there is any situations Ohio State wants to practice or work on, this is the time to do it. Get the win on the road, and get ready for the real season to begin.

Ohio State 77 – Rutgers 0


Photo Credit to Asbury Park Press

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