Game 10 Recap: Ohio State 56 – Rutgers 21
All Ohio State had to do in this game was win and not get hurt, and they were able to do just that. The outcome of the game was never in doubt, but many expected this game to be more of a blowout than it was. We might have seen the first game where Ohio State lost some focus, as they allowed 21 points against one of the lower ranked offenses they have faced. To be fair, one touchdown was a result of a short field from a muffed punt by Garrett Wilson, and the other was after a bad pass interference call against the Buckeyes late in the 4th quarter with the 3rd string defense. Ryan Day will learn how to manage these sort of games. The three teams that have scored the most against Ohio State has been FAU, Maryland and Rutgers.
Ohio State’s defense started strong, picking off a pass for an interceptions on the first drive for Rutgers, and then forced a fumble on their second drive. The starters only played up until the first drive of the second quarter, when Ohio State extended its lead to 42-7.
Justin Fields passed for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running for 30 yards on 3 carries. This is only the second game this season that he did not add a rushing touchdown, but he now has 41 total touchdowns for the season. Chris Chugunov came in, a return trip to his home state, and passed for 2 touchdowns and 61 yards. Buckeye fans need Fields to stay healthy, because based on performances so far, Chug is not Cardale Jones. We play at our best with Fields steering the ship.
JK Dobbins rushed for 2 touchdowns and 89 yards on 17 carries. Rutgers did a decent job slowing down the run game for Ohio, and that might have been left over from when Ash was still the head coach. Master Teague also got some good playing time, and rushed for 45 yards on 10 carries. Steele Chambers most likely played in his last game of this season before being redshirted, and did a lot with his playing time rushing for 56 yards on 9 carries.
Chris Olave has been the featured receiver with Mack sidelined due to injury. He had 4 catches for 139 yards. Ben Victor had 2 touchdowns and 68 yards on 6 catches. KJ Hill caught a touchdown pass as well, and gained 62 yards receiving.
This game served as a last tune-up game before the real test, and if Ohio State wants to be the team holding the Championship trophy in New Orleans in 2 months, they just need to take care of business and win the next 3 weeks.
This game was never in doubt, but an example of how talented Ohio State is when their starters were in and playing at their best, they forced the interception on the first drive for the Scarlet Knights, and then forced a fumble on their second drive, which Ohio State converted into points, and jumped to a 14-0 lead with 11 minutes to go still in the 1st quarter.
Star of the Game
Justin Fields. He had his best game passing as a Buckeye, throwing for 304 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Even with the limited playing time, he made a statement with his maturity in play, and close to earning a trip to New York as a Heisman candidate. He will have more chances with the remaining games on the schedule.
Ohio State dropped from 1 to 2 in this weeks rankings, mostly due to LSU’s win over Alabama. Ohio State didn’t do anything to hurt their resume, and the starters dominated before being pulled after the first drive in the second half. Any boost in their ranking will most likely happen this upcoming week if they can beat Penn State.
Ohio State (10-0) returns home to face Penn State (9-1) at noon. Fox will be broadcasting the game, and Big Noon Kickoff with be there. Also, ESPN’s College GameDay will be on campus as their game of the week..
Rutgers (2-8) hosts Michigan State (4-6) at noon on BTN.
Photo credit: Cleveland.com