Game Preview: Ohio State vs Rutgers
Ohio State heads to their second game in Big Ten play after an emphatic win against Wisconsin last week, and will host an overmatched Rutgers team. This game is a great opportunity for the Buckeyes to get some separation and make a statement as they are now completing with Georgia and Alabama as the best team in the country.
This game wont be in Prime Time, but the focus will be on their Homecoming, winning the game, and celebrating 100 years of the stadium.
Know the Opponent:
Head Coach: Greg Schiano (14th season)
2022 Record: 3-1
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Conference: Big Ten
Ohio State Preview
Ohio State did not slow down against Wisconsin last week and put the game away early. The Buckeyes are now the second best offense in the country in overall yards a game. Their defense forced another turnover with Tanner McCalister, and are looking to get more this week. The Buckeyes stayed steady in the polls as they are the 3rd ranked team in the country for the second straight week in both the AP and coaches poll, and are still favored by double digits in all of their remaining games, including the season finale showdown against undefeated Michigan.
CJ Stroud, who is the Heisman favorite still after four weeks, and can continue to extend his lead with a solid performance in an overmatched team. Stroud has passed for 1222 yards with 16 touchdowns and 1 interception. He has shown that he can move around, and has avoided sacks by scrambling out of the pocket and connecting with his receivers down the field, a lot of those throws with sideline passes that have showcased the athleticism of the talented receivers.
TreVeyon Henderson became the lead running back last week with 318 yards on 50 rushes and 3 touchdowns. Miyan Williams has 308 yards on the ground with 3 touchdown, and has 3 receptions for 23 yards. Henderson has rushed for 197 yards on 29 carries and 3 rushing touchdowns. Dallan Hayden had a few carries last week and is now at 152 yards and 1 touchdown on 29 carries this season in place on an injured Evan Pryor.
Emeka Egbuka jumped to the top spot after another solid performance. He has 442 yards on 26 catches and 5 touchdowns. Marvin Harrison Jr is next with 387 yards on 21 catches and 5 touchdowns. Cade Stover is the third leading receiver with 188 yards on 12 catches and scored his 2 touchdowns last week against Wisconsin. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to play more this game after only playing a few series against Toledo, and he wasn’t needed to make plays in that game, but hopefully that game was able to help him get ready for this week.
Greg Schiano leads his 3-1 Rutgers team who is one of the top 10 defenses in the country. Their loss last week was against Iowa at home, where the Iowa defense outscored the Iowa offense, and both outscored Rutgers. Their wins though were against Boston College, which they had to come from behind to win, Wagner who they blew out, and Temple in a 2 point margin. Schiano though has the confidence going into the game.
“We’re going to Columbus to win the game. Will that happen? You know there’s another team on the other sideline that wants the same thing,” Schiano said. “But we are going to do everything we can, we are going to practice and get ready and go out to Columbus and play our best.”
Evan Simon is projected to be the starter going into this game, and he has passed for 566 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 55 completions.
The Scarlet Knights have 5 rushers who have run for over 100 yards this year. Kyle Monangai is the leading rusher with 157 yards on 42 carries and 2 touchdowns. Al-Shadee Salaam is the second leading rusher with 145 on 25 carries and 2 touchdowns. Samual Brown V is the third leading rusher with 27 rushes for 131 and 2 touchdowns.
Their top playmaker and lead receiver is Aron Cruickshank who has 18 receptions and 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Shameen Jones is the next leading receiver has 8 catches for 101 yards. Chris Long is the next leading receiver with 4 catches for 90 yards and an interception.
Ohio State Defense. A bit of a cop out, but at the same time, this will be a test for the defense to keep building and challenging themselves against an offense that is not on the same skill level. The back ups gave up a 75 yard run in a meaningless score last week, and the challenge will to still play well and within their scheme regardless who is on the field.
Scarlet Knight Spotlight
Aron Cruickshank. Cruickshank is the most dynamic player on the Scarlet Knight roster as the top wide-receiver and return man. If the secondary is still shorthanded this week, the Buckeyes will need to make sure they know where he is on the field at all times, and might need to double cover.
Water Cooler Stat of the Game
100. Ohio State celebrates their 100th anniversary of Ohio Stadium, which officially turns 100 next Friday, during Saturday’s game. A historical marker celebrating the Shoe’s 100th anniversary was installed outside the stadium’s northwest rotunda earlier this week, and the family of stadium architect Howard Dwight Smith will be recognized during halftime of Saturday’s game.
All indications based on the trajectory of these teams is that the Buckeyes will blow out Rutgers, and there is a good chance that will happen. With the exception of the 2020 season, the games between these two teams has been all Buckeyes, and scoring for the Scarlet Knights has been as scarce as Excalibur. Ryan Day respects Greg Schiano for helping him in 2018 transition when Urban Meyer was suspended, and this will be more of Ryan Day might score 50 points in the first half, and just sit. The only way this game looks closer is if Schiano pulls out trick plays and forces Ohio State to keep scoring.
Ohio State 63 – Rutgers 7
Photo Credit: Land-Grant Holy Land