Game 5 Recap: Ohio State 49 – Rutgers 10
The Buckeyes celebrated their 100 yard anniversary of the stadium and Homecoming with a 49-10 win against Rutgers. The game was never really in doubt, but the performance on the field lacked some of the flash in the passing game that fans are used to seeing from this team. It didnt seem to matter though, as Ohio State found its rhythm in the running game behind Miyan Williams, who got the full reps of carries after TreVeyon Henderson was waived due to a lingering foot injury. This game also marked the second straight week, and 3rd of 5 games where star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba didnt play.
In true Schiano fashion, Rutgers has 4 different quarterbacks in on their first drive(s). The Buckeye defense actually held Rutgers to a 3 and out, but a muffed punt return by Emeka Egbuka gave the ball back to the Scarlet Knights on the OSU 18 yard line, and they were able to punch it in for a touchdown.
Rutgers then tried an onside kick, which backfired as the Buckeyes were able to field the kick, and after 5 plays and 48 yards, scored the first of 5 rushing touchdowns for Miyan Williams. Ohio State would score 3 more times, forcing Rutgers to punt each time they had the ball, with the exception of a forced fumble, and Ohio State took a 28-7 lead going into halftime.
To start the second half, Stroud forced a throw to Egbuka which was triple covered and intercepted by Rutgers, a throw that Stroud wished he made a different decision. This set up for Rutgers to score a field goal, and it would be their last score of the game. The Buckeyes scored 3 more times, and put the game away to prevent Rutgers from trying anymore trickery to try and come back in a game they were outmatched in. The Buckeye defense held Rutgers to only 187 yards, and they only converted 1 of 13 3rd and 4th down conversions.
What was probably the most interesting part of the game was on a 4th an 2 for the Buckeyes who were about to punt, but due to the angles Rutgers cut in on the line of scrimmage, and Jesse Mirco scrambling to the side to punt like he normally did, he kept the ball and ran for 22 yards before getting a late hit out of bounds from Rutgers’ Aron Cruickshank. This caused both the players and the head coaches into a little scrum that resulted in Ohio State keeping the ball, and running down more time off the clock.
CJ Stroud had his worst game statistically as a started, throwing for only 154 yards on 13-22 passing with two touchdowns and 1 interception. He did scramble out a few times near the redzone to keep plays alive and tried to find a teammate to pass two, but otherwise let his running backs do the running. Kyle McCord did get in in the 4th quarter, and was 2 of 3 passing for 7 yards.
Miyan Williams led the team in rushing with 189 yards on 21 carries and 5 touchdowns. He also caught a pass for 3 yards. Dallan Hayden came in in the 4th quarter and had 9 carries for 28 yards. Marvin Harrison Jr had a jet sweep which he took for 14 yards.
Emeka Egbuka lead the team in receiving with 70 yards on 4 catches. Julian Fleming also had 4 catches for 51 yards, and a touchdowns. Marvin Harrison Jr caught 3 balls for 18 yards and touchdown.
This game was never really in question, despite Rutgers earning their first lead ever in 9 games for a brief few minutes, but this game was very ho-hum in Ohio State’s juggernaut of an offensive standards. The turning point was just the solidfying touchdown in the third quarter. Ohio State started with the ball in the second half, and Cj Stroud forced a throw to Emeka Egbuka which was intercepted by Rutgers, and gave them a field goal opportunity to cut into the lead 28-10. On the next series, Ohio State needed 1 play, and it was a 70 yard touchdown run by Miyan Williams, which put Ohio State up 35-10, and they didnt let Rutgers score again.
Star of the Game
Miyan Williams. With TreVeyon Henderson sidelined this game, Williams was the featured running back, and made the most of his opportunity, rushing for 5 touchdowns which ties the single game record, and had 189 yards on 21 carries. Honorable mention too to Zach Harrison, who made two plays which led to turnovers, and Steele Chambers who had 11 total tackles and an interception.
It was not the most flashy win for the Buckeyes this year, but they put up another big win against a conference opponent, and improve to 5-0 for the season. Where things could get interesting is how the voters view both Alabama and Georgia who had their own set backs. For Alabama, Bryce Young was injured in the second quarter against Arkansas, but the Crimson Tide still won in large part due to a good third quarter. For Georgia, they trailed Missouri for nearly the entire game before getting two late touchdowns to win 26-22. There is still a good chance that the top three remain in the same order, but Ohio State has shown it can win without its star players, and Georgia and Alabama showed some cracks in their teams.
Ohio State (5-0) travels for the first time this season to Michigan State (2-3) at 4pm on ABC.
Rutgers (3-2) returns home to host Nebraska (2-3) at 7pm on FS1.
Photo Credit: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch