COLUMBUS OH - SEPTEMBER 18: Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes tackles Vince Davidson #26 of the Ohio Bobcats in the endzone for a safety in the third quarter at Ohio Stadium on September 18 2010 in Columbus Ohio. The Buckeyes defeated the Bobcats 43-7. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
It was very easy for Scarlet Knight fans this week to lose sight of the upcoming game against Ohio, so much so that you hope the football team doesn't fall into the same trap. Ohio is 3-0 against an easy schedule, with the most impressive win being a 44-7 thumping of Marshall last week. Ohio also won comfortably against New Mexico State, who subsequently beat one of the worst BCS conference teams in the country in Minnesota. If this was 2010, Rutgers would have ample reason for worry against the potent Bobcat offense. Frank Solich has had a more-than respectable tenure at Ohio, with an early 2006 home win for Rutgers helping to key that season's undefeated streak.
Ohio is no pushover. They're clearly not as good as UNC, but easily have the chops to make Rutgers sweat for a half, and give the Scarlet Knights a major scare with a few lucky bounces. This may be the best team in the MAC, which is starting to look moderately feisty again after a lengthy downswing. Rutgers clearly cannot afford to look past this team lest another Tulane-level disaster happen again. It won't, but for Rutgers to keep this one from getting too uncomfortable, they will need to return to the classic Schiano formula for success. That means building an early lead, grinding down the clock through I-formation runs, and going overboard with defensive blitzing (with a big special teams play or two thrown in for good measure.) Rutgers can ill-afford any screw ups with Big East play starting in a week at Syracuse.
Prediction: Rutgers 27, Ohio 17