As we all know, Rutgers had a very rough week against Ohio State. They lost 58-0 and put on one of the worst overall performances I have seen in recent memory. It started off hopeful, holding the Buckeyes to only 6 points in the first quarter. Then it all fell apart. We could not move the ball at all nor could we stop them on offense.
J.T. Barrett picked us apart with his arm and his legs. He threw for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns and gained an additional 46 on the ground with only 5 carries. Ohio State rushed for a total of 410 yards on Rutgers and totaled out their offensive output with a grand total of a colossal 669 yards.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights could not get anything going offensively. They gained a total of 116 yards; 83 on the ground and a pitiful 33 threw the air. Offensive Coordinator Drew Mehringer spoke to the media on Monday as seen below and he was not happy.
Martin was, yet again, the best back for the Knights. He had a couple of nice carries and he kept his legs moving, struggling, and fighting for those extra yards. Unfortunately, Martin only finished with 40 yards on 13 carries. That is a dismal 3.1 yards a carry. Martin, coming into this game led the Big Ten in rushing yards. This was a poor performance, but that could be credited to the poor play of the offensive line in this game.
Goodwin did not really carry the ball in this game. He was only handed the ball 3 times and he only gained 8 yards; a 2.7 average. Goodwin continues to see little action and little production. He has shown he can get yards, it is just up to the coaches to play him and the team to not be in large holes where throwing the ball becomes priority number one.
The Freshman running back got some late game action. Not many carries, per usual, but he did gain 5 yards on his 2 carries; a 2.5 average. Sneed is just a true freshman and I believe with some more action and as time goes on he could be a solid player for this Rutgers team.
Chris Laviano started off well against Ohio State as he completed his first two passes. After that, though, he went a awful 1/10 the rest of the way. On top of that, he only got 33 yards passing, all to Jawuan Harris. It is clear the presence of Janarion Grant is needed to open up the offense a little with bubble screens and wildcat plays to Grant.
Both Chris Ash and Drew Mehringer said the beat down was not all the quarterback’s fault. The receivers could not get off their press coverage, so there was simply no one open. Mehringer says that they will work on it, but their largest issue is drops. Not all throws are great, but he has thrown better balls, the receivers just have not caught them.
Oden got extended playing time in this game, and he did not look too great. His throws were ugly, which is why he only threw 4 times, none of which were completed. His first throw was a throw downfield, which missed his target by a large margin. Needless to say, he did not look great throwing the ball. He did gain 14 yards on 9 carries which is another dismal 1.6 yards a carry average. The Buckeyes are good experience for the young quarterback, but he definitely needs to improve before he becomes the starter.
This was a very tough game for Rutgers. going to Columbus into the Horseshoe after Urban Meyer and Co. had a week off is no easy task. Not to mention they have put up at least 45 points in every game this year including against a solid Oklahoma team two weeks ago.
Mehringer mentioned in his press conference that facing these top teams all in a row is a good “barometer” of where the team is. It is not where we would like it to be, but it is great experience. The young players and the offensive line are learning what it is like to play big time opponents. Mehringer is hopeful that this experience will lead into a strong second half where there are no ranked opponents on the schedule.
I think Rutgers, coming home, will be angry and motivated to show the Big Ten that they are no easy task. They have their first prime time game this weekend against a very good Michigan team that just beat number 8 Wisconsin this past weekend. Jim Harbaugh is one hell of a coach and he has that program riding high right now. All I can think of, though, is the last time Big Blue came to Piscataway. It was also a prime time game. And, guess what, we won that game for our first Big Ten victory and first Big Ten field rush at home.
Overall, Rutgers will come out swinging when Harbaugh and Co. show up to the banks of the ol’Raritan. It will be no easy task, but look for Rutgers to compete with this Michigan team.