This one should be fun. Rutgers is set to go on the road to face the number two team in the country without their best player. The Ohio State Buckeyes are loaded with talent one both sides of the ball and are coached by one of the greatest coaches of all-time, Urban Meyer. I also can’t write this article without mentioning their defensive coordinator, a man named Greg Schiano. Let’s learn some more about these dominant Buckeyes
Ranking: #2 (AP) | #2 (Coaches)
Head Coach: Urban Meyer (53-4) (Is that good?)
2015 Record: 3-0
Current Streak: W5
SB Nation Site: Land-Grant Holy Land
One Big Thing
Ohio State is coming off of a bye week and Urban Meyer has won his last 19 games coming off bye weeks. Combine that with the fact that Rutgers is incredibly overmatched and things aren’t looking great for the Scarlet Knights.
Opponent Depth Chart (Game Notes here)
Key Offensive Players
QB JT Barrett
If it weren’t for Lamar Jackson of Louisville, JT Barrett would probably be the frontrunner for Heisman. In Just 3 games, he has thrown for 650 yards, 10 TDs, and only 1 interception. Combine that with 159 rushing yards and 3 scores and he is one of the deadliest dual-threats in the county. CJ Beathard of Iowa, who is deceptively quick, killed Rutgers with his legs at the most inopportune times last week. Barrett is a much better athlete and will have plenty of designed runs called for him. Rutgers will have to keep a spy or something to keep Barrett under wraps. Even if they do that, thought, he can kill them through the air. Realistically, it is a lose/lose when facing Barrett.
WR Noah Brown
Brown only has 9 catches on the year, but 5 (!!!!) of them have gone for touchdowns. The New Jersey native has big-time ball skills and will have the advantage over the Rutgers cornerbacks on jump balls. If you remember when Rutgers lost to Michigan State last year, it was mainly because they were consistently beat on jump balls on third down. Iowa also converted a huge third down on a 50/50 jump ball that Rutgers was beat on. Brown has the potential to have another big game.
Key Defensive Players
LB Raekwon McMillan
McMillan is most likely going to be a first round pick in this upcoming NFL draft and is one of the most experienced guys on the team. He played every game his true freshman year, notching 54 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, and an interception. Last year, he started all 13 games and had 119 tackles. He has a nose for the ball and can fly all over the field. He is a player that Drew Mehringer will definitely have to gameplan around..
DE Sam Hubbard
Victor will also be a junior and is the leader of defense at middle linebacker. In 2015 he led the team with 77 tackles. He also had 9 TFLs and 6 PBUs to go along with an interception. Unlike the defensive line which is loaded with depth, Victor stands alone in my eyes as the star of the linebacking corps.
Why they are better than Rutgers
At the time I am writing this, Rutgers sits as 39-point underdogs. There is no question that Ohio State is going to be the toughest matchup for this team. All of the offseason moves and changes made to the culture by Chris Ash essentially make Rutgers Ohio State’s “little brother”. They are trying to build a program like Ohio State, but are years away and will experience growing pains. Ohio State lost loads of talent to the NFL, but simply replaced those guys with 4 and 5-star recruits coached up by one of the best staffs in the country. The Buckeyes have not missed a beat and should have no problem handling Rutgers. If this one gets ugly, it is nothing to be ashamed of.
A few more notes (Pulled from here)
- As mentioned before, former Rutgers head coach is the defensive coordinator of the Buckeyes
- Urban Meyer is 90-15 when facing a coach for the first time
- Meyer is also 6-1 against former assistants
- Rutgers assistants Drew Mehringer, Vince Okruch, Bill Busch, Zak Kuhr, Kenny Parker, Adam Weber, and recruiting coordinator Adam Caltury all spent time at Ohio State
- There are 4 New Jersey natives on the Ohio State roster, two of whom contribute (Noah Brown, Jordan Fuller)
- Urban Meyer is 44-3 in games he has had more than one week to prepare for.
Stay tuned for even more game content, including roundtable predictions from the OTB staff as well as an official game preview later this week!