Tomorrow, Rutgers will face off with the Ohio State Buckeyes in a lopsided matchup of two B1G East teams. Ohio State is coming off of a bye week while Rutgers is coming off of a 14-7 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. In addition to being Ohio State’s homecoming game, this is Chris Ash’s homecoming, as he spent the last two years as the defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes. Let’s get into this preview!
Rutgers @ #2 Ohio State
Location: Ohio Stadium | Columbus, Ohio
Time: 12pm ET
TV: B1G Network
Radio: WEPN 98.7-FM, WCTC 1450-AM, WENJ 97.3-FM, WNJE 920-AM
Line: Ohio State -38 O/U 60
Other On the Banks previews
The Tale of the Tape
Rutgers enters this game as 38 point underdogs and truthfully, not a single person outside the program thinks they can win. Historically, Urban Meyer is dominant coming off by weeks. Rutgers consistently struggles with quarterbacks that can run the ball, and JT Barrett is right behind Lamar Jackson when it comes to QBs who can run. However, he can also throw the ball pretty damn well, and connected with Jersey native Noah Brown 4(!!!) times against Oklahoma two weeks ago. Ohio State should take care of business in this game and the most important thing is that if this game turns into a blowout, to not read too much into it. Like if Chris Laviano does not play well against Ohio State’s first-team defense and then another QB comes in and throws a touchdown in garbage time against the 3rd-stringers, it does not mean said backup is a better QB.
How Rutgers wins
This game looks un-winnable on paper (and the internet) but that does not mean Rutgers has 0 shot to win. In fact, according to ESPN, they have a 2.2% chance to win. Ohio State has a tendency to start slow against weaker opponents, as demonstrated by their 3-3 tie with Tulsa after the first quarter three weeks ago. Last year, they were knotted up with Northern Illinois at halftime and they struggled to put away Western Michigan and Hawaii early. We can only hope that they slip up against the Scarlet Knights and the improved Rutgers defense can hold them off.
How Ohio State wins
As long as Ohio State plays their game and keeps it simple, they should cruise. They can come out firing against the Rutgers secondary and probably get out to a comfortable lead. If Rutgers finds a way to stop them in one facet of the game, Ohio State can beat them in another. They are that good. Ultimately, it’s their game to lose.
Ohio State will have their 100,000+ seat stadium filled at kickoff for Rutgers and they will bring the energy from the start. It isn’t looking good for Rutgers, and I hate predicting them to lose in blowout losses, but there does not seem like an alternative here. Ohio State is so damn good in every single area that goes into fielding a college football team, it is almost scary. They have an elite offense and an elite defense. They have been absolutely dominant under Urban Meyer and I don’t think he would take much pleasure losing to his protege. Ohio State 49 Rutgers 11.