First off, yes, Chris Ash and his Rutgers are in the process of implementing the correct system to compete with the big boys of the BIG 10 and they are visiting the Ohio State Buckeyes for their second game in conference play, but wow! This blows my prediction out of The Shoe and into the atmosphere. This is another pleasant surprise and I am liking what the Buckeyes are doing during all phases of the game. Offense. Defense. Special Teams. The Buckeyes are clicking on all cylinders and are gaining all the momentum prior to the latter half of their schedule. Again, the Rutgers have new leadership at the helm, but you cannot take away from or discount the strides that the current Buckeyes staff has produced. They have developed players at every level and it is as evident as it has ever been. The Buckeyes always find ways to improve the team and they recruit at a higher level than most collegiate schools. This game started off slowly, but just like last year, the Buckeyes proved to be a second-half team so they took it slowly until they turned on the afterburners as the game progressed on.
Dontre Wison started the party with an 18-yard touchdown strike courtesy of J.T. Barrett. Barrett threw a pick early in the game on his second passing attempt, but after the slow start, he responded like you would expect him to. He scrambled around the pocket and was nearly sacked, but he kept his composure and threw a strike, hitting the streaking Dontre Wilson on the run. Dontre Wilson’s Buckeye career has been one to watch. He came in as a highly touted recruit out of DeSoto High School in Texas and he possessed the ideal skills that Coach Meyer covets. He was a speedy Athlete coming out of high school and he was once an Oregon Ducks commit at one point, but he backed out of it and the rest is history. The intriguing part about it is he has been in and out of the lineup for most of his career. He suffered many injuries and he often found himself buried on the depth chart. It is nothing to be embarrassed about either. He was behind Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller. He has been the story and he has been productive ever since he was named the starter. In this game, he added 4 catches to his seasons’ stats for 53 yards and the opening touchdown of the game. On the following drive after another Rutgers punt, 3 more points was added by Tyler Durbin to stretch the lead to 9.
J.T. Barrett broke Ohio State’s record for passing touchdowns during this afternoon’s game. He tallied 4 touchdown passes on his 29 attempts. He finished the game with 284 total yards after being taken out by Coach Meyer late in the third quarter. He slung the rock to four different receivers en route to another resounding, momentum building game. Indiana’s own, Terry McLaurin brought in his first touchdown reception in his young Buckeye career, making a tough 14-yard grab over a Rutgers defender for six. McLaurin reeled the ball in once, but he made it count. California’s Marcus Baugh scored on a 16-yard pass from Barrett which also was his only catch of the game. He dragged a couple of Scarlet Knights en-route to a rare touchdown reception by a Tight End. Curtis Samuel had another impactful game reeling in a 5-yard pass for another Buckeye score. He racked up another 100+ yard game with 154 for the game. Barrett and Joey Burrow spread the ball out to 12 different receivers throughout the game. Outside of Samuel and Wilson, the Buckeyes have weapons waiting in the wings and you will never know who will shine for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes rushing game was also highly effective, racking up 410 rushing yards on 53 carries for 4 scores. Mike Weber led the way dicing up the Rutgers defense with 144 yards and a touchdown. He scored on a 46-yard run and outran a host of defenders. True Freshmen Demario McCall and Antonio Williams made the most of their opportunities when their numbers were called. McCall showed his speed and he had 10 carries for 85 yards and a 39-yard scamper for a score. Williams failed to score and he didn’t produce as much, but he toted the rock for 28 yards and the future sure looks bright for Ohio State at Running Back. Receivers Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon both had one rush for 5-yards a piece, both for scores to put the game out of reach. They will look to rebuild against Indiana prior to heading to Camp Randall Stadium and to Beaver Stadium. With the lone road game being at Norman, Oklahoma, it is always interesting in the BIG 10.
The Silver Bullets had their first game without a forced turnover, but they surrendered zero points. They had 3 sacks and youngsters, Nick Bosa and Robert Landers showed that they are the furthest from “basic” with both players notching a single sack a piece. The Rutgers couldn’t get anything going despite seeing regular success on the ground in the opening quarter. The Buckeyes eventually locked in and shut everything down that the Rutgers even thought about executing. Literally. They held starter Chris Laviano to 33 yards on 3 of 12 attempts passing and Tylin Oden to 0 of 4 attempts for zero yardage. The rushing game was also ineffective. The Rutgers had it going early, but the Buckeyes shut them down. The lead rusher for Rutgers was Robert Martin with 40 of the 83 rushing yards given up. The Buckeyes put the clamps down and allowed only 203 total yards to the Rutgers offensive unit. If you are wondering, they Buckeyes gave up 33 through the air, 83 on the ground and 87 on Special Teams. No touchdowns were surrendered during this game. The Bullets must have been really upset at the fact that they surrendered two to Oklahoma two weeks ago and they were relentless. Next week they play at home against an Indiana team who kept it close last season. It will be interesting to see how they approach this game, but for now, let’s enjoy the win. I will see you next week Buckeye fans.
The interception by Anthony Cioffi was just about the only highlight for Chris Ash’s Rutgers squad who plays TTUN