Preview: #11 Ohio State (3-1, BIG 1-0) at Rutgers (1-3, BIG 0-1)

Coach Urban Meyer and his Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to face a familiar face in Coach Chris Ash and his Scarlet Knights.  This contest will pit a scrappy Rutgers team that has displayed improvements, but this game should still get out of hand.

Team Stats

Points Per Game 39.3 27.3
Points Allowed Per Game 20.0 18.3
Total Yards 549.0 326.8
Yards Passing 319.3 163.5
Yards Rushing 229.8 163.3
Yards Allowed 367.3 298.3
Pass Yards Allowed 228.3 179.5
Rush Yards Allowed 139.0 118.8

As provided by ESPN, both teams both teams differ in each category, with the closest being Points Allowed Per Game.  Other than that, the offensive statistics favor the Buckeyes, but the defensive statistics favor the Scarlet Knights, with the caveat being that difference in competition.  The Buckeyes faced moderate to great offenses, Indiana and Oklahoma, where Rutgers played a turnover-prone Nebraska team and a Washington offense that is still trying to find their identity.

The Buckeyes faced moderate to great offenses, Indiana and Oklahoma, where Rutgers played a turnover-prone Nebraska team and a Washington offense that is still trying to find their identity. This is by no means an excuse or a shoe-in for a blowout, but it could still be over by halftime.

What To Watch For:

1.)  BACK TO THE START, LEGRAND REUNION.

The current Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Ohio State will come back to his old stomping grounds in New Jersey, where he received his first opportunity as a Head Coach.  Schiano was so successful at Rutgers, he eventually received an offer to become the Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, which did not work out that well.

Now, Coach Meyer and Coach Schiano will face a familiar face in Coach Ash, who was a former pupil of Meyer.  He helped recruit a few of the current BIA members prior to his departure for a tougher challenge, and this game of chess will be one to watch.

A former Rutger player, Eric LeGrand who was paralyzed after a collision against Army will be in attendance to reunite with his former coach, which is a story to follow throughout the day.  It has been five years since that tragic day, but the reunion will be a sight to see even though they are pulling for their respective teams.

2.)  SCHIANO VERSUS ASH.

Both Coaches share the same qualities as both coaches put their DB’s on islands, playing similar styles.  Both benefited from Coach Coombs and both were quality recruiters for the Buckeyes, but now they are pitted against each other. The Old versus the New.

Ash has been invaluable on the recruiting trail and he has brought in a lot of talent in the secondary.  He has developed the Buckeyes prior to leaving and now his former players have thrived in Schiano’s first year, but this year has been a little rough around the edges.

There is no doubt that Schiano and Coombs will have their guys ready, but Coach Ash got some terrible news this week as his best Cover Corner Blessuan Austin suffered a season-ending injury that will leave him thin at Cornerback.  He has two capable bodies, but behind them is a lot of inexperience, which could benefit the Buckeyes offense.

3.)  QB, WR, CB & LB IMPROVEMENTS.

In what seems to be a constant topic within Buckeye Nation, will there be miscues between J.T. Barrett and Zone 6?  Last week, they improved in most departments with Barrett missing a few easy throws even though it was against an overmatched UNLV team.

His decision making was better along with the playcalling, but they still have to work out a few more kinks.  He missed a few throws, but he did well enough in a little less than a half.

His receivers also did well, showing the ability to earn yards after the catch and finding the empty spaces in zone coverage for easy receptions.  They regained their confidence and they will continue to improve against a thin Rutgers team who just lost their best player.

On the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes are struggling at the Cornerback and Middle Linebacker positions.  The Corners are placed on islands all game, but from time to time they get beat and they start grabbing at the receivers to make a play.  This often causes penalties that give the opposite team easy conversions, which often lead to scores.

The Corners are placed on islands all game, but from time to time they get beat and they start grabbing at the receivers to make a play.  This often causes penalties that give the opposite team easy conversions, which often lead to scores.

The Linebackers have improved more than the Corners with the addition of Tuf Borland, who is making plays and improving after each contest.  Big Play Baker has regressed and Dante Booker has been making plays, but he is just as inconsistent as the others.

Prediction:  49-14 Ohio State defeats Rutgers

 

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