Men of the scarlet and Gray Podcast National Champions to Invade Birthplace of College Football

Chip Minnich and I got together with Sal and Jerry of Rutgers fame to join us and discuss the Scarlet Knights. We discuss the football team, head coach situation, black eye Rutgers has had since joining the Big Ten, and advantage of actually having them in the conference (cha-ching).

Sal was able to have time and have some fun with us on our MotSaG pick ’em segment. Always nice to kind of poke fun at your rivals no matter who they are.

Chip and I unfortunately, ran short on time, rushed through the Dark Knight review and answered some questions from our loyal listeners.

Since your a college football fan and Big Ten football fan you’ll probably want to follow Jerry @RUFANJERRY and Sal @salsoothsayer. You can catch Jerrys podcast here and Sal’s site here.

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast #5 with Kevin McGuire

This week on Men of the Scarlet and Gray Myself along with my awesome co-hosts (Chip Minnich and Jeremiah Sharpe) get the privilege to discuss Big Ten East football and college football in general with Kevin McGuire. We also briefly discuss the Scarlet and Gray Days on the Big Ten Network and wrap up the training camp also discussing OSU QB situation.

For anyone who doesn’t know Kevin McGuire he has been a friend of our show. He is an extremely hard working college football writer and now podcaster. Kevin who can be found on twitter at @KevinonCFB. You can enjoy his work at Athlon Sports, NBC’s College Football Talk, also Lets not forget he also does work for Nittany Lions Den. You can and should listen to his podcasts on and Nittany Lions Den Podcasts which is part of the Nittany Lions Sports Radio also part of the vSporto network.

Speaking of vSporto network you can enjoy our show and many other quality shows on Buckeye Sports Radio. You can download the iOS app or listen on your browser of your Andriod device (App is coming soon). You can follow Buckeye Sports Radio on twitter @buckeyesradio.

We have to make mention that if you are subscribed to Men of the Scarlet and Gray Live Podcast you will have to go back into iTunes or whatever your favorite app is and find Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Our new show will no longer be getting connected with the MotSag Live feed. We apologize for any inconvenience and are hoping you won’t have any issues finding the show now. Currently are awaiting approval on Stitcher which hopefully should be coming very soon. If you can’t find us on your favaorite podcast app let us know so we can make it a priority to get the show on there to enjoy.

You can also now follow The podcast on twitter @MotSaGPodcast and like the Facebook page Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast.

In Depth Recap: Rutgers-Ohio State

Stop me if you have heard this one before. The Buckeyes amassed 585 total yards on offense and score 56 points.

J.T. Barrett and company didn’t miss a beat after the bye week and scored 50 points in four straight games for the first time in its 125 years of existence. During this historic run the Scarlet and Gray are averaging 56 points and 614 yards per game. Kind of ironic that they are averaging that yardage per game am I right (repping the 614). While their defense hasn’t been stellar they are only giving up an average of 17.25 points and 300.75 yards during this same time frame.


Barrett is inserting himself into the Heisman talk, throwing for 3 touchdowns on 261 yards passing while also rushing for two touchdowns and 107 yards. J.T. did not throw an interception nor was he sacked. Once again Barrett distributed the ball well hitting nine different receivers allowing TE Nick Vannett to catch two touchdown passes and Evan Spencer to grab a beautiful one handed touchdown pass himself. The offensive line and his elusiveness helped keep the Big Ten sack leaders at bay. The offensive line did a great job giving Barrett time to go through his progressions. Ezekiel Elliot had 12 carries for 69 yards and Curtis Samuels only had 4 but he had 59 huge yards. This offense is clicking on all cylinders right now and the scary thing is there are still things that they need to work on.

What are some of those things you ask? Starters catching the ball too many drops , I know I am being critical but you can’t have these against Sparty in a couple of weeks. Also penalties, but they are getting so much better that seriously there so little to criticize.


Gary Nova and company came into this game averaging 426 yards a game and 268 of that was through the air. Buckeyes defense came in with only 12 sacks and still had question marks with their secondary even though we have seen improvement in their last game against Maryland. You would have thought that with the loss of Paul James and question surrounding Rutgers running game Buckeyes would have an easy time with that but here’s whats weird. Ohio State allowed 147 yards on the ground but limited Nova to 196 yards passing and forced an interception. The Ohio State defense also sacked Nova 4 times and held the Scarlet Knights to a total of 345 offensive yards.

The defense is improving still a ways away from being the Silver Bullets but this team is growing each and every week and the key is that they are truly getting better each and every week. The maturity and growth we are witnessing each week is great to see and honestly kind of scary on how high their ceiling really is.

Final Thoughts

Winning their 18 consecutive Big Ten game it is such a joy to watch this high octane offense run. I know many would like to have a redo at the Virginia Tech game and sure the players would but its not going to happen. The continued growth and experience is making for a extremely dangerous Ohio State team.No matter how many in the national media want to hush out the talk of a possible Big Ten team in the national playoffs, if Buckeyes win out and keep winning big they will be in. You can say Rutgers wasn’t that great of a team but they came into Columbus with a 5-1 record and left with the worse loss in 12 years.

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Rutgers

Finally we are one day away from the Battle of The Scarlets. The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers try to invade Columbus with hopes of upsetting the Scarlet and Gray of Ohio State. This week I have had the great pleasure of getting to work with one Rutgers blogger and one Rutgers successful podcast host. I know shocking Rutgers has fans right (I kid). It has been a pleasure to work with Sal from who not only is a big Rutgers fan but also a big B1G fan and have had the pleasure of working with him in the past. Also joining the conversation today is Jerry who is host of the R Big Show and in that link you can hear us talk some about the game last night.

Time to grab your favorite beverage and sit back and enjoy what they bring to the table for us today.

MotSaG: What are Rutgers fans thoughts of the Big Ten and becoming a part of the conference?

Sal Rutgers fans literally could not be more excited. There is a tremendous amount of pride that students, alumni and fans of the school feel in the acceptance into the premier athletic and academic conference in the nation. Most supporters of Rutgers realize this goes well beyond the athletic field and they understand how academic programs and research will benefit immensely. For half of a decade now Rutgers has been a team without a home. Fans and supporters feel that has ended now.

Jerry It has been everything we thought it would be. I’ve enjoyed the coverage on the Big Ten network. Rutgers has played Penn State. They have played Michigan. Both of the games were at home and were electric. They play Ohio State this week, with Nebraska next week and Wisconsin and Michigan State still down the road. As a college football fan you could not ask for more!

MotSaG: Whats more surprising that you didn’t think you would have heard in the preseason, Rutgers starts season 5-1 or Gary Nova first ever player to win Player of the Week award in three different conferences?

Sal I think that most would feel that one would have to come with the other. The only way that Rutgers could be 5-1 is with great quarterback play and the team has had great quarterback play this season. Including Nova’s forgettable game against Penn State he has completed 93 of 150 passes (62.0%) for 1601 yards and 13 touchdowns against 7 interceptions. He has thrown for over 280 yards in four or Rutgers six games. Nova also became Rutgers career leader in passing touchdowns this season. Most fans would have been excited by a 4-2 start so 5-1 has Rutgers fans very optimistic going into the second half of the season.

Jerry Gary Nova garnering POW is not the least bit surprising. He has always had very good games – he is the school’s all-time touchdown leader – it is the consistency against quality defenses that we are looking for. Many felt the Scarlet Knights could pull off a win against Penn State or Michigan. However, to do so and not stumble along the way with a tough road opener at Washington State and a gritty Navy team in the middle of the first part of the schedule has been a testament to the toughness of this team and the preparation of the staff.

MotSaG: Do you expect the Scarlet Knight players being lost in awe of playing in the Horseshoe?

Sal I think excited is more the correct term than awe. Certainly the players are recognize this opportunity. It will clearly be the biggest venue that the players have played in but two years ago the team went to Fayetteville, Arkansas in front of 70,000 plus and left with a 35-26 victory. At 5-1 this game on ABC at 3:30 is kind of like playing with house money.

Jerry They should be. It is one of the truly amazing venues in college football. Who could not take a moment, to imagine yourself as a kid on the Pee Wee fields and watching games Ohio State games on TV and then coming to the realization that here you are in front of 107,000 fans at Horseshoe! It is culmination of years of hard work and dedication that each player has put in over his career. However, don’t take awe as being shell-shocked. In fact, it is a great motivation factor to play in such an environment. Who wouldn’t want to star or put together their best effort on this stage?

MotSaG: Key players on defense Buckeye fans should keep an eye on?

Sal Well Rutgers defensive line has received a lot of credit this year and deservedly so. Redshirt freshman, athletic freak and pass-rushing specialist 6’6 235 Kemoko Turay leads the Big Ten with 5.5 sacks (and leads the nation with 3 blocked field goals). But the DL starts in the middle with the play of New Jersey native junior Darius Hamilton. Hamilton plays the 3-technique at 265 lbs so he will be undersized but he has been undersized all season and has still contributed 6 TFL and 3.5 sacks. Hamilton moves inside to nose on passing downs. Sophomore Steve Longa led the team in tackles last year from MLB but switched to play WILL this year. He has 41 tackles so far this season but has not put together a breakout game. That could come this week.

Jerry If they haven’t already, they should learn the name Kemoko Turay. Turay is already building his own legend with 5.5 sacks and three blocked field goals as a raw red-shirt freshman. A former basketball player, he is still very green and may be somewhat mitigated by the read-zone offense of Ohio State. But if it is 3rd and long, zero in on number 58 and you will see one of the most athletic players to ever don the Scarlet for Rutgers.

MotSaG: What concerns do the Scarlet knight fans have about Buckeyes offense?

Sal When a team averages 45 points a game the obvious answer is “a lot”. The biggest concern I have is the quarterback play of J.T. Barrett. Barrett seems to be getting better by the week. Certainly the first priority for Rutgers will be stopping the run but Barrett could really make Rutgers pay with his arm and his legs if Rutgers sells out to stop the running backs.

Jerry What is there not to be concerned about? Of late, QB J.T Barrett has been brilliant and RB Ezekiel Elliot has replaced Carlos Hyde quite famously. Rutgers will need to generate pressure from its front four and when the opportunities to take down Barrett are there they must tackle and tackle well. Keeping Ohio State’s offense off the field will be the best defense.

MotSaG: With the loss of RB Paul James for the year and Rutgers having a bye week was there a lot of focus on trying to improve run game?

Sal There needs to be. The teams running game is improved from last year but not by leaps and bounds. Rutgers struggled to run the ball against Penn State and Michigan. Against Michigan Gary Nova made them pay. Against Penn State he did not. Offensive Coordinator Ralph Friedgen will take what the defense gives him. If Ohio State commits to stopping the run look for Friedgen to get Nova some confidence with easy completions early on before taking the deep shot.

Jerry Most definitely! It is shame that James could not play in this stretch of games for Rutgers. His absence is missed not only by Scarlet Knights fans, but for the fans of the other teams to see him play. However, Offensive Coordinator has been a difference maker so as much as they may be working on the run they are surely game-planning to attack the untested parts of this defense. I would expect safeties Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell to see a lot of action as the Rutgers has to attack the back-middle of this defense.

MotSaG: Speaking of Paul James what are your thoughts on Ohio State offering his brother Ronnie this week who is already a Rutgers commit?

Sal Well Urban Meyer changed recruiting in the Big Ten a few years ago with his disregard for gentlemen’s agreements. You can argue if that is good or not that isn’t the debate. Rutgers’ fans might be upset at Meyer for the timing of the offer but certainly it speaks highly of Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood’s ability to evaluate talent as the younger James is a borderline two or three star recruit based off of the recruiting services. Not usually the type of athlete Ohio State offers.

Jerry It surely shows the high-stakes game that is called recruiting. The timing was surely somewhat premeditated. On the flipside, it also validates that Ronnie James is potentially a great reel-in for the Scarlet Knights, as Urban Meyer is not just going to throw around scholarship offers.

MotSaG: Point spread is 19.5 do you feel that is disrespectful to Rutgers and what they have done so far this season?

Sal Many feel the line is disrespectful and it crept to 21 earlier today so I’m not sure where the line will finish up. The line seems about right to me. Ohio State buried Maryland by almost 30 points at Byrd Stadium two weeks ago. 19 on the road for Rutgers seems like a compliment if you look at it that way!

Jerry One thing we can all agree is that Vegas tends to know what it is doing. It is a good number. Rutgers could play very well and still come out of this down by two touchdowns or more. On the other hand they are a 5-1 team that has been playing well. Is it disrespectful? No. But it is to be expected, after all this Ohio State and this is Rutgers. This season is about perception for the Scarlet Knight program. They are playing to prove they belong here and they are playing to show a state that is deep in talent that they are not far off from playing for Big Ten titles with their help. We are no longer into moral victories, but a close game here even with a loss could go a long way as well.

MotSaG: Keys for Rutgers to pull off an upset?

Sal First, Rutgers needs to weather the first quarter storm. If the Knights are within one score after the first quarter that will bode well. The obvious key is Rutgers needs to get to the passer. Their pass rush against Ohio State’s pass protection appears to be the Scarlet Knights’ biggest strength. But the key is in putting Ohio State in predictable passing downs and that starts with defense on first down. If Rutgers can keep Ohio State in second and third and long that will give the aggressive blitzing scheme of Rutgers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi a shot. Beyond that, Rutgers needs to win the turnover battle and get either a blocked punt or a big punt/kickoff return.

Jerry Nova has to continue to play well and not revert back to the turnover laden QB he has been in the past against top competition. Michigan was a start for him and if the offensive line could protect him he will have to stretch the Buckeye defense.

On the flipside of the ball, Rutgers will have to pressure J.T Barrett and hope he reverts back to being the red-shirt freshman who struggled against Virginia Tech.

MotSaG: Final score prediction?

Sal Since most people are predicting more points I’ll go less and say Ohio State 31 – Rutgers 17. I think Rutgers can hang around for a while but Ohio State’s tempo and ground game could wear down the Scarlet Knights defensive line resulting in a stressful, but in the end happy Homecoming for the Buckeyes.

Jerry I don’t do predictions, but I will tell you this: I am fairly confident they can beat the 19+ point spread! Many knock the Scarlet Knights for losing to Penn State and beating a struggling Michigan team as well, but Ohio State is one of only two Top 25 teams that has not played another ranked team as well. This is a very talented roster for Ohio State and they start some highly rated young players. But the Buckeyes are also very young. How will the young players respond to adversity if tested? Whatever the outcome, this is the type of game that makes inclusion in the Big Ten so much fun.

I’m not going to give my whole take on what I think the Buckeyes need to do this week as I pretty much summed that up in yesterdays pieced in my preview.

Once again I am so thankful for Sal and Jerry helping me discuss Rutgers for you Buckeye fans to see what they are thinking in the Garden State. You can follow Sal on Twitter @SalSoothsayer and Jerry @RUFANJERRY. Don’t forget to check out Sal’s site (plus you can see my weekly power poll there also) and check out Jerry’s podcast they do a great job covering Rutgers football. Hope you all enjoyed todays post. Have any questions feel free to send me an email to

Rutgers vs. Ohio State Preview

Date & Time: Saturday, October 18, 3:30 p.m. EST

Where: Ohio Stadium

TV: ABC regionally and ESPN2 outside the region. Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Todd McShay will be the announcers

Series Record: First ever meeting 0-0

Initial Thoughts

During the preseason if you would have told me the game between Rutgers and Ohio State this Saturday would feature two teams that are 5-1 and 4-1 respectively, I would have laughed at you. No way did I see the Buckeyes coming into this game with a loss, they have Braxton Miller and Urban Meyer as head coach who hadn’t lost a regular season game at OSU. Rutgers scheduled looked tough, starting off on the road at Washington State facing the Air raid assault, having to play Penn State and Michigan. Then there’s this thing that happens that makes every expert wrong and college football exciting, its called playing the game (minus the injury part of it all). I am not going to rehash anything from the Buckeyes season so far because your an OSU fan and you already know whats been going on right, right.

Lets discuss Rutgers

How many of you that first week stayed up late to see the Scarlet Knights play Washington State? Probably not a lot of you but I did and I came a way a little impressed. Yes they won the game but that wasn’t what impressed me. They played with grit, they played with attitude, they hit hard (Big Ten Hard Hitting). Rutgers should really be undefeated coming into Columbus Saturday but QB Gary Nova had a bad day against Penn State throwing 5 INT’s. Those 5 INT’s really weren’t all of Nova’s fault but still they had a shot at winning the game and I believe that a costly interception at the end lost it for them as like what happened for Ohio State against Virginia Tech. This isn’t the same Rutgers team that is the laughing stock of college football but honestly it isn’t a team that is right now that is ready to be competing for a National Championship. They are improved and have a ways to go but the Buckeyes seriously cannot take this game lightly or they will lose their first Big Ten game since 2011.

When Ohio State is on Offense

Scarletshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett will have more of an open play book this week, as it continues to keep opening up for him every week. Barrett who leads the Big Ten in total offense has weapons galore (just to many to list and honestly you should already know them!!). The young QB has 14 touchdowns and 1 interception in the last 3 games, he will be facing a Scarlet Knight defense that is 96th in the nation in passing yards. Rutgers allows 261.7 yards per game by air which means Barrett and his receivers should be able to make plays. The running back group lead by Ezekiel Elliott will be licking their chops going against a rushing defense that is allowing 135 yards per game on the ground plus Curtis Samuel should be in the mix coming back from his injury.

When Rutgers is on Offense

The loss of RB Paul James for the season is a blow to Rutgers offense but the bye week should help them try to improve and help try to fix that issue. They only had like 74 yards rushing against Michigan. QB Gary Nova who is the first ever player of the week in three different conferences comes off the Michigan game looking like a Heisman type QB throwing for over 400 yards. Nova did however have 5 INT’s against Penn State which means his cage can be rattled. Nova has some nice targets in John Tsimis, Andrew Turzilli, Janarion Grant, Leonte Carroo, and TE Tyler Kroft. The Scarlet Knights run a Pro Style offense so it will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes defense handles it.

When Ohio State is on Defense

The Buckeyes defensive hasn’t been great this season. But they have been showing signs of improvement. Ohio State only has 12 sacks so far which is next to last in the Big Ten and 32 tackles for loss and that is tied for worst in the B1G. They need to do a better job at getting to Nova and disrupting him. The secondary as we know have had their issues but you did see progress from the Cincinnati game to the Maryland game. After giving up 3 big plays they only gave up one big play to Maryland. The young Buckeye defense did have 4 INT’s against the Terps so lets hope for more of that Saturday. I’m sure during the bye week Urban, Fickell, and Ash helped teach the players more so we will see more of an improvement this week. Keep everything in front of you and keep them out of the endzone and Rutgers goes home with a loss.

When Rutgers is on Defense

DT Darius Hamilton and DE Kemoko Turay and company will be bring the heat and creating havoc for Barrett and the Buckeyes offensive line. Rutgers is third in the nation and leads the Big Ten in sacks (24). Ohio State gives up a little over 2 sacks a game. Rutgers secondary is suspect but it was able to keep Washington State’s Air Raid from out scoring them and they were able to hold off Navy when it seemed the Midshipmen went to an all out air assault and were mounting a comeback only to fall short. I’m sure that the Scarlet Knights will be licking their chops hoping they will be able to get to Barrett with ease like Virginia Tech did so their secondary isn’t exposed.

Bottom Line:

This is a game the Buckeye need to again come out fast come out strong. The Scarlet Knights need to be overwhelmed by not just playing in the largest stadium they have ever set foot in, but they need to be basically kicked in the teeth and set on their seat to show them this is Ohio State football. They beat Michigan and maybe they have some swag from it and little bite of a puffed out chest thinking they really belong to hang with the big boys of the B1G. If the Buckeyes let Rutgers hang around its only going to help build up their confidence and that won’t be good for the Scarlet and Gray.