Ohio State and Rutgers met Saturday for the closest game in the history of the series. And it was still a blowout. Despite a second-half surge, the Buckeyes took care of the Scarlett Knights 49-27.
The 49 points that Ohio State scored is tied for the fewest they have put up against Rutgers. Similarly, Rutgers’ 27 points is the most they have ever scored in the series.
After a 35-3 halftime lead for the Buckeyes, the Scarlet Knights outscored their opponent 24-14 in the second half. Fortunately for Ohio State, the gap they created was too large to be surrendered. But it made for an interesting game–too interesting for Ohio State fans.
Ohio State Defeats Rutgers
Despite how competitively Rutgers has been so far this year, the talent disparity was clear. Though the talent won out in the end, Ohio State had plenty of problems to nitpick. From penalties to missed tackles to busted coverages, Ryan Day will have plenty to fix in practice this week.
This was about as frustrating as a 49-point game can be.
Justin Fields has been on fire this season, and kept it going against Rutgers. Fields was 21 for 25 with 262 yards and four passing touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown to his scoresheet.
In typical Fields fashion, he accounted for six touchdowns and four incompletions.
The Buckeyes sophomore receiver is playing at a historical level this season. Garrett Wilson is now the third Buckeye receiver to have three straight 100-yard games. He joins David Boston and Terry Glenn, and is two games behind Cris Carter. The way Fields has played this year, there is no reason to believe that Wilson can’t get five straight and join Carter, or even surpass him this year.
The running game is still trying to recover from the loss of J.K. Dobbins. Master Teague has taken over as the leading back, but still doesn’t look very impressive. Taking away his longest run, Teague only earned 3.2 yards per carry.
Transfer running back Trey Sermon fared worse, gaining only 2.9 yard per carry without his longest run.
Ohio State can overcome this stagnant rushing attack with Fields. But if the Buckeyes want to advance in the playoffs, they’ll need to start figuring out how to run the ball.
Rutgers couldn’t match up with Ohio State in talent, but made up for it with some razzle-dazzle. Rutgers scored a touchdown on a lateral to left tackle Raiqwon O’Neal. They later scored on a lateral during a punt return.
Running a conventional offense got Rutgers three points in the first half. But after the Scarlet Knights dialed up some trickeration, they generated 24 points in the second half.