Ohio State vs. Rutgers: Complete preview and prediction




 

Ohio State opened Big Ten play right where they left off against Toledo. Many thought Wisconsin would pose a bit more of a challenge, but the Buckeyes jumped out to a 28-0 lead before the Badgers could blink.

Time to move on to the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. Former Ohio State defensive coordinator, Greg Schiano has Rutgers playing respectable football and could pose a challenge to some conference opponents if taken lightly.

However, a home game for the Buckeyes doesn't bode well for Schiano's club. The Scarlet Knights will have to throw everything they've got at the Bucks to keep this one close. But never underestimate an underdog who's got nothing to lose.

Let's check out the teams by the numbers.

Records and Broadcast Information

Records

Ohio State (4-0), Rutgers (3-1)

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Saturday, Oct. 1
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Network: BTN
Venue: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, Ohio) Capacity: 104,944
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 8-0
Last Meeting: 
Ohio State defeated Rutgers 52-13 in 2021

Ohio State Potential Game Plan for Victory

The game plan for victory is really simple for Ohio State. Keep doing what you've been doing and don't overlook Rutgers. Like it or not, teams not only need to win but need to win impressively. Especially against teams that are far inferior.

Ohio State matches up very well on both sides of the ball with the Scarlet Knights. Offensively, C.J. Stroud and company have found their stride in recent weeks, seemingly scoring at will. However, Stroud did throw his first interception of the year against Wisconsin. And Rutgers does have five picks through its first four games.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucks may be coming into the game a little banged up. Both starting cornerbacks were out against the Badgers and its unknown if either Denzel Burke or Cam Brown will be back this week.

While Rutgers doesn't have a high-powered offense they do have an excellent receiver in Aron Cruickshank (pronounced Crook-shank). The backup corners held their own against the Badgers, but Cruickshank is a seasoned vet and could make things interesting if the defensive line doesn't get pressure on starting quarterback Evan Simon.

Two Key Players for Ohio State

Emeka Egbuka - Wide Receiver

Emeka Egbuka has really stepped up his game in the absence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba. So far this season, Egbuka has close to 450 yards receiving, five touchdowns, and is averaging 17 yards per catch. The true sophomore also has a rushing touchdown and averages 15 yards per carry. With smooth route running and great hands, it's easy to see why Egbuke was the No. 1 receiver in the 2021 class. The Buckeyes will need him to stay productive as long as JSN is out.

Jack Sawyer - Defensive End

The Buckeyes need to get pressure in the backfield to help protect an inexperienced secondary. Sawyer has been doing just that from the "Leo" position for Jim Knowles. The second year defensive end has already racked up two sacks on the young season and will be looking for more against a Rutgers line that has given up eight sacks on the season.

The Prediction

Once conference play starts, no team should ever be overlooked. Rutgers has experienced continued improvement since Greg Schiano returned to Piscataway to lead the Scarlet Knights.

Unfortunately for Schiano, as much as he's started turning the tide in the Garden State, he just doesn't have the horses to compete with the thoroughbred that is the Ohio State Buckeyes. With an impending date with Michigan State for the Buckeye's first road game, OSU won't look past Rutgers.

Ohio State continues to roll and moves to 5-0 on the season.

Final Score

Ohio State 63, Rutgers 13

TIPICO Line

Ohio State -40.5

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire

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