Ohio State vs. Rutgers Prediction, Game Preview

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers prediction and game preview. Projecting who will win Saturday's Big Ten matchup between the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights.

    September 26, 2016

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers prediction and game preview. Projecting who will win Saturday’s Big Ten matchup between the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights.


    Ohio State vs. Rutgers Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – Noon ET
    Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus
    TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network

    Ohio State’s record in Big Ten regular-season play is stellar since Urban Meyer’s arrival in 2012. The Buckeyes are 31-1 within the conference during that time, with the only defeat being last year’s 17-14 loss to Michigan State. Another perfect run through the Big Ten wouldn’t be surprising for the Buckeyes, who open conference play against the Scarlet Knights.

    Rutgers played its first Big Ten game last week and made it closer than many thought. It was tied with Iowa midway through the fourth quarter before allowing a 26-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 defeat. Coach Chris Ash, who is in his first season guiding Rutgers after spending the previous two years as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator, wants nothing more than to pull off the unlikely upset against his former boss.

    What to Know About Ohio State

    Ash knows better than most that Ohio State’s defense is far from “basic.” After Oklahoma’s backup quarterback made that unfortunate comment, the Buckeyes forced two turnovers and rolled the Sooners, 45-24, on the road Sept. 17. They’re coming off a bye week and aren’t expecting to have too much trouble with the Scarlet Knights.

    J.T. Barrett threw for four touchdowns and ran for 74 yards against Oklahoma and could have another big day. Redshirt freshman Mike Weber ran for 123 yards and hasn’t finished with fewer than 92 in any of Ohio State’s three victories.

    What to Know About Rutgers

    Since getting crushed 48-13 at Washington to open the season, Rutgers has been a much-improved team. Wins over Howard and New Mexico helped build some confidence before the narrow loss to the Hawkeyes. Ash took the job knowing it take time to turn the Scarlet Knights into a contender, but he seems to be on the right path.

    He’s likely hoping he can get more protection for his quarterback. Chris Laviano was sacked four times against Iowa and has been dropped eight times on the season. Robert Martin has been the workhorse running back averaging 6.2 yards per carry, and he’ll get plenty of touches against the Buckeyes.

    Advantages

    Offense: Ohio State – Barrett, Weber, deep receiving corps.

    Defense: Ohio State – Buckeyes have allowed 37 points, total, in three games.

    Special Teams: Ohio State – Dontre Wilson could break one this week.

    Coaching: Ohio State – Mentor Meyer vs. understudy Ash.

    Intangibles: Even – Both coaches know how the other operates.

    Matchup To Watch

    Barrett vs. Rutgers’ pass defense

    Rutgers has allowed fewer than 200 passing yards in three straight games, but that could be because opponents have had success running it. Barrett might have an easy time picking apart that secondary.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Ohio State -38.5
    Over/Under: N/A

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers Prediction

    Ash watches some of the defensive players he coached last year shut down the Rutgers offense as Barrett goes for five total touchdowns in a Buckeyes rout.

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers final score prediction: Ohio State 52, Rutgers 14.

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5

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