Ohio State vs. Rutgers Prediction, Game Preview

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers prediction and game preview. The Buckeyes will look to extend their winning streak to 21 games as they travel to Piscataway to take on the Scarlet Knights.

    October 20, 2015

    It’s the first game of the rest of Ohio State’s (7-0) life – at least for now – with the big move of J.T. Barrett taking over the starting quarterback gig. Can the offense finally start to show a little more pop in the passing game? Rutgers (3-3) has been totally forgotten about, but it has the offense make things interesting. Check out the Ohio State vs. Rutgers preview and game prediction.

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Oct. 24
    Game Time: 8:00 pm
    Venue: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
    Network: ABC

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    Why You Need To Care

    It’s all relative. Ohio State blew out Penn State, but it wasn’t enough to just win 38-10 over a team with a tremendous defense – the team is going for so much more. The offense has too many weapons not to be doing even more, but there’s still a little bit of time to keep on improving with Minnesota up in two weeks and a date at Illinois before closing out against Michigan State and Michigan. Now’s the time to see if J.T. Barrett can be the J.T. Barrett of last year, and if he is, all of a sudden this truly becomes the No. 1 team in the country like it is in the rankings.

    Rutgers has gotten through the storm of suspensions and issues to get head coach Kyle Flood back along with superstar receiver Leonte Carroo – and not a moment too soon. The Scarlet Knights needed all the parts to kick in against Indiana in a wild and crazy shootout with a tremendous comeback for the win. However, even though there’s still plenty of time to get three more wins to go bowling – and Army and Maryland are still ahead – it’s going to be a rough run with road games at Wisconsin and Michigan up next, followed up by Nebraska. Of course, if the program wants to get on the map for something positive, beating Ohio State would certainly do it.

    Why Ohio State Will Win

    Lost in all the quarterback drama, and all the talk about things the Buckeyes aren’t, is a defense that’s doing a phenomenal job. The front seven is camping out behind the line, the run defense has been a rock, and the secondary isn’t allowing much of anything. There were a few issues here and there – Indiana came up with some big plays – but for the most part, the secondary is playing at a high level thanks to the pass rush. Penn State all but gave up on trying to throw, Maryland couldn’t, and passing games have only hit more than half their passes in three of the seven games. However …

    Why Rutgers Will Win

    That doesn’t mean Rutgers won’t try. Most of the teams on the OSU schedule aren’t able to throw on a consistent basis, but some – like Indiana, and even Penn State on a play – have been able to come up with big things down the field. Rutgers has been shockingly great through the air with Chris Laviano connecting on 69% of his throws, and in limited duty, Hayden Rettig going 9-of-11. The passing game worked on Michigan State, and it came up with 251 yards against Penn State, even if the offense didn’t go anywhere. This is a dangerous enough offense that it could get hot on the right day if Ohio State isn’t fully focused – the Buckeyes haven’t exactly looked or played fully focused.

    Player Who Matters

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Baylor’s Corey Coleman has the Biletnikoff wrapped up, helped by playing in a gimmicky offense against a mediocre schedule. There are other terrific receivers having big years – Ohio State has a special one in Michael Thomas – but Rutgers’ Leonte Carroo is playing as well as anyone right now. While he might not have the right look or the blazing speed, the 6-0, 205-pounder is coming up with an unstoppable season as the team’s only real receiving weapon. Back after missing two games following an off-the-field incident, he came back roaring catching seven passes for 134 yards and three scores against Michigan State. Last week he saved the day, lighting up Indiana in the comeback with seven grabs for 157 yards and three touchdowns. The lone bright spot in last year’s loss, he made five catches for 100 yards – he’ll be the full focus of the Buckeye D this time around.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    This is just the second time the two schools have played, with Ohio State squeaking by 56-17 last year. Barrett will be more than fine, the Buckeye offense will roll, and everything will be fine – except for the defense. The pressure will be on the Scarlet Knight backfield in the second half, but it’ll be a game going into halftime.

    Ohio State vs. Rutgers Prediction

    Final Score: Ohio State 41, Rutgers 24, Line: Ohio State -21, o/u: 65

    Must See Rating: 5: Bridge of Spies – 1: Rock The Kasbah … 3.5

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