Last Saturday the Buckeyes defeated UNLV, 54-21, but this week Ohio State will head back into Big Ten play to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Bucks are big favorites at -29.5 and the last time Ohio State visited New Jersey, they were winning 49-0 until the Knights scored with 13 seconds left. Last year, the Buckeyes shut Rutgers out and they will be hoping for similar results this year.
Rutgers is a better team than UNLV, but this contest should still be a walk in the park for Ohio State. With that said, this stable of Rutgers running backs is impressive and new offensive coordinator Jerry Kill is doing an excellent job of using the talent in the backfield to their potential. Miami graduate transfer, Gus Edwards has taken the role as lead back and runs with great power due to his large frame at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds.
Much like with what we saw against UNLV, the Scarlet Knights have a less than spectacular quarterback under center. Kyle Bolin is a graduate transfer from Louisville and won the starting job in camp, but he does not have the talent to take over a game and their coaching staff won’t ask him to either. Bolin will be playing the role of game manager and his main focus will be to not commit any turnovers.
At the beginning of the season the Rutgers defensive line was seen as a possible weakness, but this unit is severely underrated and has been playing well. The leader of the unit is defensive end, Kemoko Turay who is a fifth year senior with the measurables to be a standout in the Big Ten. The impact he has made is not reflective in the box score, because he frequently sees double teams.
Much like UNLV, the Rutgers defensive backfield should be no match physically and this should be an opportunity for the receiving core to refine their skills and routes. The Buckeyes kept the offense as basic as possible last week, but hopefully against the Knights we see an expanded aerial attack. Their defensive backfield is experienced, but they lack the size and speed to hang.