What's next for Ohio State football? An early glance at Rutgers
It plays Rutgers on Saturday.
Though the Scarlet Knights inched closer to .500 last fall and have shown signs of progress since Greg Schiano returned in 2020, they’ve been near the bottom of the Big Ten for nearly a decade.
Since joining the league in 2014, none of their games against the Buckeyes have been competitive.
Week 5: Ohio State (4-0) vs. Rutgers (3-1)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network, 97.1 FM/1460 AM
The Buckeyes are No. 3 in the AP and coaches polls for a fourth straight week, while Rutgers has not been ranked since 2012.
Ohio State opened as a 41-point favorite, a point spread much higher than last October when it visited Rutgers. A week after sitting quarterback C.J. Stroud to rest his injured throwing shoulder, the Buckeyes were favored by just 15.5 points.
Rutgers’ last game
A 27-10 loss to Iowa ended Rutgers’ perfect start to the season. The Scarlet Knights had navigated a soft non-conference schedule that included a Football Championship Subdivision school without a blemish, but their offense couldn’t muster much against the Hawkeyes, who have one of the better defenses in the Big Ten.
Its rush defense is ranked atop the Big Ten, giving up only 56.5 yards per game on the ground. No running back has totaled more than 64 rushing yards against the Scarlet Knights this season.
Health at quarterback is a major concern. Noah Vedral and Gavin Wimsatt remained sidelined last week against Iowa, leaving the Scarlet Knights down to only one scholarship signal caller in Evan Simon. Over his two starts, Simon has completed 37 of 64 passes for 352 and one touchdown to two interceptions.
Rutgers’ player to watch
Punter Adam Korsak is among the best in the country and was a second-team All-American last fall. Seven of his 16 punts this season have been downed inside the 20-yard line, and he could at least force the Buckeyes’ offense to travel a long path to the end zone.
After spending three seasons as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator, Schiano is familiar with Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson, the Buckeyes’ offensive play-callers. They were assistants together in 2017 and 2018.
Ohio State-Rutgers series history
Since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014, Ohio State has won all eight games against the Scarlet Knights by a combined margin of 428-88.