Expert Ohio State football predictions for Rutgers game

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State has played Rutgers eight times.

And the Buckeyes have won eight times. And it hasn't been very close.

In six of the eight games the Buckeyes have played the Scarlet Knights since 2014, Ohio State has scored more than 50 points. Every game they've played, the Buckeyes have scored more than 40 points.

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Will this weekend be different as the Buckeyes host Rutgers? The Scarlet Knights started the season 3-0 but lost the Big Ten opener against Iowa 27-10 at home in Week 4. Meanwhile, Ohio State opened the conference season with a 52-21 win against Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes are more than 40-point favorites against Rutgers, so we know who the friends in the desert favor. But what about the local experts?

Here's how The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State reporters and columnists as well as USA TODAY Network New Jersey's Chris Iseman picked the game:

Bill Rabinowitz

Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football beat reporter Bill Rabinowitz photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

Ohio State beat writer

The Columbus Dispatch

  • Ohio State 56, Rutgers 14

Former Buckeye defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is slowly rebuilding the Scarlet Knights again, but they're not close to Ohio State in talent or depth. Rutgers simply doesn't have the offensive weapons to hang with Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights' run defense has been solid so far this year, but it hasn't played anyone close to Ohio State. Look for another big day by C.J. Stroud as the Buckeyes roll.

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Joey Kaufman

Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football beat reporter Joey Kaufman photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

Ohio State beat writer

The Columbus Dispatch

  • Ohio State 52, Rutgers 14

Ryan Day said this week that Rutgers is better than it’s been in the past, and it’s no doubt true. The Fighting Schianos moved closer to .500 last fall, their winningest season since their first year in the Big Ten in 2014. They started 3-0 this fall, too. But there’s no real suspense between these teams. The average score of their eight previous meetings has been 54-11 in favor of the Buckeyes. Expect a similar result Saturday as Ohio State’s offense continues its scoring onslaught.

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Rob Oller

Columbus Dispatch sports columnist Rob Oller photographed Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Sports columnist

The Columbus Dispatch

  • Ohio State 55, Rutgers 7

Rutgers has improved from the not-so-long-ago days (2016-18) of losing to Ohio State by a combined score of 166-3. Or maybe "allegedly" improved is more in order, considering the carnage that is going to happen in the Shoe, where through four games the Buckeyes average 49 points and allow 16. The only downer for OSU? The defense desperately wants to pitch a shutout, something that has not happened since a 42-0 win against Cincinnati in 2019, but the visitors from New Jersey score a touchdown in the top of the ninth.

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Colin Gay

Colin Gay

Real-time reporter

The Columbus Dispatch

  • Ohio State 59, Rutgers 10

Even with a first-year starter at quarterback when Ohio State faced Rutgers on the road last year, C.J. Stroud and company blasted the Scarlet Knights, taking control and recording the first of five performances of five touchdowns or more. Since Rutgers' first trip to Ohio Stadium in 2014, Ohio State has never scored less than 49 points against the Scarlet Knights defense. With Stroud starting to find his groove — throwing five touchdowns in each of his past two games — and Ohio State's historical dominance against Rutgers, the Buckeyes' second Big Ten matchup of the season should not feel close.

Photo of Sport reporter Chris Iseman for H&S, photographed at the office in Woodland Park on 02/01/18.

Chris Iseman

Rutgers beat writer

USA TODAY Network-New Jersey

  • Ohio State 49, Rutgers 10

Rutgers has never beaten Ohio State in eight tries, and that’s about to become nine. The Scarlet Knights’ defense has gotten better. They have some young talent on that side of the ball. Their run defense has been solid. But the Buckeyes will present a far greater challenge than anything Rutgers has seen so far this season, both in the running and passing games. Meanwhile the Scarlet Knights’ offense has struggled, and the quarterback situation remains unsettled. The offensive line still isn’t where it needs to be, though it’s been better than the previous two years. The talent gap between these two programs remains vast. The realistic goal for Rutgers should just be to avoid having this game get too ugly.

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