Ohio State at Rutgers Preview
November 7th, 2020 Rutgers traveled to Columbus and failed to put up any sort of fight against the playoff bound Buckeyes. Ohio State used a 28-0 second quarter to dominate and send the Scarlet Knights home 49-27 losers. When Ohio State travels to New Jersey this Saturday, both teams will look different than last year. Ohio State was a Championship hopeful last year, now they’re outside the top ten. Rutgers was a Big Ten bottom dweller, now they’re respected while holding strong in the middle of the conference. Previewing Saturday’s game isn’t as easy as it was a year ago.
Rutgers’s Defense is the pride and joy of Coach Greg Shiano’s squad. The former Ohio State Defensive Coordinator has the Scarlets Knights looking much improved, with defense taking center stage. Rutgers is allowing just 13.5 points per game with under 200 yards rushing and receiving per game. Olakunle Fatukasi is a mouth full to say and a handful to deal with on the field. The Senior linebacker leads the Scarlett Knights with 22 solo tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. Fatukasi’s job is made easier by freshman corner Max Melton, who has two interceptions so far this year. Last week’s matchup against Michigan holds evidence of where the Rutgers’s defense is. The Wolverine’s were 4-11 on third down, totaled just 275 yards, and were shutout in the second half. The Buckeyes will have no time to ease into this game on offense, the Rutgers defense will be ready to roll.
The Rugers offense has been a roller coaster. A big part of Scarlett Knights game plan is controlling the game. This means running the ball and killing clock. Rutgers averages 34 points, 194 passing yards, and 157 rushing yards. Quarterback Noah Vedral has 776 passing, 117 yards rushing, and five touchdowns this season. Running back Isaih Pacheco has 226 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns. Receiver Bo Melton ahs 253 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Below average numbers across the board. Besides a 61 point performance against Temple, the Buckeyes should expect to give up just 20 points.
Ohio State will have the chance to do what Michigan didn’t, remind Rutgers where they belong in the Big Ten. Rutgers has a great defense, but Ohio State’s offense is still on another level. The Buckeyes defense should be well prepared, considering Rutgers’s style of offense will be similar to Minnesota. The hope is to see a better game than last year, while the Buckeyes gain more credibility.