PISCATAWAY, NJ — No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0) defeated Rutgers 56-21 Saturday in Piscataway, New Jersey in what featured an array of second- and third-teamers for the Buckeyes, hence the 21 points for the Scarlet Knights.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields set a career-high with 305 yards passing, completing 15-of-19 attempts. He only played one series into the third quarter.
Running back JK Dobbins only played in the first half and rushed for 89 yards on 17 attempts, scoring twice. Receiver Chris Olave caught four passes for a career-high 139 yards.
The Buckeyes started New Jersey natives Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste at defensive end. They also held out senior cornerback Damon Arnette, giving sophomore Sevyn Banks the start.
Rutgers turned the ball over twice in just their first four snaps on offense and things only got worse from there.
On the Scarlet Knights’ second offensive play from scrimmage, redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Langan threw the ball downfield to a receiver, but Buckeye cornerback Shaun Wade knocked the ball up in the air and then brought it in for the interception on his way to the ground.
Ohio State took over at the Rutgers 40-yard line and scored four plays later thanks to an 18-yard touchdown run by Dobbins.
On Rutgers’ second possession Langan found receiver Isaiah Washington for a short gain, but Wade forced a fumble that was recovered by safety Jordan Fuller at the Scarlet Knights’ 33-yard line. Three plays later, Justin Fields found Binjimen Victor in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.
On Ohio State’s next possession, Fields hit Chris Olave way downfield for a 58-yard gain down to the RU 8-yard line. Dobbins finished that drive on the next play with an 8-yard touchdown run.
With Rutgers’ ensuing possession, the inevitable punt came, but it was muffed by freshman receiver Garrett Wilson and the Scarlet Knights recovered. Three plays later, running back Isaiah Pacheco scored from 26 yards out to make it 21-7.
The Buckeyes answered that drive with a 5-play, 65-yard touchdown drive. KJ Hill scored from 35 yards out when Fields found him running all by his lonesome down the field. Ohio State scored a fifth touchdown in the first half when Fields and Victor connected yet again, this time from 24 yards to make it 35-7.
Fields opened as the Buckeyes’ quarterback to start the third quarter as well, though he was joined by redshirt freshman running back Master Teague in the backfield. On first-and-10 from their own 44-yard line, Fields went deep to Olave, who was being interfered with, but the sophomore receiver brought it in for the 42-yard gain. On the next play, Fields hit tight end Luke Farrell in the back corner of the end zone for a 14-yard score.
From there, Fields was replaced by graduate senior Chris Chugunov, who connected with fourth-year junior tight end Jake Hausmann on a 4-yard touchdown pass following the second K’Vaughan Pope interception for the Buckeyes in as many weeks. The touchdown made it 49-7. Rutgers added their second score on a 45-yard touchdown reception by receiver Bo Melton against the second and third-team Buckeye defense.
Redshirt freshman receiver Jaelen Gill scored his first touchdown as a Buckeye late in the game, catching a short pass and breaking tackles for a 32-yard score.
Ohio State outgained Rutgers 594 yards to 231.
Up next for the Buckeyes is a Big Noon Kickoff next Saturday at home against the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions.