Despite a large collection of intellectuals making these staff picks, nobody correctly predicted last week’s 77-31 score between Ohio State and Oregon State.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement.
The closest picker we had was probably Brandon Zimmerman, who went with 73-13. Perhaps the 13 was a transposition on his part.
He would probably say it was.
This week I would expect somebody to nail the score exactly, especially if the Buckeyes shut out Rutgers for a third-consecutive year.
Who will get the score exactly right?
Perhaps you, if you leave your own picks in the comments below.
Ohio State has outscored Rutgers by a total of 219 to 24 in their four-game history. Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes demolished a P5 team in week one, while Rutgers beat a Texas State team that nobody’s heard of since Sinbad was on their defensive line and that old guy from “Quantum Leap” was creeping around their campus. [Ed. Note: I get this reference.]
I fear for the safety of Rutgers’ young QB and the men in front of him whose job it is to protect him from OSU’s NFL defensive line. The Buckeyes win this one in similar fashion to every other OSU/Rutgers game and tally at least five sacks as they go.
OSU 59, Rutgers 14
The Buckeyes will get a little more of a test in week two of the season as a somewhat competent Rutgers team comes to town.
The Scarlet Knights should be decent-ish on defense this season, as Chris Ash enters his third year with the program.
However, they suffered a big blow when it came out that star cornerback Blessuan Austin would miss the game with a knee injury.
On the other side of the ball, true freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski will probably make like his first name and want to get the H out of there once he sees the Buckeyes’ defensive line coming at him.
He had three interceptions against Texas State in Week 1, and will almost certainly turn it over multiple times in his first road start.
The last time Rutgers scored against the Buckeyes was with 0:13 left in the 2015 game, with the score 49-0.
The last time they scored a remotely meaningful point was in the first quarter of the 2014 game. They should get on the board Saturday, but won’t do it nearly often enough to matter.
Ohio State 48, Rutgers 13
Rutgers has not been a tough opponent for the Buckeyes, and I don’t think that will be any different this year. They have a good offensive line but a young receiving group. How good Rutgers looks will come down to their offensive improvement and play at quarterback. But the Buckeyes have never scored less than 49 points and never allowed more than 17 against the Scarlet Knights.
There’s not a lot this Ohio State team can’t do against this Rutgers team. I’m expecting another offensive performance like last week for Ohio State utilizing the dual-threat running backs and the receiving unit. Dwayne Haskins will have another big game. But Ohio State’s linebackers and secondary will need to play better because the Scarlet Knights will take advantage of it and score some points.
Regardless of how well the Buckeyes play, this game will look like a typical Ohio State and Rutgers game.
Ohio State 63, Rutgers 13
Rutgers has talent at the offensive skill positions, but it’s talent that is either young and/or undersized. And it’s young talent that has shown that it will make mistakes. These mistakes will be magnified by the Buckeyes. I fully expect the Silver Bullets to feast like kings.
The Scarlet Knight defense is only marginally better than Oregon State. The Buckeyes will continue to do what worked last week: leaning on the hot running back and growing Haskins as a quarterback. I expect 300 yards and a handful of passing touchdowns in his 2nd start.
The key to this game, not that there’s any doubt in OSU wins, will be the coaching staff keeping the team pumped up and not looking forward to TCU next week. This shouldn’t be a problem for this staff. Ryan Day will move to 2-0 for his career.
OSU 63, Rutgers 10
Rutgers is improving, but the talent gap is still substantial. Starting a true freshman QB in Art Sitkowski on the road against a defensive line the caliber of Ohio State’s is probably not something that Chris Ash is looking forward to at 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon.
Unlike the previous two years, when Rutgers was blanked by Ohio State, I think the Scarlet Knights will actually put some points on the board, but Ohio State should roll comfortably in their B1G conference opener.
Ohio State 49, Rutgers 14
I know the common theme being passed around is that Rutgers is a better team than Oregon State, but they aren’t. Just like last weekend, I expect the Buckeyes to score as many points as they want to.
Offensively, I think we will see Haskins air it out early and often to continue getting him as comfortable as possible with TCU coming up next week. When they are satisfied there, J.K. Weber will take over.
Defensively for the Buckeyes, the Rutgers offensive line was atrocious against Texas State and the Buckeyes defensive line will dominate the game. Rutgers will try to use a lot of screens and passes in the flats to running back Raheem Blackshear in an attempt to catch the linebackers out of position.
OSU 66 – Rutgers 10
I’m not sure what Rutgers’ 35-7 win over Texas State means, but I don’t think it’ll translate to this Saturday. All I know about Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski is that his name sounds like he should be playing left wing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
I don’t see Ohio State getting 77 points this week, but I also don’t believe the Buckeyes will concede 31. I am not sure the defensive mistakes will be corrected in one week. This will be a process. The Buckeyes should handle screen passes better after a week of getting yelled at by Greg Schiano, but that’s still a vulnerability for an aggressive defense with linebacker and safety issues.
Ohio State 49, Rutgers 17
The Rutgers offense has promise, but it’s at least a year away from being able to beat a good defense. Of course, watching last week’s Ohio State game, it looked like the Buckeyes were about a year away from having a good defense.
You know Rutgers has a freshman quarterback, so he is going to make mistakes. They are missing their top cornerback, and possibly two other key components of their secondary. If the weather holds out — which it won’t — Dwayne Haskins will light this defense up.
Unfortunately, there is going to be rain, rain, rain on Saturday, which means there will be some sloppy play — but that could also lead to some home runs in the passing game.
Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins will be just fine, and we’ll see the freshmen tailbacks again.
Keep an eye on redshirt freshman defensive back Shaun Wade, who could line up anywhere in the secondary on Saturday. I also want to see how middle linebacker Baron Browning bounces back.
Ohio State 52, Rutgers 7