Rutgers football vs. Ohio State preview

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A year ago, this game probably would not even warrant a preview. It would have been summed up with one word: blowout. But, as seen so far, this Rutgers football team under returning head coach Greg Schiano is playing differently. The Scarlet Knights will travel to Columbus on Saturday to face the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU, which will likely be the Big Ten champion this season, will be a tough opponent for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is going to have to work really hard to compete in this game, especially after a sloppy loss to Indiana this past weekend. However, there are things it can do to give Ohio State a scare on Saturday, even if it is unlikely it can top the Buckeyes.

How Ohio State has done this season

Ohio State is walking into this game 2-0 after back-to-back wins over Nebraska and Penn State. It topped Penn State 38-25 and brought a lot of intensity to that game. Ohio State will be on a momentum high following that win and will have all of the confidence in the world when it welcomes Rutgers on Saturday. The Buckeyes’ stats are strong, and there are a few key players that Rutgers football will need to try to hold off early in the game.

On the offensive side, Ohio State has a total of 423 rushing yards and 594 passing yards. The Buckeyes are clearly an offensive force. This is especially thanks to quarterback Justin Fields, who has completed 48 of an attempted 55 passes this season and ultimately was responsible for all 594 of those passing yards. He is also responsible for six of Ohio State’s touchdowns this season. Another player to watch out for on the offense is running back Master Teague III, who averages 75.5 rushing yards a game and has scored three touchdowns for the Buckeyes. These two players often carry the already strong Ohio State team.

How to stay in the game

Rutgers is going to need to be much more explosive at the beginning of the game if it wants to compete. This will be a tough game for the Scarlet Knights, and it’s a matchup that usually does not end well for them. Last season Ohio State beat them 56-21 in a game that was actually the second-highest scoring of the season for the Scarlet Knights.

This year, Rutgers is of course coming into the game as an underdog. But, this is not expected to be a completely pathetic game, and Rutgers actually has the ability to give Ohio State a scare. Defense will be key here, as the Scarlet Knights can’t let Ohio State run away with the game early. They will look to linebackers Olakunle Fatukasi and Tyshon Fogg, as they have been defensive leaders so far this season.

Rutgers offense needs to step it up big time if it wants to stay in the game. It can’t get away with scoring early and then waiting until the third quarter to put anything else on the board, like it did against Indiana. If Rutgers football can score early and often, this game could actually be fun to watch. Watching the Scarlet Knights get slaughtered would not be fun for anyone.

Photo by Kelly Carmack | The Daily Targum

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