The Rutgers Scarlet Knights' 2019 season has been full of trials and tribulations. With a 2-7 record, the Scarlet Knights have already moved on from Chris Ash as their head coach, and are looking towards the 2020 season. Winless in Big Ten play, the Scarlet Knights now welcome in their most formidable opponent of the season, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Fresh off a 73-14 thrashing of Maryland, the Buckeyes are 9-0 and well-situated to make a return to the College Football Playoff. Ohio State will be without superstar defensive end Chase Young for one more game, but the Buckeyes showed no ill effects of Young's absence last week, racking up seven sacks and eleven tackles for a loss in their 73-14 demolition of Maryland.
After that game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day stated, "We went through a little adversity this week. Adversity reveals character, and our character was at the forefront of this game. I felt we came out and showed we're made of something special here." Young is expected to return for next week's showdown with Penn State, but these Buckeyes have already demonstrated that they are focused and determined to accomplish their lofty goals. The Scarlet Knights are the next unfortunate team to stand in their path.
Ohio State at Rutgers
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Network: Big Ten Network
Spread: Ohio State -54
When Ohio State Has The Ball
The Buckeyes have a plethora of weapons to choose from, starting with quarterback Justin Fields. Fields has 27 touchdown passes along with 10 rushing scores. J.K. Dobbins has rushed for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, while the leading receiver for the Buckeyes is sophomore Chris Olave, who has 33 receptions and nine scores.
As impressive as those statistics are, the reality is Ohio State is usually so far ahead of their opponents that Fields, Dobbins, and the other starters are commonly done after one half of work. Ryan Day will probably look to duplicate his gameplan for Maryland, in which the Buckeyes rested their starters and played their backups exclusively in the second half for some valuable game experience.
When Rutgers Has The Ball
A Rutgers offense that is only averaging less than 15 points a game — third-worst in the nation — looks to have their work cut out for them. Scarlet Knights quarterback Johnny Langan has emerged as the focal point of the offense and will need to be at his very best while facing an Ohio State defense that has limited opponents to only about 8.6 points a game, tops in the FBS.
Look for Rutgers to pull out any and all trick plays, as they truly have nothing to lose against an opponent that has had their way with them since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014. Rutgers has never beaten Ohio State in their five matchups since 2014, and the closest game was decided by 39 points.
Ohio State just defeated Maryland 73-14, and that was with their backups in the game from the onset of the second half. For the sake of comparison, Maryland blasted Rutgers 48-7. This game at Rutgers is the largest line that Ohio State has received in decades, and it will take exceptional effort by the Scarlet Knights just to slow down the Buckeyes in any capacity. Ryan Day will probably rest his starters in the second half, and it doesn't matter that Chase Young will miss a second straight game. Ohio State has too much talent throughout its roster for Rutgers to keep pace. This will give Day another opportunity to peek at his backup players who will comprise the 2020 and '21 rosters in a live game environment.