PISCATAWAY, N.J-First-year starter quarterback Justin Fields threw for a career-high 305 yards and matched his best with four touchdown passes as Ohio State beat Rutgers 56-21 on Saturday at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The #2 ranked Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) posted its 16th straight win over the last two seasons. OSU had been outscoring opponents by over 42 points per game, the biggest margin in the nation, and were favored by 51 in this matchup.
Rutgers took the opening kickoff and turned the ball over twice in his first four plays from scrimmage, helping stake Ohio State to a 14-0 lead.
In the student section began chanting Greg Schiano as Rutgers was down by two scores ans wasn’t looking good for the Scarlet Knights. The section would go on to be a little less than half full and that included the entire band. By the time the Buckeyes scored its first touchdown of the third quarter, there were about 100 students remaining in the section.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day insisted his team was not complacent in beating Rutgers (2-8, 0-7) for the sixth straight time.
“I don’t think so,” Day said. “They’re good coaches and playing hard until the end. They did a good job. Again, we’re going to go through the film, but this is a sport where we’re focused on the next opponent already.”
Rutgers played with heart and toughness for sixty minutes. OSU was just too big, athletic, and talented for the Scarlet Knights.
OSU running back D.K. Dobbins ran for two touchdowns and cornerback Shaun Wade set up two early scores with an interception and a forced fumble.
RU Isaih Pacheco scored on a 26-yard run, quarterback Johnny Langan threw a nice 45-yard scoring dart to Bo Melton nd ran a yard for another touchdown with 1:09 left on the clock for the Scarlet Knights. The loss was the 19th straight conference game for Rutgers who fired coach Chris Ash in late September.
“I thought our kids played really hard,” Rutgers interim coach Nunzio Campanile said. “They played really hard throughout. They competed for four quarters, all the things that we’re asking them to do, and I think that when you do that, you’re just going to get better. You’re going to get growth.”
Justin Fields played only a half finished his day 15 of 19 in topping his previous best of 234 yards against Florida Atlantic in the season opener. His touchdown passes were 11 and 24 yards to Binjimen Victor, 35 yards to K. J. Hill and 14 yards to Luke Farrel on the opening series of the second half.
Wade intercepted Langan (12 of 26 for 121) on the second play from the line of scrimmage, giving the Buckeyes the ball at their 40-yard line. Four plays later, Dobbins took it 18-yards out.
Wade was very active on the defensive side of the ball forced receiver Isaiah Washington to fumble after a 6-yard catch on the second play of the next series and senior safety Jordan Fuller recovered at the Rutgers 33. Three plays later, Fields found Victor in the back of the end zone for a 14-0 lead 3:36 after the opening kickoff.
“I mean, they don’t really need any help,” Campanile said of Ohio State. “I mean, they are a pretty good team and we decided to give them a lot of help to start the game.”
An 8-yard run by Dobbins pushed the lead to 21 points on the Buckeyes’ next series.
Scarlet Knights scored after Garrett Wilson muffed a punt and defensive back Lawrence Stevens caught the ball in the air. Pacheco, who had 56 yards on 17 carries, broke through the line on a power play and scampered for 26 yards into the left corner of the end zone.
Justin Fields threw for three more touchdowns to extend the lead to 42-7. Chris Chungunov of New Jersey replaced him and added two more TD tosses, a 4-yarder to Jake Hausmann and a 32-yarder to Jaelen Gill.