Piscataway, NJ—Rutgers were hoping to follow a strong showing like in the loss against Michigan but came up short against the Buckeyes. The thought was a upset over Ohio State, which would elevate them a spot in the poll since 2012. Obviously, they have a little way to go.
Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 330 yards and a career-high five touchdowns after sitting out the game to rest his shoulder— lifting No. 11 Ohio State over Rutgers 52-13 on Saturday before a crowd of 51,006.
Stroud hit all world receiver Chris Olave on touchdown passes of 56 and 11 yards, found Garrett Wilson on a 32-yard catch and run and hit tight ends Jeremy Ruckert and Mitch Rossi on scoring passes of 19 and 1 yard, respectively. The freshman finished the game 17 of 23 without an interception. Olave finished with five catches for a team-high 119 yards.
“Well, I think everybody understands that’s life in the Big Ten, right? Every week is a tremendous challenge. That’s why I liken it to the National Football League. It’s every week, you’ve got to strap it up and you’ve got to find a way. But now we’ve lost back to back ball games. So we need to stop that.” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said.
Depaul Alumnus safety Ronnie “Rocket” Hickman, a resident of Wayne, New Jersey was a tackling machine with 11 tackles total, 7 solos with 4 assists. Hickman was around the ball all game long and caused havoc on the Scarlet Knights’ backfield in the first half.
The Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0) has beaten the Scarlet Knights (3-2, 0-2) eight times in as many games. OSU outgained Rutgers 530-346 and intercepted Noah Vedral three times.
“I also think we you look at Ronnie Hickman, Cam Martinez, Tyreke Smith, CJ Stroud, Trevon Henderson, Cody Simon. These were all guys who had zero starts in their career. They are not young anymore. They have five games under their belt so they’re not young anymore. They are not inexperienced. They have games under their belts so know we know what to expect.”
“We also know what guys can give us meaningful minutes and who needs to continue to work hard to get where they need to be to become a contributor and create a role for themselves. We just didn’t have that last year. A game like this allows a bunch of different guys to get on the field and all meaningful stuff.” Day said in the press conference.
Running TreVeyon Henderson got the Buckeyes rolling with a 44-yard touchdown run on OSU’s second play from scrimmage. Defensive back Denzel Burke stepped in front of a Vedral pass and scampered in for a 23-yard touchdown and the Buckeyes never looked back.
Ohio State extended its lead 24-0 on a 23-yard field goal by Noah Ruggles and Garrett Wilson’s TD catch with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
Rutgers finally got on the scoreboard when Vedral hit Aron Cruickshank on a short pass and sprinted 75-yards down the right sidelines for a touchdown. That play was a career best for both players. Vedral finished the game 16 of 26 for 152 yards with three interceptions.
Scarlet Knights back up quarterback Cole Snyder hit Josh Youngblood for a 12-yard touchdown with 7:40 to play to close out the scoring for both teams.
“This was an important game for us because I felt like September 2, a month ago, when we played Minnesota we were a much different team and I felt like that going into this week, we hadn’t shown it yet. I felt like we showed a glimpse of that tonight.” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said.
Ohio State: Hosts Maryland on Saturday.
Rutgers: Hosts No. 17 Michigan State on Saturday.