Game Day: Ohio State-Rutgers, Join our Live Blog
Ohio State takes its final turn in the layup line -- although maybe not, given how pathetic the rest of the Big Ten looks compared to the Buckeyes -- in a 3:30 p.m. kick Saturday at Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights (2-7) are perhaps the worst Power 5 program in America.
They fired head coach Chris Ash after four games, have lost 18 in a row in the Big Ten and 20 in a row to Power 5 opponents.
Not even Rutgers players want to play for Rutgers, as evidenced by starting quarterback Arthur Sitkowski and leading receiver Raheem Blackshear opting to shut it down after Ash's firing in Week 4 to preserve a season of eligibility for wherever they land via the transfer portal.
There is, of course, the chance both will stay at Rutgers once it settles on a new coach, but who wants to take on the headache of playing in the Big Ten East with OSU, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State?
Imagine how fired up the next guy will get his squad when he rallies them in August to try overtaking Maryland for fifth-best team in the division.
The worst-kept secret in New Jersey is that former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will return to Piscataway, where he was the head man from 2001-2011.
Schiano met with the state's governor this past week, seeking assurances he'll be given the funding to build a new football-only training facility.
Wonder if the governor asked him how the exact same guys Ohio State is playing with on defense this year are leading the nation in run defense and scoring defense when last year, under Schiano's direction, OSU gave up three times as many points and almost twice as much yardage per game?
The Buckeyes are 52-point favorites, the largest point spread for a road team in the history of most sports books, and the largest in Big Ten history.
A win would get them to 10-0 for the first time since 2013.
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Here we go....and down goes Rutgers.
Two plays in, Shaun Wade intercepts for OSU and the Buckeyes are moving toward their first of manhy scores.
It takes three plays and J.K. Dobbins is in from 18 yards out.
Another second-down play, another turnover for Rutgers. This one a fumble after a short pass, and OSU has it at the Rutgers' 35.
OK, there's a pattern developing.
Buckeyes score again three plays after the Rutgers turnover. This time, quarterback Justin Fields hits Binjamin Victor in the back left corner of the end zone. It is 14-0 and those who took Rutgers and the 52-point spread, well, you didn't need that money anyway.
BTN guys say Rutgers QB Johnny Langan "plays quarterback like a middle linebacker." Given his team's defensive averages, maybe the linebackers play like quarterbacks.
Well, it didn't take long for OSU to score touchdowns on three consecutive possessions for the ninth time in 10 games. Fields hits Chris Olave for 52 yards to set up another Dobbins' TD and its 21-0 with exactly six minutes left in the first quarter.
Whoa, in honor of Greg Schiano's likely hiring at Rutgers, the Ohio State defense decided to play a series like it did under his tutelage last year. Isaih Pacheco takes it 26 yards for the TD.
Order restored to the universe shortly after that bit of uncharacteristic sloppiness, with Fields hitting K.J. Hill for 35 yards and the score. Now 28-7 six seconds into the second quarter.
That's four TDs on 19 snaps for the Buckeyes, which takes some of the sting out of allowing their first first-quarter TD of the year.
OSU gets it back and moves to the Rutgers 1, but Dobbins gets stopped on both third and fourth down. Knights will take over, trying not to turn it over.
They don't, but it really doesn't matter. The Buckeyes take the punt near midfield and score in two plays, with Fields finding Victor for his second score of the day and Fields' 30th TD pass of the season against only one interception.
Ohio State has a 35-7 margin with one minute left in the half.
Well, Rutgers is trying everything and none of it is working, even the illegal stuff.
A roughing-the-passer penalty can't stop Fields from connecting with Victor for a first down on third-and-seven, so the yardage gets tacked on.
Then Olave hauls in a 42-yard throw with his hands and calf muscle while falling down and getting interfered with.
Seeing that, tight end Luke Farrell shows Olave his fancy catch chops with a one-hand grab in the back right corner of the end zone.
So, that's another TD for the Buckeyes and the 52-point spread is looking over its shoulder with the scoring mounting to 42-7 minutes into the third quarter.
That'll do it for the offense after Fields' fourth touchdown of the day matches his incompletion total. It'll be Chris Chugunov at QB for the Buckeyes until he scores a few and yields to Gunnar Hoak.
Fields finishes 15-of-19 for 305 yards and four touchdowns. So he has 31 touchdown passes on the year against only one interception. Rutgers is only the second opponent Fields has failed to score a rushing touchdown against.
K'Vaughan Pope's inteception gives OSU a chance for a short-field TD, and it doesn't waste the opportunity. Chugunov hits Jake Hausmann from the 4-yard line and the Buckeyes are now just a TD and a field goal from pushing, up 49-7 early in the third.
Oh, covering won't be easy now.
Langan hits Bo Melton for a 45-yard touchdown to make it 49-14. With only one quarter left to play, Ohio State will have to score three touchdowns to better the 52-point spread.
There's one of them, a 26-yard catch and run by Jaelin Gill. So, Buckeyes have topped the 50-point mark against Rutgers for a fourth straight season and fifth time in six meetings all time.
It's 56-14 with eight minutes left.
Rutgers gets the reversal on a QB sneak for a TD and that will do it...a 56-21 final from Piscataway.
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