Ohio State scored five touchdowns and a field goal on its first six possessions of the first half and added a pick-6 (for the third week in a row) to race out to a 45-6 lead at the break.
Understandably, with a number of younger players getting on the field and with their focus lacking a bit with such a large lead, the Buckeyes allowed Rutgers to move the ball more effectively in the second half. But the outcome was never in jeopardy as Ohio State routed Rutgers, 52-13.
C.J. Stroud's week off against Akron sure seems to have been impactful. If his right shoulder is still bothering him, you wouldn't know it by the way he threw the ball today. Stroud's passes had considerable more "zip" behind them today and he was leading receivers in stride all afternoon.
Today's performance was the first time fans definitively saw what Ryan Day did when the head coach picked Stroud as QB1 to start the season. He had as many touchdowns (four) as he did incompletions in the first half. He was also a perfect 3-for-3 on third downs for 94 yards and a score.
Stroud was pulled after one drive in the third quarter - one that ended in a sixth Ohio State offensive touchdown. He finished the game with 330 yards and five touchdown passes on 17-of-23 through the air. Kyle McCord and Jack Miller III both got chances to play in the second half.
TreVeyon Henderson, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Mitch Rossi and Jeremy Ruckert all had first half touchdowns, with only Henderson's coming on the ground.
Defensively, Denzel Burke, Tommy Eichenberg and Ryan Watts all picked off Noah Vedral, who hadn't previously thrown an interception in four games. Burke brought his back for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Ronnie Hickman led the defense (again) with 12 tackles.
After 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks last week, the Buckeyes didn't get the Scarlet Knights behind the line too often this afternoon. But they certainly hurried Vedral repeatedly.
Much more to come from today's game after Ohio State's press conferences conclude.
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