In a big rivalry last week, Ohio State finally came out of its shell and dominated the Nittany Lions. Will that trend continue or will their QB questions continue to hamper the offense? As for Rutgers, they just allowed 52 points to Indiana, but still won. On the road, the Buckeyes have jumped to a -21 point favorite at mybookie.ag.
It’s amazing how favorable the Buckeyes Schedule has been. They still haven’t played a ranked team this season and won’t get one until the final two Games of the year against the two Michigan teams. Basically, they’ve gotten 10 Games to figure out who their quarterback will be before playing a relevant team. On Tuesday, Urban Meyer announced that the team will turn to JT Barrett at quarterback, with Cardale Jones relegated to the bench.
Rutgers is coming off an emotional victory after trailing by 25 points late in the third quarter against the Hoosiers. They reeled off 28 points in roughly 18 minutes to lock up their first Big Ten win. They get to celebrate with as tough of Four-Game stretch a team will see in the Big Ten, with Games against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska.
This Rutgers defense isn’t good and that was highlighted after giving up 52 points last week. Stopping Ohio State will be close to impossible.
In limited action Barrett has been better than Cardale Jones, but that’s been mainly because of his legs, which have gotten him 228 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Combine that with Ezekiel Elliott (998 yards, 11 TDs) and that’s probably all they will need against the SCarlet Knights. Jones and Barrett have combined for just 11 passing TDs on the year with seven interceptions, after both had legitimate shots to win the Heisman before the year started. However, there’s always the chance that last week was a kick-starter for this offense against a formidable Penn State squad.
On the other end, Rutgers has looked good and could put up some points on a defense that hasn’t done too much. The Buckeyes stopped Christian Hackenberg, but that’s nothing new. They allowed 27 and 28 points to Indiana and Maryland, respectively, and both teams are similar to what Rutgers presents.
The SCarlet Knights have been almost worthless without wide receiver Leonte Carroo. He’s played in Four Games this year and has a ridiculous nine touchdowns. After a two-Game suspension, Carroo has 291 yards and six touchdowns against Michigan State and Indiana. One would think that Ohio State would at least double-team him because he’s so important to this offense.
Chris LAviano is completing 69.3% of his passes for Rutgers, and 75% of his 12 touchdowns have gone to Carroo. Their running Game will likely struggle against Ohio State, although Robert Martin (6.2 yards per carry, 4 TDs) and Josh Hicks (5.4 ypc, 4 TDs) have been solid. And if this offense could find success against Michigan State, then maybe could do so here.
But let’s not forget last year’s beat down in Columbus when the Buckeyes destroyed this Rutgers team 56-17. That result could easily happen again if OSU’s offense is clicking.
Our Pick – The jury is still out on this Ohio State team. The feeling here is that they are not even close to last years team and a quick glance at their results this year hammers that point home.
We wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Rutgers make a Game of this. However, when we run Our model using the entire season worth of data as well just the last 4 Games, the predicted finals are 45-19 and 45-21. We’ll side with the model. Ohio State -21