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SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey Attendance: 33,528
Ohio St.-Rutgers Preview
Ohio State Buckeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Ohio State has won every meeting between these teams, with all five games occurring since Rutgers joined the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have won this matchup by an average margin of 48.8 points and are the only FBS school to beat a single opponent by 35 or more in each of the last five seasons.
- The Buckeyes have averaged 7.2 yards per carry on the road this season, the most in the FBS. Ohio State has run for at least 275 yards in each of its three road contests and is averaging 317.7 yards per game away from Columbus, the best road mark of any Power 5 school.
- Rutgers has lost 26 consecutive games to opponents ranked in the AP Top 25, the second-longest active streak among Power 5 teams (Kansas, 35 games), last beating a ranked team with a 31-0 win over No. 23 USF in 2009. Since 2016, Rutgers has lost its 14 ranked games by a combined score of 622-64.
- Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields threw for three scores and ran for another in Ohio State's 73-14 win over Maryland last week. Fields has accounted for at least three total touchdowns in all nine games this year -- no FBS quarterback has been responsible for three or more scores in more games this season.
- Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan had a 62.9 passer rating in his first five games of the season, throwing five interceptions and no touchdowns. In his last two contests, he has thrown three scores and just one interception for a 165.3 rating. His 179.7 rating on Oct. 26 against Liberty was the highest by a Rutgers quarterback since Chris Laviano had a 185.1 rating in 2015 against Maryland (min. 20 attempts).
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Ohio State might not have star defensive end Chase Young back as the NCAA investigates a possible violation for accepting a loan, but it likely won't make a difference when the No. 2 Buckeyes play at Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
The Scarlet Knights (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) are about 53-point underdogs after the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0) ripped Maryland 73-14 last Saturday.
By comparison, visiting Maryland defeated Rutgers 48-7 on Oct. 5 in the Scarlet Knights' first game under interim coach Nunzio Campanile after Chris Ash -- a former Ohio State defensive coach -- was fired.
The Buckeyes didn't miss Young, who leads the nation with 13 1/2 sacks despite being suspended for the Maryland game. OSU recorded seven sacks and limited the Terrapins to 139 yards.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Tuesday that Chase is practicing with the intent of playing Saturday, but he has no knowledge of when a ruling may come.
Rutgers did not play last weekend, but even with added practice time they will be hard pressed to stop the Buckeyes, considering no team has done so this season.
Ohio State is fifth nationally in total offense (535.9 yards per game) after compiling 705 vs. Maryland and is No. 1 in total defense (214.8) and scoring defense (8.6 points per game).
The Buckeyes have scored the most touchdowns (62) and given up the fewest (eight).
Quarterback Justin Fields remains in the Heisman Trophy discussion behind LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Fields is completing 68.2 percent of his passes, with 27 touchdowns and just one interception. He has rushed for 10 scores. Junior running back J.K. Dobbins (1,200 yards) has 11 rushing touchdowns in his third 1,000-yards season.
Rutgers' best chance is to hope the Buckeyes are looking ahead to playing Penn State at home on Oct. 23 and ending the regular season the following Saturday at Michigan.
Day said the Buckeyes will take Rutgers seriously.
"We certainly have respect for everybody we play," Day said. "I've known Nunzio a long time. He's going to do a great job.
"(Rutgers) has had a week off, and those guys are going to come out play really, really hard. If we're going to take anything for granted, if they (think) we're just going to show up in Piscataway and win a game, that's not going to happen."
The Scarlet Knights are on their third quarterback. McLane Carter retired after sustaining a concussion in the second game. Artur Sitkowski decided to redshirt after playing in three games.
Redshirt freshman Johnny Langan has the unenviable task of facing a defense that limited Maryland to 77 yards passing. Langan in his most recent game, a 38-10 loss to Illinois, was 5 for 10 for 86 yards and was sacked three times.
Campanile and his players have more than just the Buckeyes on their mind. Rumors swirl that former Scarlet Knights head coach and ex-OSU assistant Greg Schiano will return to Rutgers.
"Really the biggest thing is making sure that it doesn't affect the players," Campanile said. "I think they've done a really good job of it. I'm sure they read all the stuff and hear all the stuff, but we're just trying to talk about going out and getting better every day and kind of staying on the path for growth."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 13, 2019