Rutgers Head Coach Chris Ash returns to Columbus this coming weekend, October 1st , following a dramatic tenure of two-years as Coach Urban Meyer’s star pupil as the Buckeyes Defensive Coordinator. Just as interesting, the current Co-Defensive Coordinator for the Buckeyes, Greg Schiano, will be marking X’s and O’s against the team he served as Head Coach for 11 years.
In tow with Ash come other coaches who had been birthing within the Buckeyes coaching tree: Offensive Coordinator, Drew Mehringer, Special Teams Coordinator, Vince Okruch, Running Backs Coach, Zak Kuhr, and Defensive Backs Coach Bill Busch, along with strength and conditioning coordinator, Kenny Parker.
The Buckeyes are a 38.5 point favorite in Ohio Stadium, scheduled for 12:00 noon. It is the Buckeyes Homecoming.
Last year’s faceoff in Piscataway we witnessed the Buckeyes blow out the Silver Knights, 49-7. In 2014 in Columbus Rutgers lost as well in a 57-16 lopsided match.
Rutgers stars Janarion Grant and Quanzell Lambert both suffered season-ending injuries against Iowa last week. So, if there were any possible “hope” of pulling off an upset – it’s all been dashed with their stars elimination for the remainder of the year.
Perhaps the powerful spread is based on Ohio State’s dominance of the Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma two weeks ago on September 17th (W- 42-24).
Rutgers last moment of upsetting a top-five team was back in 2007 when they handed then # 2 South Florida a loss.
Let’s take a look at what Rutgers brings:
Their season opener they lost handily to Washington 48-13. Chris Ash, losing his first game as a Head Coach did not display any razzle, or significance on the defensive side. Washington, plainly, out-gunned them, out-ran them, and played harder-nosed football.
Their second game of the year against a much smaller program, Howard, they dominated 52-14. But arguably, is this a surprise.
In game 3 the Silver Knights had to rally from a 21 – point deficit in the first quarter by New Mexico. They would do precisely that – winning 37-28. This game showed heart, and skill, and coaching abilities.
Game 4 was almost what we all wanted to see – an upset of Iowa. Their opportunities late in the game were muffled. It would end with a 14-7 win for the Hawkeyes.
Current: 2-2 (0-1 Big 10 Play).
The Silver Knights ranks 236th nationally with 167 passing yards per game.
Chris Laviano in 113 attempts has completed 59 with a 52.2% completion percentage. He has thrown for 647 yards in four games, averaging 161.8 yards per game, and 5.7 yards per completion. He has thrown for five TD’s and has had two interceptions. Laviano has been sacked eight times and his QB rating sits at 111.4.
The Silver Knights ranks 55th nationally with 220.3 rushing yards per game.
Robert Martin, Junior, is their man. In 58 rushes he has plugged out 358 yards and has one TD. Janarion Grant (no longer a threat) in 16 rushes has 138 yards and three TD’s.
Robert Martin, a 5-11 Harrisburg, PA native, isn’t a flashy runner. But he is strong and fast. If he has a “good” day he certainly can be a threat to any team in the nation – including the Buckeyes.
Janarion Grant thus far has been the Silver Knights deliverer in the receiving corps. He has had 20 receptions and 210 yards. His longest was 19 yards against Iowa. Jawuan Harris in the New Mexico game caught a 75 yard TD. Accumulatively he has eight receptions for 161 yards.
The receiving corps for the Silver Knights is complimentary to Laviano – nice talent, but not off the charts great!
The Silver Knights are 144th nationally in total yards with 387.3 per game. They are not electrifying, though they have shown moments of excellence and can quickly capitalize. They certainly should be taken seriously.
With the loss of DL Quanzell Lambert the Silver Knights must huddle the troops in practice this week and “motivate”. DL Senior Darius Hamilton is quite capable of picking up the slack. His 6-3 and 286 frame is strong, fast, and has a spinning ability that will be looked at by the pro-scouts.
Senior LB, Kevin Marquez, is also a name that we will hear plenty of come this Saturday. He is a strong and fast kid out of Egg Harbor, NJ that loves the contact and brutality of football – “I love hitting, getting hit, bouncing up and doing it all again.”
They also have three defensive backs with an interception each: Isaiah Wharton, Anthony Cioffi, and K.J. Gray.
The Buckeyes are the second ranked team in the nation. It is far from any hoax too. This team is good. They are young and confident. These makings are only added gifts to the reality they have tremendous talent that is indeed deserving of their spot in the national rankings.
Urban Meyer is, in my opinion, is the best coach in the nation. He is a master recruiter, motivator, and all-around football mind. There is just no one better. A coach like this will only bring the “A” team for any match. And you can believe that each player wearing the scarlet and gray uniform under the helm of Coach Meyer understands this. They will be ready to play – on any given day, against anyone.
Current: 3-0 (0-0 in Big 10 Play).
The Buckeyes are 118th nationally with a 239.3 passing yards per game.
JT – that’s all we need to say ….
In three games he has thrown 73 attempts and completing 49 of them for a 67.1 completion percentage. Thus far in this season he has thrown for 650 yards and 10 TD’s with only one interception. He is averaging 216.7 yards per game and has a commendable 184.4 QB rating.
The Buckeyes are 4th in the nation in passing efficiency. This is a nice notch for a team that dominates on the ground – it is reassuring to know that when the Buckeyes do pass they are efficient at it.
The Buckeyes are 10th nationally with 306.0 rushing yards per game.
This has always been a Buckeyes strong point. This year certainly should not be any different. Mike Weber leads the team with 54 rushes equaling 351 yards with one TD. He is quietly making his presence known. He plays good old-fashioned football; shoulders squared no dancing, plowing straight into the line. Curtis Samuel, the Brooklyn kid, has been no surprise. We witnessed his talents last year and are blessed to witness them again. He has gotten better too. In three games he has 32 rushes for 26 yards and two TD’s.
Curtis Samuel leads this category. He has snagged 16 receptions for 259 yards and has two TD’s. But it has been Noah Brown that we all have witnessed, or recalled following the game(s). He has nine receptions for 159 yards and has five TD’s. But it was his spectacular catch against the Sooners that has put out the idea that Noah is our next great receiver.
So the Buckeyes are well equipped here.
The Buckeyes are 13th in total offense nationally with 545.3 yards per game. They are # 1 in the Big 10. This team has some serious weapons. JT can never be ignored. All of the receivers, Brown, McLaurin, Samuel, Smith, and Dixon are all prizes that other teams would love to have. On the ground, as I mentioned, Weber, is coming into his own. He will be very special very soon. Samuel is the “everything” for the Buckeyes. And JT is that special QB that will be missed greatly when he journeys to the professional level. The protection these guys get from Billy Price and Pat Elflein are immeasurable.
The Buckeyes on this side of the ball is – plain and simple – strong.
Let me just rattle off a few names for you – Sam Hubbard, Raekwon McMillan, Tyquan Lewis, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, and Damon Webb. I need to say no more.
…. Except That Lattimore and Hooker have 3 picks each. As a team they have 9 picks, 4 returned for six.
There isn’t a lot to debate here. Rutgers under Chris Ash certainly looks to improve. Their recruitment has already shown a significant upgrading thus far with his name attached to the top. But the reality is clear here. The Buckeyes are in a whole different class. Rutgers has no prayer – period.
Look for a slaughter – Just a guess here – Buckeyes 66 Rutgers 9.