(Photo courtesy galaxylegion.com, game information courtesy Ohio State Athletic Dept, Cleveland.com, ESPN)

In a game that started sloppily played, more on that later, Ohio State quickly found its sharpness and dominated Rutgers 56-0 in Piscataway, NJ Saturday evening. The win kept Ohio State (4-1, 2-0) in a first place tie in B1G East with undefeated Penn State.

My takeaway from this game is that I’m – encouraged. All aspects of play looked good. Rutgers was completely overmatched and injuries didn’t help their situation. The Buckeyes were predicted to overwhelm Rutgers and they did. There isn’t really too much to say about this game; but I will say this:

Offense

It was a very good night for the offense, as the 56 points may indicate. The offense ran pretty close to Urban’s Golden Mean of a balanced attack. Ohio State ran 68 offensive plays; 36 rushing and 32 passing. Ohio State gained 628 net yards; 286 rushing and 342 passing. That is a very balanced and effective performance.

Here’s another measure of OSU’s effectiveness and efficiency;  J.T. Barrett was sacked just twice for -10 yards. In their rushing attempts, Ohio State had one play with “no gain” and two plays that lost 1 yard each.

Yet another measure of their efficiency is that Ohio State had no turnovers.

Bill Landis of Cleveland.com had a good summary of this game:

Beating Rutgers isn’t going to get anyone excited, and any progress the Buckeyes make offensively comes with the obvious caveat that we’ve seen this before and it hasn’t meant much against better competition. But all you could ask for from the offense through this boring stretch of games was to show improvement, and blow teams out. And that’s happened.

After leading an offense that accumulated 42 points and a personal box score of 275 passing yards and 3 TD’s and 89 yards rushing, J.T. Barrett called it a night midway through the third quarter. Mike Weber (44 yards, 3 TDs) and J.K. Dobbins (53 yds) also took off their pads. The “next men up”, Dwayne Haskins (3-6, 47 yd-1 TD) and Joe Burrow (2-2, 20 yd) and Demario McCall (103 yd rush, 1 TD, 35 yd Rec, 1 TD) took over.

I feel obligated to also mention that J.T. Barrett accomplished a couple milestones, in addition to beating Rutgers. Young Mr. Barrett is the all time Ohio State passing leader with 7,622 career yards. He also has over 10,000 yards in his career. Very prolific…

Defense

The Silver Bullets, if they’re still going by that nom de guerre, had a fantastic game.  They pretty much shut down what was presented as the Rutgers offense. The Scarlet Knights were held to net 209 total yards, which their final drive accounted for 60 yards. In fact, their final drive comprised 13 plays, so approximately 25% of Rutgers’ offensive output was generated in their final drive. Which ended in a missed field goal…

Granted, Ohio State’s defense is getting more confident in its abilities and the Rutgers offense, missing several “play-makers” is not very good, but  209 yard shutout is a very good performance.

I do want to tip my hat to Dante Booker. Although having “only” 4 tackles, all solo, he did make some impact plays. He had two tackles for loss (TFL) with one of them a sack. He also had an interception.

As a result of their recent performance the Ohio State pass defense has improved from last in the nation (130th) to 42nd in the nation. Thank you to a secondary getting more in sync with one another, a top-notch defensive line and better scheduling.

Special Teams

I think the Special Teams had a good evening. Okay, the punt return team didn’t, but still… The punt return, if I may use that term, unit more or less fielded 4 punts, returned 2 for net 4 yards and fumbled/muffed the other 2 punts for net -1. One punt was fumbled/recovered at the Rutgers 48 yard line and the other at the OSU 2 yard line. Those could have been very cheap points/field position.

Western New York favorite kick-off specialist Blake Haubeil had quite a busy evening. He had 9 kickoffs, averaging 54 yards with a net of 44 yards.

Drue Chrisman punted 4 times for an average of 39 yards, with 3 punts downed inside the 20. The one punt that he shanked (26 yards) had a Rutgers 10 yard penalty affixed on the play, so the “punt play” was for a decent enough 36 yards.

Place kicker Sean Nuernberger was 7 – 7 on extra point attempts. It’s good to be Sean. It’s even better to have Sean.

 

Other

Penalties, jesuschrist, the penalties. Ohio State had 10 penalties accepted for 106 yards while Rutgers had 10 penalties accepted for 80 yards. The infractions didn’t have a bearing on the game because Ohio State overwhelmed a vastly overmatched opponent. Urban needs to get this ‘penalty thing’ cleaned up because he doesn’t have Rutgers on the schedule again this season.

Up Next

The Buckeyes host the Maryland Terrapins (3-1, 1-0) on Saturday October 7th. It’s a 4:00 pm ET kickoff, so you’ll have plenty of time to get your yard work and/or tailgating done before kickoff. You can also watch the game on FOX (check local listings) and/or listen to it on 97.1.

Also, too; there will be men’s soccer and a lot of golf recapped Monday. Please stop by.