Five takeaways from Ohio State’s convincing No.11 win over Rutgers
The No.7 Buckeyes have hit their stride this season with convincing back-to-back wins while outscoring their opponents 111-20 during this span.
Here are five takeaways from Ohio State’s last win (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) – a 52-13 bombing from Rutgers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten).
It’s been a good week off for CJ Stroud
Earlier this week, head coach Ryan Day said quarterback CJ Stroud’s week to regain his health was an opportunity for him to watch and learn, correct mistakes in precision at the start of the season, and the rookie redshirt certainly showed up.
He completed 17 of his 23 assists on Saturday, good for his highest completion percentage of the season at a whopping 73.9%.
His 330 yards and five touchdowns propelled him to sixth in the Football Bowl subdivision with a 181.87 passer rating.
Arguably his best game of the season came during the Buckeyes’ last scoring campaign in the first half.
Stroud took the shotgun, rushed to his right to dodge the Scarlet Knights flash defense, slid through a potential tackle before firing a strike across the field at main receiver Chris Olave who took the rest of the way for the 56-yard score.
With Stroud’s shoulder healthy, saying after the game it’s good to throw painlessly, expect a similar performance from the Empire, Calif., Native to move forward.
The peddler’s defense finds its marks
The Buckeyes have knocked out Rutgers senior quarterback Noah Vedral three times – the first time the Silver Bullets have done so since intercepting three passes by then Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, the September 28, 2019.
Freshman cornerback Denzel Burke got some redemption after having a clear interception against Tulsa called a reception for senior redshirt wide receiver Sam Crawford Jr.
This time around, Vedral offered Burke a knockdown on a side road. Burke leapt into the air, pointed the ball and returned it for the second score of the game.
In the second half, second-year linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and first-year red-shirt cornerback Ryan Watts intercepted Vedral in back-to-back practices.
Ohio State has seven interceptions on the season tied for 10th in the FBS, watching Iowa’s 12 leading the nation.
The unit also recorded six breakups, adding to its 38 defended passes that year, behind Hawai’i for the top score in the country.
It was a big climb for the same unit that just two weeks ago gave up 428 yards to junior quarterback Tulsa Redshirt Davis Brin.
Defensive touchdowns are becoming a trend
Burke’s 23-yard interception return took Ohio State’s lead to 14-0, but with the way the Buckeyes battered the Scarlet Knights defense on their first offensive possession, the defensive score n ‘was not going to play a huge role in the final score.
Over the past few weeks, however, the defense has pulled off timely touchdowns to shift momentum in favor of Ohio State, leading to an eventual victory.
Not necessarily in the last three games against Tulsa, Akron and Rutgers, respectively, but against Minnesota, graduate defensive tackle Haskell Garrett’s scoop and score paid big dividends in the result.
The Buckeyes are tied for 21st in rolling margin with a differential of more than four and tied for the country’s best score of four defensive touchdowns.
If the defense can keep up that pace by reversing a score or two in favor of Ohio State, that could prove to be the difference in ranked games against No.4 Penn State, No.11 Michigan State and No.1. Â° 9 Michigan.
Ruckert gets closer to the record
Senior tight end Jeremy Ruckert ran an angled route in the second quarter, stopping on a dime before coming back to midfield for a 19-yard touchdown reception.
The score was Lindenhurst, New York’s first of the season and 10th of his career, bringing it closer to Jake Stoneburner’s 13 career TDs – the most in Ohio State history for a close end.
Ruckert had his best game of 2021, recording four passes for 40 yards and the only touchdown.
He took advantage of Rutgers’ zone defense, performing curl runs where Stroud could make easy throws and catches to move the chains.
Against remaining opponents Ohio State, Ruckert has 11 catches, 82 yards and two touchdowns in his career – both scores against Penn State in 2020.
Youth movement in Columbus
The quarterback is a freshman in a red shirt, the running back is a real freshman as well as the high school leader.
Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson and Burke, respectively, gave the Buckeyes a big boost on Saturday as they did in 2021.
Stroud came back from his weeklong hiatus to reach 17 for 23 with 330 yards and five touchdowns in just over half the job.
Henderson – similar to last week against Akron – got the majority of his runs in the first two frames, being relieved by Master Teague III running backs, sophomore Marcus Crowley and rookie Evan Pryor in the second half.
He smashed his first postponement of the game on the left tackle with an excellent sealed block from Ruckert to kick off for a 44-yard touchdown run.
The Hopewell, Va. Native finished with 71 yards on eight carries. He ranks fourth in the FBS with 9.44 yards per carry.
Burke, surprisingly, didn’t record a pass breakage against Rutgers, although he tied the Big Ten’s second-best clip this season with six.
Experienced players on both sides of the ball like Olave, junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson, offensive line and senior linebacker Teradja Mitchell would certainly appreciate some help on the pitch, and the younger starters have established themselves as a strong supporting cast. before two -months Big Ten gauntlet.