#11 Buckeyes travel to New Jersey to play much-improved Rutgers

Ohio State travels to Piscataway, N.J., this week for a 3:40 p.m. game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium.

Ohio State did what it was supposed to do last week vs. Akron, winning 59-7 while amassing 622 yards of total offense and limiting the Zips to 229 total yards.

THE GAME INFORMATION

#11 Ohio State at Rutgers • Saturday, Oct. 2 • When: 3:30 p.m. • Where: SHI Stadium • TV: Big Ten Network • Radio: 97.1 The Fan

QUICK HITTERS

  • Ohio State brings in statistically one of the nation’s top offenses into Saturday’s contest while Rutgers counters with a top-ranked defense.
  • The Buckeyes are No. 8 nationally in scoring offense (43.3 pts./game) while Rutgers is No. 7 in scoring defense (13.5 pts./game).
  • Ohio State has top-15 rankings in both total offense (second, 559.2 yds./game) and passing offense (10th, 337.0 yds./game).
  • Ohio State boasts the top receiving tandem in the nation in Garrett Wilson (23 catches for 391 yards and 3 TDs) and Chris Olave (18 for 255 and 3, respectively). Jaxon Smith-Njigba has complemented the pair nicely (16 for 283 and 3, respectively).
  • Additionally, the Ohio State defense held Akron to just 222 yards of total offense, the fewest amount since allowing 139 yards to Maryland on Nov. 9, 2019.
  • Rutgers’ defense is ranked in the top 15 in both passing defense (15th, 150.0 yds./game) and total defense (11th, 262.8 yds./game).

NOTES TO KNOW

BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK X4

  • Ohio State has made the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week after each of its games so far this season.
  • Kyle McCord earned the accolade after becoming just the fourth true freshman quarterback to start a game for the Buckeyes. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
  • TreVeyon Henderson picked up his first honor on the strength of his 270-yard effort against Tulsa.
  • C.J. Stroud has been named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week following games vs. Minnesota and Oregon.

THIS AND THAT ON THE BUCKEYES

  • True freshman Denzel Burke (6) and Cam Brown (5) lead in PBUs while Cam Martinez and Ronnie Hickman each have pick-6s.
  • Haskell Garrett’s 3.0 sacks is the second-most by a defensive tackle in a game in Ohio State history, topped only by the 3.5 by David Thompson vs. Illinois in 2002.
  • Kicker Noah Ruggles, a graduate transfer from North Carolina, is a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals so far this season with a long of 44.

BIG PLAY BUCKEYES

  • Ohio State currently leads the nation in yards per play average at 8.60. Only three teams – Ohio State, Coastal Carolina (8.40) and Western Kentucky (8.27) are averaging better than eight yards per play.
  • The Buckeyes have 10 plays that have covered 40 yards or more and eight of 50 yards or more.
  • Henderson has been electric with 439 rushing yards on just 46 carries (9.5 avg.). He is T2nd nationally with six plays of 30-or-more yards.
  • Last week, Kyle McCord’s 85-yard pass to Emeka Egbuka in the third quarter was tied for the third-longest passing play and sixth-longest offensive play overall in Ohio State history, matching Troy Smith’s 85-yard strike to Santonio Holmes against Notre Dame in 2005.

BY THE NUMBERS

2nd

Ohio State ranks second nationally in total offense with 559.2 yards per game (495 vs. Minnesota; 612 vs. Oregon; 508 vs. Tulsa; 624 vs. Akron); 337.0 passing; 222.8 rushing.

19

The total number of true freshmen who have now played in at least one game this season. Ten true freshmen who hadn’t played yet this season played last week vs. Akron.

12

The 12 tackles-for-loss by the Buckeye defense against Akron represented a 22-game high for the team, or since the 2019 team had 13 TFLs vs. Miami (Ohio).

8

Defensive tackles had eight QB sacks vs. Akron: 3 by Haskell Garrett, 2 by Tyliek Williams and 1 apiece from Jerron CageAntwuan Jackson and Tyler Hamilton.

40

Since 2018, Ohio State has scored 40 or more points in 62.5 percent of its games (25 of 40), fourth best in the country.

THE SCARLET KNIGHTS

SERIES HISTORY

  • Ohio State leads the all-time series with Rutgers, 7-0, including a 3-0 record in Piscataway. All seven games have come since Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014.

ABOUT RUTGERS

  • Rutgers owns wins this season over Temple, Syracuse and Delaware to start the season before last week’s 20-13 setback at Michigan.
  • Quarterback Noah Vedral, a transfer from Nebraska, is completing nearly 68 percent of his passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Bo Melton has been his favorite target thus far with 24 receptions for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Aron Cruickshank, who began his career at Wisconsin, has 14 receptions for 104 yards and is averaging 26.0 yards/reception.
  • Linebacker Olakunie Fatukasi, an All-Big Ten selection in 2020, has 36 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks to lead the team in all three categories.
  • Rutgers is under the direction of former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano (2016-18). Schiano is in his second stint as
    Rutgers’ head coach, having previously led the Scarlet Knights from 2001-12. During that time, he directed the Scarlet Knights to six bowl appearances in his final seven seasons.

COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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