(2) Ohio State at Rutgers
Time: 2 PM CST, Saturday
Spread: OSU -51
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Ohio State Buckeyes are closing its season strong at 9-0, but its last two challenges will not come until after this probable blowout at Rutgers. OSU heads to Rutgers as amazing 51-point favorites, in a game that will air at 2 PM (CST) Saturday on the Big Ten Network.
THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
Ohio State dispatched Maryland 73-14 last week, and it really has had no close calls the entire season. Perhaps that is too easy to guess looking at how OSU stacks up on paper: The team averages 51 points per game while holding opponents to less than nine per contest. The Buckeyes have a rather average pass offense at No. 56 in the country, but the team ranks No. 3 in rushing yardage while generating nearly 300 yards per game on the ground.
Ohio State’s top rusher, JK Dobbins, is a Heisman contender. He has 166 rush attempts for 1,200 yards this season—averaging 7.2 yards-per-carry, to go along with 11 touchdowns. No. 2 rusher Master Teague III has been strong too. He boasts a 6.7 yard-per-carry average on his 104 attempts, though he does account for just four of the team’s 29 rushing touchdowns. Justin Fields has been dynamite as a dual-threat QB, too. He has thrown for nearly 1,900 yards while having rushed for 347 yards and a second-best 10 touchdowns.
Fields’ top receivers have been Chris Olave, Binjimen Victor, and KJ Hill. All have 360 yards or more on the season and the trio accounts for 18 of the team’s 32 receiving touchdowns. Tight end Jeremy Ruckert has added just nine catches from that position, but he has three touchdowns (which ranks No. 5 on the team). The Buckeyes use pass plays as something of a distraction to its overwhelming rush attack, but it does so effectively: OSU averages 12.8 yards-per-catch and it has 32 receiving touchdowns, despite its pass offense not ranking in the top-50.
RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS
Rutgers is just 2-7 on the season and it has not won in Big Ten Play (0-6). The Scarlet Knights are scarcely a threat to any FBS-I teams, anyway, with one of its two victories coming over non-FBS Liberty and the other over lowly UMass. Rutgers has a negative 14.7 point differential, and it is nearly outside the top-100 in both rush and pass offense, while generating just 283.3 yards per game.
The team has tried a few options at quarterback, and most have faired quite poorly. Collectively, with Johnny Langan, Artur Sitkowski, and McLane Carter, it combines to tell the story of a very poor offensive team. The trio averages just 58 percent completions, but worse still is good for just 6.3 yards-per-completion while having thrown twice as many interceptions (12) as touchdowns (6). None of them have any sort of success story, but perhaps that is too easy to state given that Rutgers has been dominated in nearly all nine of its games this season.
Perhaps the brightest spot on the roster has been the rushing of No. 1 running back Isaih Pacheco. He has rushed 123 times for 541 yards and six of the team’s nine rushing touchdowns, also averaging a respectable 4.4 yards-per-carry (which probably would be an easy five-plus on a team with a better offensive line).
There really are no other silver linings for the Scarlet Knights, and as NCAA Football oddsmakers are indicating with the +51 point spread on Rutgers, this game should be rather ugly rather quickly, at least from the standpoint of Rutgers. Ohio State has fun running up the score on these doormat-type teams, which Rutgers is certainly the epitome of.