2021 Rutgers Football Game Preview # 5 vs. Ohio State

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How to watch, stream and listen

Ohio State at Rutgers

Or: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey (Match day policies)

To start up: Saturday, October 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Time: 77 degrees, mostly sunny with 6% chance of rain, winds 5-10 mph

TV: BTN with Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play), James Laurinaitis (color), Rick Pizzo (sideline)

Flux: FOX Sports app

Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 14-50-AM, WOR 710-AM, XM 196, Sirius 113) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Mike Teel and Eric LeGrand (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM – Dylan Allen & Jake Schmied

Current broadcast: Ohio State -14

Series history: Ohio State leads 7-0, last season Ohio State beat Rutgers 49-27

Ohio State SB Nation Site: Land-Grant Holy Land

Ohio State Screening Report

Statistics managers

Rutgers

Who passed: Noah Vedral – 76-for-112, 67.9%, 762 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

To rush : Isaih Pacheco – 259 yards on 65 carries, 4.0 YPC, 3 TDs

Reception: Bo Melton – 24 catches for 253 yards, 10.5 YPC, 2 touchdowns

Defense: Olakunle Fatukasi – 33 tackles and 3.5 sacks, Max Melton – 2 interceptions

Ohio state

Who passed: CJ Stroud- 63-for-101, 62.4%, 963 yards, 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions

To rush : Treveyon Henderson – 439 yards on 46 carries, 9.5 ypc, 6 TDs

Reception: Garrett Wilson – 23 catches for 391 yards, 17.0 ypc, 3 touchdowns

Defense: Ronnie Hickman – 33 tackles, Haskell Garrett and Tyleik Williams – 3 bags, Ronnie Hickman – 2 interceptions

What to watch out for

When Rutgers has the ball

Rutgers fell behind early against Michigan, but controlled the second half. The Scarlet Knights edged the Wolverines in overall yards, rushing yards and won the possession time battle by more than five minutes. Can they continue against Ohio State?

Isaih Pacheco was one of the main reasons the Scarlet Knights were able to return to the game. The emergence of a rushed attack would take Rutgers to the next level. Pacheco finished with 20 carries for 107 yards. Big Ten games are always controlled in the trenches and this is a way to keep the opposing team’s offense off the field. This is important for Rutgers against an explosive attack like the Buckeyes.

There haven’t been a ton of points awarded by the Big Ten teams. Ohio State has allowed 23.3 points per game this season, but it’s 12th in the conference. They exposed themselves a bit against Oregon, where CJ Verdell tore them to the ground. Connection – this is where Pacheco will need to reappear.

Noah Vedral is an X factor every week and will be mentioned in the conversation. He’s yet to throw an interception and the only turnover this season is a fumble on Michigan’s final possession in the game. If the Scarlet Knights can kick the ball like they did last week, they can chew for a few minutes and hang around.

When Ohio State has the ball

Kyle McCord started for Ohio State last week against Akron, but Ryan Day said CJ Stroud was the starter when he was in good health. It looks like Stroud could be under center against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday and there will be plenty of weapons to work with.

“I’ve seen him a few times, and he’s a good player,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said on a call with local reporters Thursday. “Obviously he won the starting position, so Ryan thought he was the best of guys. He’s surrounded by a bunch of amazing people, so whoever was going to play the quarterback was going to be a challenge.

Rutgers wants to slow this game down. They won’t be able to score with Ohio State because of the weapons they have. The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten with 43.3 points and 599 total attacking yards per game this season. When Ohio State loses a game, it’s like the sky is falling. They are still a team that can and should be considered the favorites to win the Big Ten.

Wilson and Chris Olave are getting a lot of attention, but Treveyon Henderson has 439 rushing yards this season and averaging 9.5 yards per carry. Ohio State is still a big game offense that can score in clusters. They fought against Oregon, but were able to get comfortable against Rutgers last year.

A key match is on the third down. Ohio State leads the Big Ten with a 53% conversion rate and the Rutgers defense is keeping their opponents at a low 21.6% conversion rate.

Ohio State is no longer near the top of the standings. There have been discussions about their legitimacy this season. It’s not ideal for Rutgers as the Buckeyes might want to make a statement in this one.

Could Rutgers win this game?

Last week’s performance against Michigan will give some hope against Ohio State. It adds some intrigue to this game, but more often than not skill and depth prevail. The gap is still large between these two teams. While he might be closing down a bit, this probably isn’t the year Rutgers gets over the bump.

Final thoughts

Like last week, Week 5 will be whether Rutgers can compete. As good as Michigan is in the first three weeks, they still aren’t up to the Buckeyes’ level. The Scarlet Knights will have the chance to see how they stack up against the Big Ten class – and they will be able to do so on their home turf.


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