Ohio State vs. Rutgers preview: the No. 2 Buckeyes look to keep it rolling against RU.
On Saturday, October 1 at 12 p.m. E.T., the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium, which has a listed capacity of 104,944. The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.
According to ESPN's matchup predictor, which is based on the network's Football Power Index, Ohio State has a 97.7-percent chance to defeat the Scarlet Knights. Ohio State won last year's matchup 49-7. The two programs did not play until 2014, when Rutgers joined the Big Ten; the Buckeyes are 2-0 in the series. According to OddsShark, Ohio State opened as a 37-point favorite in this one, and that line has moved up to 38.5 at most sportsbooks.
Read on for our Ohio State vs. Rutgers preview.
Spread: Ohio State Buckeyes -38.5
Game Time: 12:00 p.m. E.T.
Channel: Big Ten Network
Ohio State vs. Rutgers preview:
The obvious storyline in this game, the third between the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights since Rutgers' Big Ten move, is that it pits Chris Ash against his former boss Urban Meyer. Ash took the Rutgers job in the off-season after two seasons as co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. In an interesting example of symmetry, he was replaced by longtime Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano at OSU.
These two programs are in very different places. Ohio State, despite losing an all sorts of talent to the NFL Draft after last season, is loaded with productive young players and has one of the nation's best quarterbacks in J.T. Barrett. So far, OSU looks like a pretty elite team on both sides of the ball, with the No. 15 offense and No. 2 defense in the nation, per ESPN's FPI efficiency metrics.
For comparison, Rutgers' rankings are Nos. 105 and 92, respectively. It is hard to knock RU for a blowout loss to Washington, which may well win the Pac-12, and last weekend's one-touchdown loss to Iowa definitely had plenty of positives for the rebuilding program.
Ohio State vs. Rutgers prediction:
Chris Ash knows Ohio State quite well, so there is a chance he's well-prepared for whatever Urban Meyer throws at him. The problem: the talent gap in this one is huge. We saw what Ohio State was able to do to Oklahoma, one of the top teams in the Big 12. Rutgers just can't match up in this one, especially at The Shoe.
Ohio State 41, Rutgers 7