The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Ohio State have a date at the Horseshoe on Saturday night. Ohio State went to Rutgers last year and disposed of them with ease by a score of 56-21. The Buckeyes were ridiculously favored in that game, and while they didn’t cover, it was still a blowout by Ohio State.
If Justin Fields stayed in the full game, I’m sure we’re talking about Ohio State putting up more than 70 points on the board. Fields passed for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions. Gunner Hoak took over in the second half and had fun primarily handing the ball off to his backfield.
The Big Ten got started late this season because of the coronavirus. Ohio State has only played two games and remain perfect with a 52-17 win over Nebraska and 38-25 over Penn State. The Buckeyes are coming off the big win over Penn State last week. A letdown spot against an inferior Rutgers team is probably the only thing holding Ohio State back in this game.
If Ohio State didn’t spend this past week preparing for Rutgers, then maybe the Scarlet Knights keep things interesting for a quarter. Even if Ohio State doesn’t present their best effort on Saturday, it’s likely that they’re going to win by a comfortable margin. Ohio State has far too much handle for Rutgers to hang.
Having said that, Greg Schiano has this program going in the right direction. After leaving the program in 2011 following a 9-4 season and bowl win, Rutgers has been a doormat and one of the worst teams in the FBS. Schiano will fix things eventually, but it might take some time. He was able to nab some players that transferred going into this season, which has helped make this at least a respectable squad.
Rutgers opened the season with an upset over Michigan State, 38-27. The bellcow for Rutgers, Isaih Pacheco, gained 61 yards and scored 2 touchdowns to lead the way for the Scarlet Knights. Reality hit the following week, as Rutgers was bounced by a score of 37-21 against Indiana. This is progress for this team, and that’s all Schiano is looking for. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has this team back to bowl country in a few years. Head below for our free Rutgers vs. Ohio State pick for November 7, 2020.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Ohio State Buckeyes NCAAF Betting Odds:
Rutgers vs. Ohio State Prediction:
Justin Fields is getting Heisman hype for good reason. Not only Heisman hype, but Fields will be one of the first quarterbacks taken off the board in the draft. After Trevor Lawrence, Fields figures to be selected not long after. Through two games, Fields has passed for 594 yards and 6 touchdowns with no interceptions. He has gained 50 yards rushing and a touchdown as well. Lawrence is out for two weeks, at least, with the coronavirus, so this is an opportunity for Fields to steal the spotlight. I don’t know what a big game against Rutgers is going to do, but he’s expected to put on a big show against the Scarlet Knights.
If Penn State was unable to slow Fields and the Buckeyes’ offense down, I don’t put much faith in Rutgers stopping him. Ohio State has averaged 508.5 yards and 45 points per game through the first two weeks. Nebraska and Penn State are far bigger challengers than Rutgers and Fields made it look easy against them. That said, I’ve liked the progress Rutgers is making on both sides of the ball. Rutgers’ defense has yielded 358 yards per game in 2020 thus far. That’s a monumental jump from the lifeless defense from last season.
Schiano is a defensive guy that will have Rutgers back in the future, but I don’t believe they’re going to be on a level to slow down Ohio State to an extent for a couple of years. As long as Fields keeps his eyes on the Heisman and aims to put up style stats on Saturday night, then he’s going to do a number on the Scarlet Knights. The spread is just too big for me here, though. Like I said, Rutgers has shown improvement, and could score a backdoor or keep this game around a 30-point deficit.
Rutgers scoring 38 points against Michigan State is kind of a big deal. Maybe not to you, but to them that’s an offensive explosion compared to what they were getting without Schiano as their head coach. Noah Verdal came out throwing the next week, as he threw for 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He’s going to be good for more turnovers in this game, which I think should set up Ohio State in fine field position. However, when this game gets out of hand and Ohio State starts to play back defensively, look for Rutgers and Verdal to strike on the scoreboard. I like a 53-17 final in this one, which points towards a play on the OVER.