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RECAP: Ohio State VS Rutgers

Every team in America has one goal in mind for each week. That one goal is to survive and advance in hopes of winning the National Title. Since Ryan Day took the head job at Ohio State, he has consistently won with a career-winning percentage of 90%. Buckeye Nation should be thrilled and excited to be ranked in the top 4 again for the College Football Playoffs. Yet again, Buckeye Nation seems a little bit disappointed in the way that Day's offense is performing.

Rutgers Gameplan:

Greg Schiano is an excellent coach and has built Rutgers into a respectable opponent on the gridiron. Coming in at 6-2, Rutgers has relied on defense and an efficient, tough run game. Saturday, the Scarlet Knights were able to establish some consistency in the run game and made Ohio State sustain long drives for the entirety of the 1st half. Rutgers' offensive line was able to create some creases and holes that Kyle Monangai could find. Monangai was able to rush for 159 yards and Rutgers was able to control the time of possession. To back this up, Rutgers was able to limit the damage Marvin Harrison Jr and the Buckeyes could do by eliminating big plays and avoiding missed tackles. They kept Henderson in check as well throughout the first half and forced McCord to beat them. Rutgers was able to capitalize on this game plan by forcing an Interception late in the 2nd quarter and taking the lead after 3 Field Goals were made. Rutgers helped the Buckeyes to only 7 and held. 9-7 lead at the half. Overall, Rutgers may have found a blueprint to beat Ohio State this season as they outgunned, controlled the time of possession, and had more first downs than Ohio State.

Ohio State Struggles:

Kyle McCord continues to show flashes of greatness and the consistency to struggle. He had a great 1st quarter throw that was completed to Gee Scott Jr to open the game up 7-0. After that 2nd drive, McCord was pedestrian. McCord was quick to hit check-downs and missed some intermediate throws that could've opened up the passing game. Box score watching, McCord would've played pretty well. He finished with 189 yards with only 7 incompletions and 3 touchdowns. McCord threw an awful interception late in the second that set up Rutgers' last field goal before the half. There were several drops including a big one by Gee Scott across the middle that could've connected for a huge gain. All in All, McCord has to continue to get better. His arm talent is apparent, but he must get better with his decision-making.

Marvin Harrison Jr was limited to 4 catches for 25 yards and 2 touchdowns. His touchdowns might have helped him stay afloat in the Heisman campaign. The biggest playmaker on offense was TreVeyon Henderson. He continues to show when healthy, he is a top NFL Talent at the running back position. He continued to display game-breaking speed, his ability to make others miss in open space, and a bruising running style to pick up the necessary yards to move the chains. Henderson totaled 27 touches for 208 yards combined and a touchdown. Without him, this offense didn't have a spark and struggled mightily.

Knowles All?

Jim Knowles' defense continues to carry the Buckeyes this year. They had missed 3 starters in the secondary for this game and were still able to limit the passing attack of Rutgers. Gavin Wimsett was 10 of 25 for 129 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Jordan Hancock returned that interception for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter to help spark and wake the Buckeyes up. The ensuing Ohio State possession resulted in an 8-play 71-yard drive that had 2 plays of 20 or more yards to gain a 21-9 lead. Rutgers was able to find some room to run albeit their biggest run play came from the trickery of Schiano. Knowles will have time to correct or fine-tune the issues that occurred Saturday before their next big showcase against Michigan to close the regular season. The biggest difference in the game in my opinion is the Red Zone. Ohio State scored four touchdowns in the Red zone as Rutgers was 1-6. The Buckeye defense showed up when the field was shortened for Rutgers and forced 3 Field Goals.

Moving ON

Moving forward, Ryan Day and crew hope to capitalize on the red-zone efficiency and get better on offense. The defense must continue to be the dominant force they are as they've only given up 17 points once this season. The Buckeyes will face a tough Michigan State team Saturday night. Greg Schiano and the knights will look to get back in the win column against the Hawkeyes.

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