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Scarlet Saturdays: Ohio State Buckeyes vs Rutgers Preview

Broadcast Info:

  • Ohio State (8-0) vs Rutgers (6-2)

  • Saturday, November 4th, 2023, Noon EST Kickoff

  • Shi Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

  • CBS

What's at Stake?

The Buckeyes are coming off a big road win against Wisconsin, winning 24-10. The offense did not perform to the best of its ability and Kyle McCord struggled in some moments throughout the game throwing two interceptions and having a fumble. Fortunately, Emeka Egbuka is expected to finally be back for the Buckeyes, and Treveyon Henderson is healthy after a huge performance for the Buckeyes last week. The troubling news is that Miyan Williams is out for the season with an undisclosed injury which causes some depth issues in the running back room at the later part of the season. For the Scarlet Knights, running back Kyle Monangai is having a huge year carrying the ball with 144 carries for 744 yards and 7 touchdowns and currently leads the Big Ten in rushing for the season. This will be the match-up to watch with the Silver Bullet's defense against the Rutgers rushing attack. Ohio State has yet to give up a play of 40 or more yards this season, this will be a huge test against a really talent rushing attack for the Scarlet Knights.

Rushing Attack

The Buckeyes are coming off arguably their best-rushing performance of the season against Wisconsin. A healthy Treveyon Henderson was back and explosive which is what the Buckeyes were missing was a homerun threat in the rushing attack. Henderson came off a night where he rushed the ball 24 times for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Buckeyes. On the season this puts Henderson at 68 carries for 457 yards and 6 touchdowns. Can Henderson continue to provide his explosive play-making ability and stay healthy for the Buckeyes as they head into "the game", everyone knows the Buckeyes need Henderson to stay healthy if they want to win this game, especially after losing Miyan Williams to a season-ending injury. On the flip side, Kyle Monangai for Rutgers is having an impressive year where he leads the Big Ten in rushing with 744 yards. If Rutgers want to control this game they have to win the possession game and lean on their rushing attack to keep the ball out of Ohio State's hands. Schiano knows how good this Buckeyes defense is but will look to keep attacking the line of scrimmage and milk the clock for Rutgers to stay in this game.


Can the Ohio State Buckeyes score points?

One thing Buckeye fans are not used to seeing in a Ryan Day offense is low-scoring games from their offense. The Buckeye's last two weeks of victory the Buckeyes have only scored a combined total of 44 points which comes against a Penn State and Wisconsin defense respectably. Although these are really good teams, the Buckeyes know they have to get the offense clicking if they want to play complimentary football in their biggest game of the season on November 25th. Having Henderson and Egbuka back is huge for this expectation and will provide a lot more explosive plays and take all the focus off of Marvin Harrison. McCord though has to start becoming more consistent in his play and take what the defenses are giving him. Having Emeka Egbuka back should really help McCord with this task knowing that with a healthy Egbuka, he had 22 catches on the year for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns. Look for the Buckeyes to score a lot of points on Saturday but also continue to light the scoreboard up to find consistency going into Ann Arbor because everyone knows that this is what the Buckeyes are playing for.

Who to Watch For?

Emeka Egbuka. WR for Ohio State- As mentioned earlier, Egbuka is expected to be back and healthy for this matchup with Rutgers. This is huge for Kyle McCord and Marvin Harrison because it will take a lot of pressure off of Marvin who has been showing the world why he belongs in New York in December. Think his numbers were impressive without Egbuka in? With Egbuka back, defenses have to respect him and they know that if he was anywhere else in the country he would be WR1 and lighting up the stat line as Marvin Harrison is doing as well. Look for a big game for Egbuka against Rutgers and McCord to find him early to get him back in the flow of the game.

JT Tuimoloau- DE for Ohio State- The leader of the Silver Bullets defense is JTT who is having a big year for the Buckeyes rushmen attack. The numbers might not be eye-popping but if you watch the games there is never a rare moment where JTT is not applying pressure on the QB or getting into the backfield early to disrupt the run game. JTT will come into this game with 4 sacks, and 20 tackles, with 9 of those being solo tackles. Again not eye-opener numbers but considering where he was a season ago and the amount of attention he brings to opposing offenses, JTT is quietly working his way up the draft boards and getting a lot of attention. Rutger's offensive line is not the greatest and their tackles are slow to get off the ball. Look for JTT to have a big game this week and get his sack numbers up after this game.

Kyle Monangai, RB for Rutgers- Monangai is the Big Ten's leading rusher with 744 yards coming into this game. Clearly, Rutgers wants the ball in his hands and why wouldn't you? The problem is, they are going up against one of the nation's best defenses this Saturday who has yet to give up a big play of 40 or more yards. This will be a good matchup to watch for on Saturday if Rutgers is able to quietly chip their way downfield with their rushing attack or do they set up more play action and try to avoid the Buckeyes defensive line?


Dawgs Best Bets

Ohio State is currently a -18.5 point favorite to cover against Rutgers with the over/under set at 42.5.

  • Favorite Ohio State to cover -18.5.

  • Over 42.5 points.

  • Marvin Harrison for 80+ yards for -350, a great line.

  • Cade Stover for 35+ yards for -390, great line.

  • Treveyon Henderson for 80 yards for -140, great line.

  • Kyle Monangai for 40 rushing yards valued at -186, something to keep an eye out for on the player prop line.

Overall, I see the Buckeyes running away with this one. I like Ohio State winning 44-10.

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