ANALYSIS: 5 takeways from Ohio State’s win over Rutgers

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Credit: Jay LaPrete

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State remained perfect on the season and perfect against Rutgers with a 49-10 win Saturday.

The Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0) improved to 9-0 against the Scarlet Knights, who have yet to hold Ohio State below 49 points in any meeting.

Here are five things to know about the game:

1. Rutgers took the lead on Ohio State for the first time, but it did not last long.

The Scarlet Knights capitalized on a muffed punt with a three-play, 18-yard scoring drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Evan Simon to Sean Ryan with 11 minutes on the clock. Less than two minutes later, Ohio State tied the score on a Miyan Williams 2-yard touchdown run and never looked back.

2. Williams was the man of the match.

The third-year sophomore from Cincinnati scored on four short runs and broke off a 70-yarder to tie the Ohio State record for touchdowns in a game.

Pete Johnson and Dayton native Keith Byars previously tallied five rushing touchdowns in a game in 1974 and ‘84, respectively.

“It’s a blessing just to be up there with those names,” Williams said. “Those are legends.”

3. C.J. Stroud had pedestrian numbers.

Ohio State’s quarterback entered averaging 305.5 passing yards and four touchdown passes per game, but he had to settle for about half those numbers with Rutgers opting to keep two safeties deep to try to avoid giving up big plays.

“From my perspective, I mean, we won,” he said after completing 13 of 22 passes for 154 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. “I don’t really care. I think their goal as a defense was to not let our pass game win. And so we ran the ball.”

4. There was nearly a fight late in the fourth quarter.

OSU punter Jesse Mirco almost started something when he took it upon himself to take off instead of punt the ball when he saw open field in front of him. A scrum formed along the Ohio State sideline after he absorbed a big late hit from Rutgers return man Aron Cruickshank, and both coaches appeared to exchange words.

Cruickshank was ejected and both coaches assessed personal fouls, but Day said he maintains high respect for Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and there were no hard feelings.

“Just one coach defending their side, one coach defending theirs,” Day said.

5. Ohio State still has some injury concerns — but apparently plenty of depth.

The Buckeyes played the whole game without their top receiver (Jaxon Smith-Njigba), top running back (TreVeyon Henderson) and top cornerback (Cam Brown).

When any of them might return remains to be seen, but their fill-ins were more than up to the task.

Williams was the star of the game, but Julian Fleming continued to make good on extra playing time by catching four passes for 51 yards and a score. JK Johnson drew a second straight start at corner and was credited with a pair of tackles.

They also lost starting nickel safety Tanner McCalister, whose backup (Cam Martinez) was already out. That pressed true freshman Kye Stokes into action, and he appeared to acquit himself well on first viewing.

Day had no update on McCalister yet and said Henderson’s issue crept up in pregame warmups without going into detail.

Stat of the game

Williams managed more yards than Rutgers as a team. The Scarlet Knights ran for 107 yards and passed for 80 while Williams ran for 189 and had three yards receiving.

Game ball

Williams is the easy choice. He carried the load and seemed to find extra yards with sharp cuts on a variety of runs.



Ohio State at Michigan State, 4 p.m., ABC, 1410

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