5 things we learned as Ohio State football dominated Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — It was another easy win as No. 11 Ohio State destroyed Rutgers, 56-0, on Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Here are five things we learned from the Buckeyes’ overwhelming victory over the Scarlet Knights:

Recruiting matters

Here are the four scores Ohio State has hung on Rutgers in the storied history of this series.

2014: Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17

2015: Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7

2016: Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0

2017: Ohio State 56, Rutgers 0

Pretty much the only thing as lopsided was the Buckeyes’ recruiting classes vs. Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have won some Big Ten games in this time — in 2014, they were 8-5 — but it hasn’t showed at all vs. Ohio State. That’s because the Buckeyes won this game in February when it continually amassed a massive talent advantage.

J.T. Barrett looks better

He’s still not perfect, but J.T. Barrett looked better against Rutgers than he has in any other game this season. Yes, it was just Rutgers. But good throws are good throws. He still has some flaws, like holding onto the ball too long. But he’s coming around as a passer, and he showed again what a weapon he is when it comes to deciding whether to keep or give up the ball. There’s work left to be done, but any criticism from Saturday is nothing more than nitpicking for the sake of being critical.

Dwayne Haskins is the backup

Joe Burrow was healthy enough to play almost the entire fourth quarter, so the injury appears to be past him. But it was still Dwayne Haskins who came out first for Ohio State when Barrett’s day was done. That’s going to be hard to undo, too, if game reps matter. By the time Burrow comes in, it’s generally been run-out-the-clock-with-handoffs time. He’s not going to have a chance to show what he can do if he’s just handing it off.

Throw the ball to Binjimen Victor

I’m not sure what else Binjimen Victor has to do to show he’s worth getting more throws his way, especially in the red zone. He’s a huge target, and he has shown he can come down with those 50-50 balls in the end zone. His touchdown catch Saturday was a great play — and one that only certain players can make. He’s one of them.

Demario McCall should play more 

Yes, his success has come in garbage time. And yes, there are talented players ahead of him on the depth chart. (More experienced ones, too.) But Ohio State owes it to itself to find out what it has with McCall by giving him some touches with the first-team offense when the game isn’t more than an hour past mattering. He’s so dynamic that he could be a weapon down the stretch, even if it’s just situationally. Not playing him earlier is a disservice to both the player and the team.

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