Rutgers vs. No. 11 Ohio State: Stock up, Stock down
The struggles continued for the Rutgers football team when it was beaten down at home by No. 11 Ohio State by a score of 56-0. The Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0) had their way with the Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-2) in every way imaginable, creating a game that never really felt interesting or in doubt.
It was mostly bad for Rutgers, but there were a couple of decent performances sprinkled into an otherwise ugly night on the Banks.
These players/coaches performed well and improved their stock.
Week in and week out, Martin continues to look like the best running back on the team. He took a screen pass 36 yards in the third quarter, nearly outrunning his down field blocking and had 9 carries for 37 yards. The Knights offense it at its best when it runs the ball well and Martin should be the feature back.
The graduate transfer punter had a great night against Ohio State. He had been inconsistent the first four weeks of the season, but was striking the ball well every punt. His best boot of the season came when he was rushed, took a hit, and pinned a 52-yard punt at the Buckeye 2-yard line. There was never concern about his leg strength, but some doubt as to whether he could consistently pin teams inside their own 10-yard line. He showcased both skills on Saturday night, averaging 46.7 yards per punt
These players/coaches did not perform well and need to show improvement.
It's really easy to criticize the Rutgers secondary for having a bad game, but it was already at a disadvantage with Blessuan Austin out with a torn ACL. Starting safeties Saquan Hampton and Kiy Hester both left with injuries, leading to converted wide receiver Rashad Blunt seeing his first game action -- at safety. JT Barrett would torch the Knights for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns, continuing his dominance against Rutgers and backup Dwayne Haskins had his way with the defense as well. The team needs to focus on healing up during the bye week in anticipation for a very winnable game at Illinois.
Ohio State got whatever it wanted on the ground. Barrett ran for 89 yards on just 10 carries before coming out early due to the lopsided score. The Buckeyes in total ran for 286 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Barrett also had two long runs, including one of 37 yards to set up the first Ohio State touchdown. Running back Mike Weber Jr. had 3 rushing touchdowns while JK Dobbins 53 yards in limited action, including a 34 yard burst in the first half.
Once again, the receivers did absolutely nothing to help out their quarterbacks. Sophomore Jawuan Harris let a ball go off his hands that led to Johnathan Lewis' first career interception. Later in the game, graduate transfer Damon Mitchell dropped a first down catch, leading to a Lewis interception on the next play. The unit struggled to get separation and had too many drops, which can't happen with a young quarterback in Lewis trying to get game experience. Harris also looked lost the entire night, as he seemed to be lacking effort on contested passes.