Despite the pre-season, off-the-field questions surrounding Ohio State, the Buckeyes got off to the start that fans expected of them: A dominant win over Oregon State. Now, Ryan Day enters his first conference matchup as head coach as the Buckeyes take on Rutgers in Columbus.
Ohio State sits as a 35-point favorite over the Scarlet Knights, according to Bovada, who finished fifth in the Big Ten East standings last year (just behind Michigan, coincidentally). The Buckeyes have spent the last two seasons and beyond beating down on Rutgers, shutting out Chris Ash’s teams by 50-plus points in 2016 and 2017. As Ash enters his third season in Piscataway, however, he is looking to break the streak and finally get some points on the board against his former team.
It’ll be an uphill battle, however, While Ohio State is still breaking in Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, he didn’t show many serious flaws or discomfort in his debut against the Beavers last week. He also has the support of a serious run game in the combination of Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins. And obviously the ever-present threat of a shutdown defense which, despite giving up a number of big plays last week, still boasts one of the best defensive lines in college football.
Rutgers, meanwhile, comes to Columbus with a Week 1 win under its belt—a 35-7 victory over Texas State last week. Like Ohio State, the Scarlet Knights are continuing to develop their own first-year quarterback in true freshman Artur Sitkowski, who had a promising first game last week. Also like his Ohio State counterparts, Sitkowski will have the support of a running game with running back Raheem Blackshear and a veteran offensive line. However, that line will have the tall order of protecting Sitkowski from one of the likes of Nick Bosa and Chase Young on the other side.
The matchup may be closer than it has been in recent years, but it still looks to favor the Buckeyes, and will be a solid test for Haskins and company as they prepare for TCU next week.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m.
Location: Columbus, OH
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Where is GameDay this weekend?
After opening last weekend in South Bend for the Notre Dame-Michigan game, College GameDay is heading to College Station to see No. 2 Clemson take on Texas A&M. While on the surface this looks like a one-sided non-conference matchup, the game actually pits Dabo Swinney against former ACC foe Jimbo Fisher, who is in his first season at the helm of the Aggies. This weekend will mark the sixth time GameDay has travelled to Texas A&M.
What’s the rest of the Big Ten up to today?
Ohio State and Rutgers are the only two teams squaring off in Big Ten play this weekend, but there is no shortage of intriguing out-of-conference matchups to go around. At noon, Duke travels to Northwestern (ESPNU), New Mexico to No. 5 Wisconsin (BTN), Western Michigan to No. 21 Michigan (FS1) and Eastern Michigan to Purdue (BTN). At 3:30 p.m., Nebraska is scheduled to open its season against Colorado on ABC after the Huskers’ week one matchup versus Akron was cancelled due to weather. At 5 p.m. Iowa takes on Iowa State in the intrastate battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy on FOX. Maryland then kicks off at 6 p.m. against Bowling Green on ESPN+. In a slew of 7:30 p.m. games, Indiana faces Virginia in Bloomington on BTN, Illinois plays Western Illinois, also on BTN and Fresno State travels to Minnesota on FS1. In primetime, No. 13 Penn State faces intrastate rival Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. on ABC. Capping off the Big Ten slate, No. 15 Michigan State travels to Tempe to take on Arizona State at 10:45 p.m. on ESPN.
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State-Rutgers Game Thread. Be respectful, be kind and as always, keep it classy. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s get the Big Ten season going strong. Go Bucks.