PISCATAWAY, N.J. (WCMH) — The No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes improved to 9-0 on the season after a 35-16 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium.
OSU struggled in the first half with their lone score being a touchdown catch for backup tight end Gee Scott Jr. in the first quarter. Rutgers capitalized on a trick play, botched Buckeyes punt, and Kyle McCord interception to score three field goals in the second quarter.
The Scarlet Knights 9-7 halftime lead certainly sparked upset thoughts for coach Greg Schiano’s side but the OSU defense buried Rutgers momentum. On the first drive of the third quarter, Rutgers drove down the field and near the red zone, a throw from quarterback Gavin Wimsatt deflected into the hands of OSU’s Jordan Hancock.
Hancock returned the interception 93 yards for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes back a lead they did not look back on. The second half was dominated by TreVeyon Henderson who answered his monster game against Wisconsin with another huge game in Piscataway.
The star running back bursted through open holes both on the ground and his biggest play came as a 65-yard catch and run. That drive ended with Marvin Harrison Jr.’s first of two short touchdown catches in a game the Heisman-candidate only had four catches for 35 yards.
Henderson ended the day with 208 all-purpose yards with 128 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards. Despite losing, Rutgers’ offense outgained Ohio State’s with 361 total yards to the Buckeyes’ 328, completing the most successful game for the Scarlet Knights ever against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will return to Columbus to play Michigan State on Nov. 11 to attempt to go 10-0. That game will broadcast in primetime on NBC4 with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. OSU will discover if they keep their No. 1 spot in the playoff rankings on Tuesday night.
A live game thread can be seen below.
- Buckeyes punt on opening drive: Ohio State went three-and-out to begin the game as the Rutgers defense held the Buckeyes to just seven yards on the drive.
- Rutgers also goes three-and-out to start: Starting on their own 30-yard-line, Rutgers gained six yards on a Kyle Monangai rush on 3rd and 11. On the ensuing punt, the snap was low which caused punter Flynn Appleby to rush his kick as OSU approached for a block. OSU started the next drive on their own 46.
- OSU’s Gee Scott Jr. scores first TD: TreVeyon Henderson was dominant on the short-field drive and took advantage of great blocking, running for 26 yards. Egbuka got his first catch in nearly a month on a crossing route before tight end Gee Scott Jr. caught Kyle McCord’s throw in coverage for a 14-yard touchdown. Scott fought the corner for his 2nd career TD. Ohio State 7, Rutgers 0
- Rutgers can’t get first down again: Ohio State’s defense stayed strong for Rutgers’ second drive as the Scarlet Knights gained seven yards on three plays.
- Sack on McCord stifles Buckeyes momentum: After gaining 24 yards on the first four plays of the drive, Rutgers’ Mohamed Toure got to McCord for a sack that sent OSU back nine yards. The Buckeyes punted as McCord continued his perfect start passing, ending the drive 9/9 for 55 yards.
- Scarlet Knights still can’t get going: Despite a third straight drive of three plays, Rutgers did gain eight yards on the drive to improve from seven on the second drive and six from the first drive.
- Buckeyes punt after 4th down conversion: Rutgers blitzed on a 3rd and 7 but McCord kept calm and found Egbuka, who missed the first down by a yard. Henderson on 4th and 1 helicoptered right on the first down marker and got it by the nose of the football. OSU then could not keep the drive going as McCord threw his first two incompletions, leading to a third Buckeyes punt.
- Trick 4th down play leads to Rutgers FG: Rutgers got their maiden first down of the game as quarterback Gavin Wimsatt ran for 14 yards. After not converting a 3rd down, Rutgers ran a “fumblerooski”-esque trick play on 4th and 1 as Wimsatt received the snap, put the ball under his legs to give to Monangai, who ran for 45 yards. Kicker Jai Patel kicked a field goal from 22 yards out for the first score for the home team. Rutgers 3, Ohio State 7
- OSU fails on punt run play: After a three-and-out that included a dropped pass by Scott Jr., the Buckeyes pulled out a surprise play of its own. Punter Jesse Mirco was set to punt but ran instead and could not convert, giving Rutgers a short-field on the next drive.
- Rutgers cuts deficit to one-point: The Scarlet Knights took advantage of the botched OSU punt and looked prime to take the lead. OSU’s defense then had a goal-line stand to force a 21-yard field goal by Patel. Rutgers 6, Ohio State 7
- McCord picked off: Kyle McCord threw his fourth interception of the season with less than two minutes in the quarter, putting Rutgers in OSU territory to end the half.
- Third Rutgers field goal gives them lead at half: A phenomenal second quarter for Rutgers ended with a third field goal from Patel from less than 25 yards. Stunningly, the Scarlet Knights ended the first half ahead of the top-ranked Buckeyes. Rutgers 9, Ohio State 7
Passing: (OSU) Kyle McCord (12/16, 80 yards, TD, INT) – (RUT) Gavin Wimsatt (4/12, 42 yards)
Rushing: (OSU) TreVeyon Henderson (11 carries, 51 yards) – (RUT) Kyle Monangai (12 carries, 93 yards)
Receiving: (OSU) Gee Scott Jr. (2 catches, 23 yards, TD) – (RUT) Christian Dremel (2 catches, 16 yards)
Total Yards: Ohio State (128) – Rutgers (170)
Turnovers: Ohio State (1) – Rutgers (0)
3rd down efficiency: Ohio State (0/5) – Rutgers (1/7)
- Ohio State scores on Pick-Six to retake lead: Rutgers began the second-half with its best drive of the game and got all the way to the Buckeyes 20. On a 2nd and 7 play, Wimsatt threw a pass on a fake read and his pass was tipped and intercepted by OSU’s Jordan Hancock, who ran it back 93 yards for a touchdown. Ohio State 14, Rutgers 9
- OSU defense stops Rutgers after INT TD: The pick-six completly turned the tables of momentum back to Ohio State. The defense stopped Rutgers from getting near the red zone for the first time since the first quarter. On the previous drive, OSU’s star safety Josh Proctor took a hard hit and was evaluated for an injury.
- Henderson TD opens Buckeyes lead: After a long rest, the Buckeyes offense put together its best scoring drive. McCord found Carnell Tate for two big completions, eventually leading to a nine-yard TD run from TreVeyon Henderson, who rushed for 33 yards on the drive. Ohio State 21, Rutgers 9
- Rutgers responds with first TD: The Scarlet Knights turned the tables after being shutout in the third quarter by scoring their first touchdown. Rutgers drove down the field with the passing game and ended the drive with a Wimsatt 19-yard TD pass to JaQuae Jackson, who had a tussle with OSU’s Davison Igbinosun during the catch. Rutgers 16, Ohio State 21
- Long Henderson catch and run sets up Harrison TD: Ohio State faced a 3rd and 9 on the drive and McCord dumped a throw to Henderson who sprinted for a 65-yard gain to surpass 160 all-purpose yards. That set up a lob TD pass from McCord to Marvin Harrison Jr., the ninth time they have combined for a score this year. Ohio State 28, Rutgers 16
- 4th down sack ends scoreless Rutgers drive: The Scarlet Knights put together another decent drive moving down the field. Near the goal line on 3rd down, Wimsatt threw a high pass to Ian Strong who almost caught it for a touchdown. On an attempted 4th down conversion, Wimsatt was sacked by Ty Hamilton.
- Buckeyes punt: TreVeyon Henderson eclipsed over 100 rushing yards on the drive but Ohio State ended the drive with a punt.
- Rutgers goes three-and-out as game approaches end: The Scarlet Knights also went three-and-out deep in their own territory to give Ohio State a very short-field.
- Harrison Jr. catches second touchdown to ice game: The Buckeyes iced the game with a short 17-yard drive that ended in Harrison Jr.’s second touchdown catch of the day. Ohio State 35, Rutgers 16