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Football: OSU routs Rutgers, runs away with victory

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Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce dotted the “i” during Script Ohio to open the day’s action at Ohio Stadium, but it was the Buckeyes’ offense that stole the show against Rutgers. After a slow start by both sides, No. 2 OSU dominated the game in all aspects, topping the Scarlet Knights 58-0.

Rutgers received the opening kickoff and started to march down the field against the Silver Bullets, but an untimely mistake on a trick play quickly stalled the drive. A fumbled lateral pushed the Scarlet Knights backwards before having to punt.

After Rutgers’ opening drive, it was all OSU.

Led by redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes could not be stopped during the first half, amassing 360 yards and four touchdowns during the first two quarters. Barrett was responsible for all four of those touchdowns, connecting with a different Buckeye receiver in the end zone each time.

During the first quarter, Rutgers redshirt senior linebacker Greg Jones was carted from the field after a helmet-to-helmet hit. Although a scary moment in the game, ESPN’s Austin Ward reported that Jones had feeling in all extremities and was communicating with trainers on the field, per a Rutgers team spokesperson.

Barrett connected with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terry McLaurin and redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh for touchdowns in the second quarter, tying and then breaking the OSU career passing touchdowns record of 57 previously held by Bobby Hoying. Connecting on one more touchdown in the second half, Barrett has now thrown for 59 touchdowns in just 27 games.

“I’m a Ohio State fan. So I know all the great quarterbacks at Ohio State, all the great players,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said. “And to see J.T. Barrett throw 60 in 21 starts, averaging almost three touchdowns per game, and that’s just incredible feat when you consider the school that he broke that at.”

Meyer mentioned 60 touchdowns thrown by Barrett, although his total currently stands at 59. However, much like Meyer said, there is still plenty of football to be played, which will likely lead to Barrett further increasing his number.

The poise and maturity shown by Barrett shows, and his teammates are quick to mention just how much influence he has on the Buckeyes.

“His leadership; when J.T. talks, everybody listens,” McLaurin said. “His command of the huddle; He didn’t like our before the game but he came at us and I feel that’s what got us off to a pretty good start.”

Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber exploded in the first half for 91 yards rushing, averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Weber benefitted from a consistent push on the right side of the offensive line by sophomore tackle Isaiah Prince.

Junior H-back Curtis Samuel continued to be a dynamic threat, amassing 129 total yards in the first half. Once again leading the Buckeyes in receiving, the junior picked up his first score to close out the first half on a 5-yard touchdown reception.

Much like the first three games of the year, OSU’s defense smothered the opposing offense. Rutgers failed to produce more than 100 yards in the first half, ending each one of its first half drives in its own territory.

Rutgers junior quarterback Chris Laviano was put under constant pressure, and was sacked two times. Connecting on just 25 percent of his passes, Laviano did not produce a touchdown for Rutgers.

Laviano was replaced by true freshman quarterback Tylin Oden in the third quarter. The Columbia, Tennessee, native did not fair much better, finishing the game without a pass completion.

Weber recorded his best game as a Buckeye to date, churning out 144 yards on the ground and picking up a touchdown on a 46-yard carry. Even with an outstanding output by the Detroit, Meyer jokingly critiqued his running back on a breakaway run Weber was tripped up on.

“The guy we had last year would not have been caught,” Meyer said through a smile.

Barrett and Weber were replaced with four minutes remaining in the third quarter by redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow and freshman running back Demario McCall.

McCall’s second carry of the day resulted in a 20-yard scamper into the endzone, giving him his second career touchdown. Following in the footsteps of Weber, McCall finished the game with 85 yards.

Overall, OSU limited the Scarlet Knights to 116 total yards, and prevented Rutgers from finding the entering the red zone through all four quarters. The Buckeyes have now prevented an offensive touchdown in three of four games in 2016.

“Everybody’s making plays, and everybody’s having fun,” OSU junior defensive end Jayln Holmes said. “It’s an exciting feeling knowing that what we practice everyday actually works and be putting it on the field.”

The Buckeyes failed to record a turnover for the first time this season. However, the Scarlet and Gray have now produced 400 yards on offense in all four contests so far.

With a perfect 4-0 record overall, a 1-0 conference mark and a No. 2 AP ranking, the Buckeyes will return home next Saturday against Indiana at 3:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.


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