Ohio State Debases Rutgers, 52-3, For Another Blowout Win Over Scarlet Knights

By Dan Hope on September 8, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Ohio State’s fifth game against Rutgers didn’t look much different than its first four.

For the fifth year in a row since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten, Ohio State was dominant on both sides of the ball en route to another lopsided victory, this time by a final score of 52-3.

  1 2 3 4 F
OHIO STATE 14 21 10 7 52
RUTGERS 0 0 3 0 3
Box Score

Ohio State’s offense scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions of the game, while the Buckeyes’ defense held Rutgers scoreless on each of its first eight possessions.

Like last week’s season opener against Oregon State, Dwayne Haskins and Ohio State’s offense got off to a hot start again on Saturday, scoring a touchdown on their opening possession when Haskins found Johnnie Dixon on a 38-yard strike to the end zone.

Haskins followed that up with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell on Ohio State’s third possession, and a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Luke Farrell on the Buckeyes’ fourth possession, to put the home team up 21-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.

On the Buckeyes’ fifth possession of the game, they gave Tate Martell an opportunity to quarterback the first-team offense, just like they did against Oregon State. Unlike the season opener, however – when Martell stayed in for just two plays before being replaced by Haskins – Martell was left in the game on third-and-long this time, and took advantage of his opportunity, throwing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin for the first touchdown pass of his career.

Haskins returned to the game on the Buckeyes’ following possession to lead Ohio State on another touchdown drive, capped by a 2-yard J.K. Dobbins run, to put Ohio State up 35-0 before halftime.

Ohio State’s defense held Rutgers to just 45 yards of offense in the first half, forcing the Scarlet Knights to punt on each of their first six possessions. The Scarlet Knights finally crossed midfield for the first time on their seventh possession of the game, but that drive ended with Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski throwing an interception to Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield.

Haskins continued his assault on Rutgers’ defense on the opening possession of the second half, connecting again with Dixon on a deep ball – this time for a 44-yard touchdown – to extend Ohio State’s lead to 42-0 just two minutes and 11 seconds into the third quarter.

Following that drive, Haskins and the first-team offense were taken out of the game in favor of Martell and the second-team offense.

Haskins finished the game with 20 completions on 23 passing attempts for 233 yards and four touchdowns.

The Scarlet Knights finally scored against Ohio State for the first time in three years with 8:02 to play in the third quarter, when Justin Davidovicz made a 41-yard field goal to eliminate the possibility of the Buckeyes earning a third straight shutout.

Rutgers never scored again in Saturday's game, though, as the Buckeyes held the Scarlet Knights to just 134 yards. Nick Bosa led Ohio State with five total tackles, including three tackles for loss.

Sean Nuernberger made his first field goal of the season, from 21 yards out, to extend the Buckeyes’ lead back to 45-3 before the end of the third quarter.

Ohio State   Opponent
32 1st DOWNS 12
4-4 RED ZONE 0-0
9-14 3rd DOWNS 4-15
0-0 4th DOWNS 0-0
11-120 PENALTIES 7-72
31:37 POSSESSION 28:23

After Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade picked off Rutgers backup quarterback Giovanni Rescigno for the first interception of his career, Martell was briefly knocked out of the game when he took a big hit on the sideline from Rutgers safety Damon Hayes. Martell was able to return to the field after missing just one play, however, and two plays later, Martell showed what he could do with his feet by running 47 yards for a touchdown, extending Ohio State's lead to 52-3 with 8:18 to play.

Martell finished the game with 95 rushing yards on eight attempts, while he also completed all 10 of his passing attempts for 121 yards.

Combined, Ohio State's quarterbacks completed 30 of 33 passing attempts for 354 yards and five touchdowns.

In five meetings between the teams in five years, Ohio State has now outscored Rutgers by a cumulative total of 271 to 27, winning all five games.

Ohio State will look to improve to 3-0 when it heads to Arlington, Texas next Saturday to play TCU at AT&T Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for after 8 p.m.

Game Notes

  • Saturday's win was the 900th win in Ohio State history.
  • Parris Campbell, Nick Bosa, Terry McLaurin and Jordan Fuller served as the game captains for Saturday's coin toss.
  • Fuller made his first start of the season at safety after missing the season opener with a hamstring injury.
  • Wade lined up as the Buckeyes' first-team nickel cornerback on Saturday, checking in to play on Ohio State's second defensive play of the game and continuing to play in that role throughout the first half.
  • Mike Weber made his first start since 2016 at running back, while Rashod Berry made his first career start at tight end.
  • Demario McCall started the game at punt returner after being held out until the second half of last week's game. McCall was only on the field for two punt returns, however, after failing to field either of them cleanly.
  • Dixon and McCall each returned one kickoff for the Buckeyes.
  • Farrell's touchdown reception and Sheffield's interception were the first of their careers.
  • Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Gavin Cupp saw the first playing time of his Ohio State career in the third quarter, lining up at left guard with the second-team offense. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Ellijah Gardiner saw the first playing time of his career on the same series.
  • The announced attendance for Saturday's rainy game at Ohio Stadium was 93,057, marking the first time since Ohio State's 2002 game against Kent State that the attendance was lower than 100,000.
  • Members of Ohio State's 1973 football team, which went 10-0-1 – finishing the season with an identical record as Michigan after tying the Wolverines that season – were honored during a second-quarter timeout at Ohio Stadium.
  • Ohio State's 10 new inductees into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, including former Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis, were honored at halftime.
  • Chase Young, who recorded two sacks in Saturday's game, was disqualified during the fourth quarter after picking up his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game for running out onto the field after Wade's interception. Young will not be suspended for the first half of next week's game, however, because his penalties were not personal fouls.
  • Graduate transfer quarterback Chris Chugunov made his Ohio State debut in the fourth quarter.
  • Several walk-ons, including Mitch Rossi, Tate Duarte, Garyn Prater and Sam Wiglusz, also had the opportunity to make their debuts on Ohio State's offense in the fourth quarter, along with freshman H-back Jaelen Gill.
  • Ohio State is now 22-2 over the last seven years in the month of September.
  • Haskins and Martell completed 90.9 percent of their passes on Saturday, tying the second-best single-game team completion percentage in program history (minimum 8 attempts). Ohio State completed 10-of-11 passes against UCLA in 1961 and all eight passes at Iowa in 1975.
  • Saturday was the fourth two-touchdown game of Dixon's career.
  • Bosa's three tackles for loss tied his career-high (2017 vs. UNLV).
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