It's a good day when your backup quarterback goes 10-10 for 121 yards and a touchdown through the air (plus another score on the ground).
To be frank, the Buckeyes dominated for the large part. When you allow just three (3) points in a football game, you're generally going to come out on top, and the Buckeyes did just that.
It wasn't a big time opponent, but it was an Ohio State win, the Buckeyes are 2-0, and we'll take it.
The Short Story
This went about as expected. Ohio State dispatched Rutgers fairly quickly. The Buckeyes went up 35-0 through two quarters and then largely coasted in the second half. Ohio State went on to win 52-3. Rutgers finally scored on Ohio State in the third quarter, snapping a 10-quarter scoreless streak by Rutgers against Ohio State.
Ohio State opened up the air attack on Saturday yet again, with Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell combining to throw for 354 yards and five touchdowns.
Haskins obviously started the game and was 20-23 (87%) for 233 yards and four scores, while Martell was a perfect 10-10 for 121 yards and one touchdown, which was this beautiful pass right here.
The Buckeyes did a great job of getting the ball to their most explosive athletes in space. The rushing attack was also quite potent: Ohio State rushed for a combined 242 yards on 40 carries, led by Martell who scampered for 90, including a 47-yard touchdown that went as the only score of the 4th quarter by either team.
Freshmen Master Teague and Brian Snead also saw action, recording a combined nine carries for 37 yards.
Mini Milestones: J.K. Dobbins found the end zone for the first time this season, and Binjimen Victor recorded his first catch of the year.
Nick Bosa is so good. Seriously, enjoy watching him while you can. The guy is unbelievable. Rutgers left tackle Tariq Cole mentioned before the game that Bosa hadn't gotten a sack off him, and he intended to keep it that way.
Instead, he nearly got his quarterback killed.
There were some rumblings that Sitkowski may have suffered a significant injury. He was spotted on the sidelines in a black sweatsuit for the second half, but coach Chris Ash insisted he would be alright.
Ohio State's secondary also played much better than they did a week ago. The Buckeyes allowed just 65 yards through the air, and recorded two interceptions: one by Kendall Sheffield, and the other by Shaun Wade, his first.
Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?
Offense: Tate Martell
It was a really nice afternoon for Martell, who went 10-10 for 121 yards and the aforementioned touchdown, plus this long scamper on the ground.
Don't knock @TheTateMartell down to the turf.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 8, 2018
It was a really strong performance from Martell in his first "major" playing time.
Defense: Nick Bosa
Bosa earns a Buckeye leaf for the second straight week, as he rolled to the tune of two sacks (including the one that you saw above) plus three tackles for loss.
Earlier in the week, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller called Bosa the early favorite to be the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and if he continues this level of play, that will certainly be a strong possibility.
I have to give honorable mention honors to Chase Young and Shaun Wade, both of whom had strong performances.
Tate Martell was... really good.
For a quarterback not exactly known for his impeccable arm, he looked pretty damn nice throwing the football.
"That was the first time I really got to go out there and throw the ball and throw in rhythm," Martell said after the game.
"I know what I'm doing when I'm out there, which is a huge difference than what it was last year, when I was going out, like in practice, I was kind of second-guessing myself, where this year I know exactly what I'm doing. I know protection and stuff like that, and just a whole different ballgame now. I mean for me at least."
Martell also added this on Twitter after the fact:
Two things I forgot to mention in my interview:
1. Coach Day has made me such a better player since I got to OSU. Best coach Ive ever been around.
2. Dwayne makes me a better quarterback. Hes as gifted of a player at quarterback that Ive seen. He pushes me to get better.
— TATE MARTELL (@TheTateMartell) September 9, 2018
Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment
Believe it or not, members of the 11W staff sometimes look at comments... and sometimes you guys get what you ask for! Let's bring back JTLFM.
With Youngstown State in Morgantown for an inevitable shellacking at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers, Jim and Ellen Tressel decided to cozy up on the couch and watch the Buckeyes take on the Scarlet Knights.
Ellen just wanted something light to eat, so the pair headed to Perkins for some brunch. After a wonderful meal, the pair headed back home so Jim could get some reading done before settling in to watch the Buckeyes.
Ohio State promptly scored a touchdown to open the game, before the Buckeyes went three-and-out on their second possession, forcing Drue Chrisman on the field.
With Tress on the edge of his seat, Chrisman bombed a 46-yard punt, and Jim smiled with approval.
Things would continue to go well from there... until Chrisman's last punt: a 32-yarder.
Jim was unamused. He remarked, "I've watched this entire game, an absolute blowout, and the punter can't even boot it more than 32 freaking yards?"
It will take a while, but I think Tress will recover in time to watch the Buckeyes take on the Horned Frogs next week... if he can stay up that late.
Yes, he got ejected. I don't care. He had two sacks (and a forced fumble. That ball was out) and looked really good.
Here's a video of that not-called fumble.
Chase Young.. my goodness. 2H swipe, the footwork and hips turning the corner.. whew pic.twitter.com/oCrqWNTQ9x
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) September 8, 2018
Mike Weber only had 36 rushing yards, and J.K. Dobbins only had 73, but the Buckeyes still put up 52 points, and looked really fluid while doing so.
It Was Over When
After the Buckeyes opened the game with a score, you could sense that Rutgers wasn't going to do anything themselves. And that held true, as the Buckeyes scored 52 points and Rutgers scored 3.
Biggest Question Going Forward
Ohio State continues to have a "time-share" approach when it comes to running backs.
Last week against Oregon State, we saw Mike Weber run all over the Beavers, while J.K. Dobbins got the bulk of the carries this week.
Both guys are elite, so perhaps Ohio State will just ride the hot hand each game and see what happens?
I don't think I'm opposed to that strategy.