Five Things: Buckeyes Throttle Rutgers Early, Cruise to 56-21 Victory

By Chris Lauderback on November 17, 2019 at 10:00 am
Shaun Wade earned his first interception of the year in spectacular fashion against Rutgers.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State improved to 10-0 yesterday with a workmanlike 56-21 decision over lowly Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey. 

Ryan Day's squad raced out to a 35-7 halftime lead and made it 42-7 on the first possession of the second half before emptying the bench. 

Justin Fields set a new career-high in passing yards, J.K. Dobbins ran for two scores and Chris Olave posted a career-high 139 receiving yards as the Buckeyes racked up 594 total yards of offense. 

With the reserves on the field, things got sloppy but what matters is Ohio State emerged relatively healthy knowing Penn State and Michigan sit just over the horizon. 

Before we turn our attention to next week's showdown with the Nittany Lions, here are Five Things from yesterday's blowout of the Scarlet Knights. 


In his first season as a starting quarterback at the collegiate level, Justin Fields had yet to throw for more than the 234 yards he posted in Ohio State's season-opening win over Florida Atlantic. 

On Saturday, Fields threw for 241 yards in the first half on the way to 305 passing yards with 15-of-19 accuracy and four touchdowns. 

The four touchdown tosses - including three in the first 30 minutes - also tied a career-high while his 20.3 yards per completion set a new personal standard. 

Fields hit on seven passes of 15 yards or more including four to Chris Olave (16, 23, 42, 53). He also reeled off two different 13-yard runs. 

On the season, Fields now has 31 touchdown passes (with one interception) which stands as the fourth-most in a single-season in school history with plenty of games to play. 


Senior wide receiver Binjimen Victor had himself a day against the Scarlet Knights hauling in five passes on six targets for 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

Victor showcased nice hands and footwork on an 11-yard grab in the back left corner of the end zone giving Ohio State an early 14-0 lead. 

With a little over a minute left in the first half, Victor again hit paydirt via an easy 24-yard touchdown grab putting Ohio State in front 35-7.

Victor's five catches tied a career-high, last matched earlier this year against Cincinnati, and the 68 yards were his most since 79 against Michigan State. 

He also has touchdowns in back-to-back games (three total) after finding the end zone just twice in the previous six games. 


Ohio State entered yesterday's tilt as the nation's No. 6 ranked rush defense (88 ypg) while holding the opposition to just 2.5 yards per carry (No. 4 nationally). 

Interestingly, Rutgers rushed for 87 yards in the first half. The Scarlet Knights did so on 4.0 yards per carry but they came into the game averaging 3.5 yards a pop. 

The only reason I even included this as a thing is quarterback Johnny Langan running four times for 35 yards in the first half including a 21-yarder. 

That's notable because even though his stats as a Rutgers player were blah coming in, he was the team's second-leading rusher and did have some early success against the Buckeyes with runs of five, five and four yards in addition to that 21-yard jaunt off a nice fake to his tailback. 

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford is his team's second-leading rusher and he's carried the ball at least 10 times in five of the Nittany Lions' last six games. Clifford ran it 10 times for 55 yards and two touchdowns yesterday in a win over Indiana. 

Ohio State will have Chase Young back and obviously the intensity and focus will be on a much different level but how the Buckeyes contain Clifford on the run next week will be an interesting matchup to watch. 


Once a three-star prospect out of Walnut Ridge, Malik Harrison just keeps exceeding expectations and improving his draft stock. 

In one half of football yesterday, Harrison was all over the field registering six tackles, including five solos, with two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. 

All six of his stops kept Rutgers players from gaining more than four yards and his two tackles for loss cost the Scarlet Knights six yards. 

Harrison padded his team-lead in tackles, which now stands at 52, and his 12.5 tackles for loss are now just three shy of his teammate, Chase Young, aka college football's best overall player. 

The guy has been incredible all season long and his game seems to be peaking at the right time. 


Shaun Wade also played roughly a half of football and once again made his mark with three tackles, an interception and forced fumble. 

On the second play of the game, Wade picked off Langan by channeling his inner-Aaron Craft, defending the passing lane with his inside hand as if denying a small forward on the perimeter. 

Deflecting the ball into the air while falling down, Wade calmly looked up and cradled the ball for an interception, putting Ohio State's offense in business at the Rutgers 40 yard line. Four plays later it was 7-0 Buckeyes. 

On Rutgers' next offensive possession, Wade teamed with Jeff Okudah to force a Isaiah Washington fumble after a modest six-yard catch. Jordan Fuller pounced on the ball to again give Ohio State's offense the ball, this time at its own 40 yard line. Three plays later, it was 14-0 Buckeyes. 

Wade continues to lead the Buckeyes with seven pass breakups on the season and you'd be hard pressed to name a more talented nickel corner on any OSU defense in recent memory. 

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