(3) Ohio State 8-0 (5-0) v. Rutgers 6-2 (3-2)
The Ohio State Buckeyes, the best team in college football (according to the CFP selection committee), heads to New Jersey for a scarlet showdown with Rutgers this Saturday, noon Eastern. The Buckeyes are currently ranked third in the polls under head coach Ryan Day as his offense continues to struggle to find the gas pedal. Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and his aggressive, at times, defense has not only kept the Bucks in games, they’ve been the difference maker. Ohio State tends to be an enigma as their offense is doing decently but not up to the standard of its rabid fan base. Still, the Bucks have climbed to the top of the playoff rankings, and although it is still early, they have the best resume in the nation, including two wins against top-ten teams and six wins coming from power-5 schools, all while holding every opponent to less than 20 points.
Rutgers has impressed this season as there-and-back-again, head coach Greg Schiano has once again built an impressively dominant defense. The Scarlet Knights come into this game 6-2 and bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014. They will need all the help they can get if they hope to contain the Buckeye offense, because their offensive gadget plays will do very little to surprise the Silver Bullet defense.
Date: Saturday, 11/4/23
Time: Noon, Eastern
Venue: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey (Capacity: 52,454)
Series: Ohio State leads 9-0
Last Meeting: Ohio State over Rutgers 49-10 (2022)
What to Watch For:
Luckily for the Buckeye faithful, receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and running back, TreVeyon Henderson have been able to do the heavy lifting on offense as quarterback Kyle McCord is still trying to find his rhythm. The best things McCord has going for him right now are his weapons and supreme self-confidence. It remains to be seen if receiver Emeka Egbuka returns to the fold, but if so, he would add a serious amount of concern for the Rutgers secondary. Backup running back Miyan Williams has been declared out for the rest of the season, allowing Dallan Hayden to get some meaningful reps.
Greg Schiano’s second stint in New Jersey is seeing similar results to the first run. His strength has always been sound defense, helping them to stay in games all season long and look impressive, but he will need something special to hang with the talent-laden Buckeye offense. On offense, quarterback Gavin Wimsatt has completed roughly half his passes with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Buckeyes hold a nine-game winning streak over the Scarlet Knights and want to make it ten. Both Rutgers and Ohio State have top-tier defenses, so the score should be lower than most expect. Ohio State should cruise to victory 28-10.
(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)