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sadly: the game between ohio state and rutgers was suspended by the..

Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#333 Ohio State vs.
#334 Rutgers
 Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 12:00pm EDT
 Written by Mark Ruelle

The undefeated No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes travel to New Jersey to take on the surprising 6-2 Rutgers Scarlet Knights in what will likely be their toughest test before their showdown with Michigan in three weeks.

The Buckeyes are 8-0 and in line for a spot in the College Football playoffs if they win out to close the season.

The Scarlet Knights are 5-2 on the season and come in with a two-game winning streak. The opening kick for this Big Ten showdown is scheduled for 12:00 PM EST.

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The Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, survived a physical and tightly fought contest in Wisconsin on Saturday night, taking down the Badgers 24-10 to improve to 8-0 on the season.

The Buckeyes are now 5-0 in the Big Ten as well as they inch closer to their epic matchup with Michigan in three weeks.

“I mentioned to the team as we were watching some teams play at noon, you’ve got to bring it every week,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said postgame. “You have one bad day and your season’s ruined. Winning is not something we’re entitled to.”

Quarterback Kyle McCord was solid once again after completing 17-of-26 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Both of McCord’s touchdowns went to All-American wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison finished with six catches for 123 yards. The Buckeyes running attack was led by running back TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson ran 24 times for 162 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Ohio State had 407 yards of total offense in the win and had 23 first downs in a game they never trailed.

The Buckeyes’ defense continued their masterful play in Wisconsin. They held the Badgers to just 10 points and just 259 yards of total yards. Tommy Eichenberg led the way with seven tackles and Jack Sayer added six tackles.

Wisconsin was held to just 14 first downs in the game overall including just 94 yards on the ground. The Buckeyes had four tackles for loss including two sacks and had one turnover in the game on a fumble recovery.

Ohio State comes into this contest with the 41st-best offense in the nation. The Buckeyes are 81st in rushing and 24th in passing.

The Buckeyes have been effective on third down, ranked 33rd in the country in conversions. They are 66th in red zone offense. Defensively, Ohio State is fourth in the country in total defense

They are 15th against the run and a dominant 3rd in the country against the pass. The Buckeyes are 19th in the nation in red zone defense and sixth in the nation in preventing third-down conversions. Ohio State is middle of the pack in sacks per game, ranking 68th in the country.

The Buckeyes have had some turnover issues this season, ranked 81st in the nation in turnover differential. They are also having difficulties with unforced errors, ranking 92nd in the nation in penalties per game.

 

Injury Report: WR E. Egbuka (leg), and TE J. Royer (undisclosed) are questionable. RB M. Williams (undisclosed), QB D. Brown (ankle), RB T. Caffey (knee), WR J. Mitchell (undisclosed), WR K. Grayes (undisclosed), S J. Bonsu (undisclosed), and WR N. Baudo (undisclosed) are all out.

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Can the Knights Keep on Streaking

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights won their second straight game on Saturday in a 31-14 road win at Indiana. Rutgers is not 5-2 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten play this season.

More importantly, the Scarlet Knights are now bowl-eligible with the win as they prepare for their biggest home game of the season against the Buckeyes. With the game tied at 14, Rutgers scored the game’s final 17 points to pick up the win.

“I’m really proud of our team. We went out and played complimentary football today in all three phases.

Something that I didn’t make a big deal about because I didn’t want our players thinking about it, but that’s eight straight weeks. The last two or three teams we have played had byes, and our kids just kept working.

You could see that it was taking a collective toll on them, but they just kept going. We tried to cut a little here, cut a little there, but the reality is that they had to get the work.

We are not at the point where you can miss stuff and still be good enough to win. I’m really proud of the way that they worked through eight straight weeks and were able to win on the road. It’s big.” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said after the game.

 

As has been often the case this season, Rutgers was led by its ground attack. They rushed for a Big Ten school record of 276 yards in the game led by quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and his 143 yards rushing.

The 143 yards were the most in school history by a quarterback. Running back Kyle Monongai added 109 yards rushing. In all, the Scarlet Knights had 315 yards of total offense and went 3-for-3 in the red zone.

On the defensive end, Rutgers held Indiana to just 279 yards of total offense. The Scarlet Knights forced one turnover on a fumble and grounded the Indiana air attack, holding them to just 126 yards passing

They had two tackles for loss in the game and an impressive nine passes broken up in the game.

Rutgers comes into this massive homecoming game against Ohio State with just the 113th-ranked total offense in the nation.

The Scarlet Knights are 50th rushing the football but just 123rd in the nation through the air. They are 69th in third-down conversions and 82nd in the red zone.

On the defensive end, the Scarlet Knights have been outstanding this season. They are 13th in total defense this season.

Rutgers is 40th against the run and an even more impressive 9th against the pass. Rutgers is 76th in the country in sacks per game and 24th in preventing 3rd down conversions.

The Scarlet Knights are 77th in red zone defense.

 

Greg Schiano’s group has been very good in the intangibles this season. The team is 17th in the country in turnover differential, which is critical to a team that runs the ball so often

They are also 22nd in penalties per game, another critical category for a team that can’t afford to be behind the chains.

Injury Report: DL R. Konga (undisclosed) is questionable. WR C. Long (upper body), OL T. Needham (knee), and OL J. De Croce (undisclosed) are out.

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This is undoubtedly the biggest home game of the season for the Scarlet Knights as they prepare for Ohio State.

A win catapults Rutgers into a more quality bowl position with a win over a Top Ten school. Here’s the problem: it’s not going to happen.

The best comp for this game is Rutgers’ previous loss to #2 Michigan by the score of 30-7. Granted that game was played at Michigan but the Wolverines controlled the tempo and kept the Rutgers ground game in check.

Fast forward to this Saturday and the Rutgers 50th-ranked ground game has to contend with a red-hot Ohio State defense that is 15th in the nation against the run.

The only slight advantage Rutgers may have in the game is the status of Ohio State’s quarterback McCord.

He comes into this matchup a bit banged up and that may relegate the Buckeyes to more of a running team.

Unfortunately for Rutgers, RB Henderson is running very well and is the team’s featured back now that Williams is out.

Rutgers is 40th in the nation against the run but Ohio State’s offensive line is certainly the second-best they’ve faced all season.

Michigan was able to gain over 200 yards against Rutgers’ rush defense while also being held to 88 yards by the stout Michigan defense.

Certainly, Rutgers has produced a solid team this year that deservedly earned a bowl slot with a perfect 5-0 record at home.

They are, however, comfortably in the second tier of Big Ten schools behind the two superpowers that are Michigan and Ohio State. That will show through on Saturday in what is a relatively modest line.

Take Ohio State -18.5

Prediction: Ohio State -18.5

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