Ohio State-Rutgers: Buckeyes jump out to early lead, cruise to 10th win

Credit: Hunter Martin

Credit: Hunter Martin

Ohio State improved to 10-0 with a 56-21 win over Rutgers.

Justin Fields threw for 305 yards, J.K. Dobbins ran for 89 and Chris Olave had 139 receiving for the second-ranked Buckeyes, who played reserves for most of the second half for the second week in a row.


Despite his team’s huge lead, Ohio State coach Ryan Day sent his starters back out to start the third quarter on offense.

That let Justin Fields pad his stats as he hit Chris Olave with a 42-yard fade pattern and then put one in the back of the end zone that tight end Luke Farrell reeled in while skirting the end line for Ohio State’s seventh touchdown of the day.

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It was Fields’ fourth touchdown pass of the day and gave him 31 on the season, good for fourth on the Ohio State single-season list. He passed Troy Smith’s 30 touchdown passes in his Heisman Trophy season of 2006 and trails J.T. Barrett (34 in 2014 and 35 in ’17) and Dwayne Haskins (50 in ’18).

Fields gave way to New Jersey native Chris Chugunov after that.

Chugunov hit Jake Hausmann for a 4-yard touchdown on his second possession at the controls to make it 49-7 Ohio State with 8:28 left in the third quarter.

Ohio State scored again midway through the fourth quarter when Jaelin Gill took a pass from Chugunov and ran through a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone, a play that covered 32 yards.

The Scarlet Knights struck again with 1:00 left in the third quarter when Johnny Langan connected with Bo Melton for a 45-yard touchdown.

They added another touchdown with 1:09 left on a quarterback sneak by Langan that was originally ruled a fumble recovered by Ohio State in the end zone.

Replay overturned the call, giving Rutgers the most points it has ever scored against the Buckeyes in one game and equaling the most points Ohio State has allowed this season. Florida Atlantic also scored 21 points in the opener against the Buckeyes.

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Ohio State’s win sets up a showdown that will essentially decide the Big Ten East representative to the Big Ten championship game.

Penn State comes to Columbus with a 6-1 mark in the conference, but a win over the Buckeyes would give them the tiebreaker if they avoid a massive upset at home against Rutgers in their season finale.

The eighth-ranked Nittany Lions held off Indiana at home Saturday 34-27.


Ohio State leads Rutgers 35-7 at halftime in Piscataway.

The game could have started worse for Rutgers, but not much.

The Scarlet Knights did not turn the ball over on the first play but did on the second when Shaun Wade deflected a ball to himself for an acrobatic interception.

That set up a 60-yard scoring drive that concluded with J.K. Dobbins bursting through a hole on the right side for an 18-yard touchdown.

With just 121 seconds off the clock, the expected rout appeared to be on.

Rutgers turned the ball over again on the second play of its second drive as Jeffrey Okudah hit Isaiah Washington to jar the ball loose after a short gain on a catch. Jordan Fuller recovered for Ohio State at the Rutgers 33, and two plays later the Buckeyes were in the end zone again as Justin Fields hit Binjimen Victor for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The Scarlet Knights actually managed a first down on their third drive but stalled out near midfield and had to punt.

Ohio State still scored with relative ease, but it took a little longer this time.

A 58-yard pass from Fields to Chris Olave was the key play in a seven-play, 91-yard drive that concluded with Dobbins rolling around left end from eight yards out to make it 21-0 with 6:00 minutes on the clock.

Rutgers got on the board late in the first quarter with the help of an Ohio State mistake.

Freshman receiver Garrett Wilson ran up to try to catch a punt in traffic and ended up muffing it to the Scarlet Knights, who took advantage three plays later with a 26-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Pacheco.

It was the first touchdown Ohio State has allowed in the first quarter this season, and the first Rutgers touchdown against the Buckeyes since 2015.

Ohio State did not wait long to respond, however, as Fields hit K.J. Hill for a 35-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

The beleaguered Rutgers defense stopped the Buckeyes on their next two possessions, but the Buckeyes struck again just before halftime as Fields found Victor again, this time from 24 yards out.

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Fields finished the first half 12-for-15 passing for 241 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 30 yards on three carries.

Dobbins ran for 89 yards on 17 carries while Hill had 62 yards on four catches, Victor had 60 yards on four catches and Olave had 97 yards on three catches.

Tuf Borland and Malik Harrison led Ohio State with six tackles apiece in the first half.

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