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Junior quarterback J.T. Barrett set an Ohio State record for career touchdowns, part of four-TD game, and the No. 2 Buckeyes opened Big Ten play in convincing manner with a 58-0 win Saturday against Rutgers at Ohio Stadium.
He threw four scores in first half with the third, a 16-yarder to sophomore tight end Marcus Baugh, breaking the mark of 57 he held with Bobby Hoying.
Barrett was 21 for 29 for 238 yards and an interception.
Freshman Mike Weber rushed for 145 yards on just 14 carries and had a 46-yard touchdown run in the third quarter in addition to a career-best 49-yard scamper late in the first quarter to electrify the homecoming crowd of 105,830.
Junior hybrid back Curtis Samuel did just that, gaining 68 yards on nine rushes and catching seven passes for 86.
The OSU (4-0, 1-0) defense, which did not score for the first time this season, has allowed 23 points and limited Rutgers (2-3, 0-2) to 116 total yards while the Buckeyes had 669, including 410 on the ground. OSU had 32 first downs and Rutgers 9.
For Rutgers head coach Chris Ash, the former OSU co-defensive coordinator, its wasn’t such a great return to Columbus in his first season leading the Scarlet Knights.
The overcast skies and early (for modern times) noon kickoff made for a dreary start for Barrett and the Buckeyes when a tipped pass was intercepted by Anthony Cioffi at the Rutgers 36 on OSU’s first possession.
But he recovered nicely to fire a TD pass to senior H-back Dontre Wilson in the first quarter then hit Terry McLaurin early in the second for a 13-0 lead before the record-setter to Baugh made it 23-0. Barrett added a 5-yard toss to Samuel with 11 seconds left before the half for a 30-0 lead.
Barrett opened the scoring at the 4:19 mark of the first as the Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0) traveled 61 yards in six plays. Facing a third-and-goal from the 18, Barrett scrambled out of the pocket then hit Wilson down the middle. Senior Tyler Durbin missed the extra point for a 6-0 lead.
OSU’s next possession stalled after 54 yards and Durbin kicked a 33-yard field with 14:11 to go in the second quarter. Weber had a 12-yard run on the next drive that resulted in Barrett hitting Terry McLaurin in the left corner from 14 yards for the sophomore receiver’s first TD as a Buckeye with 5:51 to go.
Barrett used his arms and legs on the ensuing possession. He found Samuel down the right sideline for a 24-yard gain on third-and-25. Barrett got the first down on the next play with a 4-yard run and later added 17 more on the ground before hitting Baugh for a 16-yard score with 2:27 remaining. Baugh caught the ball at the 5 and carried a defender with him until he was close enough to lunge across the line.
OSU wasn’t done in the half as Barrett rolled out and connected with Samuel from 5 yards just before halftime.
The sun came out in the third quarter as the Buckeyes continued to dominate. Less than three minutes in, Weber streaked down the left sideline to make it 37-0.
Rutgers could not move the ball and Barrett continued dissecting the Scarlet Knights’ defense with a 21-yard pass to Wilson to set up a 5-yard run off a reverse for the first TD by sophomore wide receiver Parris Campbell at 7:24 of the third.
Barrett exited the game a short time later for freshman Joe Burrow but it made no difference. Freshman backup running back Demario McCall burst outside and raced 20 yards for a 51-0 score with 3:36 left in the third. McCall finished with 85 yards on 10 carries.
Oft-injured sophomore receiver Johnnie Dixon finally got his first TD, running in from 5 yards with 13:50 to in the fourth to make it 58-0.