Outside of quarterback J.T. Barrett's interception, it would be hard to find a lot wrong with Ohio State's performance today. That being said, we give you our five takeaways from the Buckeyes big day on both sides of the ball.
1. Dynamic Duo
After a 2015 season in which the Ohio State offense appeared to be in cruise control, the duo of Ed Warinner and Tim Beck in the box has put the Buckeyes into the fast lane. OSU ran 48 plays from scrimmage in the first half, and put together one of the most balanced performances the Buckeyes have had this season. Ohio State ran 25 pass plays and had 23 rushes in the first half before running down the clock in a blowout in the second half. That balance, coupled with a veteran quarterback and center seem to be paying dividends for OSU.
2. Weber Continues To Improve
After solid opening season performances, Urban Meyer said he was hoping he would see running back Mike Weber break a few more runs. Weber finally did, exploding for rushes of 46 and 49 yards on his way to a 144 yard rushing day. The performance by Weber helped set up multiple play action passes for Barrett as the Ohio State offense had another stellar day. If he continues to play at the level he is, a Big Ten Freshman of the Year trophy could be heading his way.
3. It Turns Out Parris Campbell Can Catch (And Run)
Parris Campbell should have scored the first touchdown of Ohio State’s 2015 season. He didn’t, though. Instead, he dropped a sure score against Virginia Tech, and didn’t catch a pass the rest of the season. Now a sophomore, Campbell has started consistently this year for the Buckeyes, though he only had a couple of catches going into the Rutgers game. Against the Scarlet Knights, he proved he can be a reliable threat with four receptions – and they weren’t all gimmies – for 36 yards. Campbell, who is hailed as an Evan Spencer type of player on this team, also ran it in from five yards for a touchdown on a well-designed end around. He won’t catch a ton of headlines, but Campbell is a dangerous player for this Buckeye team.
4. Ohio State’s Best Defensive Tackle Might Be A Backup
With Tracy Sprinkle out for the year, Michael Hill and Dre’Mont Jones are the Buckeyes’ starting defensive tackles. It’s Robert Landers, a redshirt freshman, who has been the most disruptive of the bunch, though. Ohio State rotates plenty of players in and out on the defensive line, but it seems like Landers should be in for more playing time going forward. He finished the blowout win with two tackles – one a sack for a 7-yard loss and the other a stuff for a 1-yard loss. Landers is small, but it doesn’t matter. He’s a disruptive player inside who opposing teams will have to keep an eye on going forward.
5. Silver Bullets Firing On All Cylinders
This defense is on pace for a historical season. For the third time in four games, it did not allow a touchdown, a pretty impressive feat to say the least. Additionally, it surrendered just 116 total yards for the game against Rutgers and only 23 in the second half. The defense looked a little shaky on the opening drive of the game, allowing the Scarlet Knights to reach the OSU 38. But a curious reverse play call by Rutgers resulted in a 17-yard loss and halted that drive. After that, the defense really locked in and suffocated Rutgers’ offense. I’m not sure how many more games this group can prevent teams from finding the end zone, but it’s safe to say the opposition is going to have a tough time getting there.