1. Adams Steps Up – The starting debut for freshman cornerback Jarius Adams was a bright spot for Rutgers. Adams held his own with the pressure at an all-time high. Ohio State did not attack him often, and none of the big gains fir the Buckeyes game against Adams. Adams showcased the physicality required of Rutgers cornerbacks, including help on a forced fumble and consistency in shedding his blocks at the second level.
2. Blitz or Safe – Rutgers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi attacked when he could, and it cost Rutgers some big plays throughout the game. Rutgers didn’t have the depth to run its subpackages appropriately, and had to call an aggressive game out of the 4-3. Quentin Gause said after the game that Rutgers tried to run its normal game plan but acknolwedged limitations based on injuries.
3. Rettig’s Ride – Hayden Rettig’s performance at quarterback perfectly summed up the positives and negatives he showed all offseason. Rettig showcased a game-changing arm on his 58-yard connection with Carlton Agudosi. Rutgers, also, burned two timeouts with communication issues on the lone scoring drive.
4. Special Teams Shut Down – Ohio State brought the perfect game plan to shut down Janarion Grant. After a few deep kicks for touchbacks, OSU instead went for big hang time and took advantage of a lack of protection. Rutgers began three drives inside its own 20 after kickoffs.
5. More Bad News Barrett – Rutgers did not develop an answer for Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in the last year. After his five-touchdown explosion last season, Barrett’s east-west quickness carried the Buckeyes. Barrett now has 692 total yards and 10 touchdowns in two games against Rutgers.
6. Turay’s Development – Defensive end Kemoko Turay looked improved against the run. Continuing his transformation into a complete defensive player, Turay stuffed Ohio State in the backfield when he stunted through the line of scrimmage for a TFL.
7. Overthrown – Scoring opportunities do not come often against Ohio State, and Rutgers missed out on a big one when Leonte Carroo beat Gareon Conley to the end zone. The hobbled Carroo had a step on Conley but Laviano put too much zip on a pass that soared four feet over his target’s head.
8. Snap Snaffu – Rutgers saw two first-half drives die with botched center-quarterback exchanges. One under center and one out of the shotgun, center Derrick Nelson and Laviano were off their game. Rutgers could not afford to kill drives with execution errors.
9. Touchdown Saver – Punt Joey Roth saved a touchdown against Ohio State when he tackled return man Jalin Marshall with no one else between him and six points for the Buckyes. The play did not make a difference, however, when the drive ended eight plays later with a Buckeye rushing touchdown to end the first quarter.
10. Agudosi Starts – Carroo played through pain, but Carlton Agudosi started the first play. Rutgers used Agudosi more overall, and took advantage of him as a run blocker.