Rutgers held its own to start a massive challenge against No. 2 Ohio State, but depth proved to be an issue as the game progressed.
Frequent stops on offense led to wear and tear on defense. As a result, the Scarlet Knights struggled and the Buckeyes pulled away in a 58-0 shutout.
Rutgers (2-3, 0-2) took a 6-0 deficit into the second quarter. Solid defense kept Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) off the board until the 4:19 mark when J.T. Barrett found Dontre Wilson from 18 yards out to put the Buckeyes ahead.
Barrett broke out from there with four touchdowns — all in the first half — on his way to a program-record 58 pass touchdowns for his career. He ended the day with 21-for-29 passing and 238 yards.
Barrett threw one interception when sophomore cornerback Blessuan Austin tipped a pass intended for Noah Brown and senior safety Anthony Cioffi reeled in the deflection.
Rutgers’ quarterback situation was not as ideal. Chris Laviano came out and threw for just 33 yards on 3-for-12 passing. The junior attempted one more pass in the second half before Tylin Oden entered in relief midway through the third quarter.
Oden faced the first-team Ohio State defense in his first drive at quarterback before the backups entered for the remainder of the game. He attempted the first passes of his career, but was 0-for-4. In the run game, Oden took eight carries for 16 yards.
Rutgers moved the ball down the field on its opening drive and into Ohio State territory, but a 17-yard loss on a double-reverse pass dropped the offense back and stalled the momentum. From there, the ensuing drives largely consisted of three-and-outs.
Ohio State woke up midway through the second quarter with three touchdowns from Barrett in the final 5:51 of the half. The Buckeyes ran the ball effectively as well with 410 yard on 53 carries. Mike Weber led the way with a game-high 144 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Robert Martin entered the game as the top rusher in the Big Ten, but he was unable to do much against Ohio State’s defense. The junior running back took 13 carries for 40 yards.
Rutgers returns home next week when it hosts No. 4 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) in a primetime Saturday night tilt at High Point Solutions Stadium.