J.T. Barrett shines in first start of season, leads Ohio State to blowout
Final: No. 1 Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7
Key play: Ezekiel Elliott “converts” third-and-one on second drive
“Converts” is in quotes because replay showed that the Buckeyes got a generous spot when Elliott appeared to be stuffed on third down. Had it not been ruled a first down, Ohio State likely would’ve been looking at three total points on two red-zone trips to start the night. That could’ve made things a little uneasy for Barrett in his first 2015 start. Instead, they upheld the questionable first-down spot, and Elliott punched in a score to get the Buckeyes rolling. By the way, make that 13 straight 100-yard games for Zeke.
Telling stat: Barrett, Elliott combine for seven total touchdowns
There were probably a bunch of Ohio State fans saying, ‘See, I told you so!’ With Barrett starting, the Buckeye playmakers looked like we expected them to look in the beginning of the season. Barrett used his arm to get Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller and Curtis Samuel involved and kept a few for himself. With the aerial attack established, Elliott had some monster holes to burst through in the second half. Everything looked like it fell into place. Barrett makes all the Buckeye skill players better with his abilities in Urban Meyer’s system.
–Leonte Carroo leaves game with ankle injury
There was little doubt that the star Rutgers receiver would be on the field on Saturday night, despite the fact that he was basically held out of practice all week with a right ankle injury. He did his best to gut it out on Saturday night, but ultimately, couldn’t stay on the field in the second half. As he goes, so does the Rutgers offense. Andre Patton and Carlton Agudosi were the only other receivers to have multiple catches. All Scarlet Knight fans can hope is that Carroo didn’t suffer a setback by putting himself on the field on Saturday night. They’re a different team without him.
–Ohio State had zero penalties
That might actually be Meyer’s favorite stat of the night. There are very few FBS teams that ever go entire game without a flag. Gareon Conley covered without drawing pass interference. Taylor Decker and the OSU line cleared gaping holes without holding. And with all the touchdowns the Buckeyes scored, they didn’t draw one celebration penalty. The Buckeyes were actually ranked 99th in FBS in penalties heading into Saturday. But in all facets, Meyer’s group delivered as disciplined a performance as we’ve seen all season. As a result, the Buckeyes earned their most lopsided win of the season.
What it means: Ohio State is still the best team in the country, Rutgers is not
Many suspected that Ohio State would get its second wind with the quarterback switch. Well, that’s exactly what it looked like. That was probably the first time all year that you never questioned whether or not the No. 1 team was on the field. Rutgers doesn’t offer much defensively, but the Buckeye offense had looked mediocre against mediocre competition. That was the laugher we’ve all been waiting to see out of Ohio State. Rutgers was the unfortunate victim of a Buckeye offense that clicked from start to finish. The Silver Bullets weren’t very kind, either. Ohio State will head into the bye week without any major injuries and undefeated. For all the scrutiny the defending champions have faced this year, that’s about all they can ask for.