Ohio St.-Rutgers Preview




Ohio State might not have star defensive end Chase Young back as the NCAA investigates a possible violation for accepting a loan, but it likely won't make a difference when the No. 2 Buckeyes play at Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

The Scarlet Knights (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) are about 53-point underdogs after the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0) ripped Maryland 73-14 last Saturday.

By comparison, visiting Maryland defeated Rutgers 48-7 on Oct. 5 in the Scarlet Knights' first game under interim coach Nunzio Campanile after Chris Ash -- a former Ohio State defensive coach -- was fired.

The Buckeyes didn't miss Young, who leads the nation with 13 1/2 sacks despite being suspended for the Maryland game. OSU recorded seven sacks and limited the Terrapins to 139 yards.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Tuesday that Chase is practicing with the intent of playing Saturday, but he has no knowledge of when a ruling may come.

Rutgers did not play last weekend, but even with added practice time they will be hard pressed to stop the Buckeyes, considering no team has done so this season.

Ohio State is fifth nationally in total offense (535.9 yards per game) after compiling 705 vs. Maryland and is No. 1 in total defense (214.8) and scoring defense (8.6 points per game).

The Buckeyes have scored the most touchdowns (62) and given up the fewest (eight).

Quarterback Justin Fields remains in the Heisman Trophy discussion behind LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Fields is completing 68.2 percent of his passes, with 27 touchdowns and just one interception. He has rushed for 10 scores. Junior running back J.K. Dobbins (1,200 yards) has 11 rushing touchdowns in his third 1,000-yards season.

Rutgers' best chance is to hope the Buckeyes are looking ahead to playing Penn State at home on Oct. 23 and ending the regular season the following Saturday at Michigan.

Day said the Buckeyes will take Rutgers seriously.

"We certainly have respect for everybody we play," Day said. "I've known Nunzio a long time. He's going to do a great job.

"(Rutgers) has had a week off, and those guys are going to come out play really, really hard. If we're going to take anything for granted, if they (think) we're just going to show up in Piscataway and win a game, that's not going to happen."

The Scarlet Knights are on their third quarterback. McLane Carter retired after sustaining a concussion in the second game. Artur Sitkowski decided to redshirt after playing in three games.

Redshirt freshman Johnny Langan has the unenviable task of facing a defense that limited Maryland to 77 yards passing. Langan in his most recent game, a 38-10 loss to Illinois, was 5 for 10 for 86 yards and was sacked three times.

Campanile and his players have more than just the Buckeyes on their mind. Rumors swirl that former Scarlet Knights head coach and ex-OSU assistant Greg Schiano will return to Rutgers.

"Really the biggest thing is making sure that it doesn't affect the players," Campanile said. "I think they've done a really good job of it. I'm sure they read all the stuff and hear all the stuff, but we're just trying to talk about going out and getting better every day and kind of staying on the path for growth."

--Field Level Media

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