Ohio State football vs. Rutgers: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Buckeyes battle Scarlet Knights

Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to throw a pass in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines on November 25, 2017 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fourth-ranked Ohio State plays its second game without coach Urban Meyer when it opens Big Ten play on Saturday with a contest against visiting Rutgers. Meyer is allowed to coach during the week up until 24 hours before game kickoff as he serves a three-game suspension stemming from a university investigation into how he handled allegations of domestic abuse against former assistant Zach Smith.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Ohio State -35

 

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Interim coach Ryan Day will again run the squad on game day after the offense surely didn't miss Meyer in the Buckeyes' 77-31 season-opening win over Oregon State. Ohio State's 721 yards of total offense were the second most in school history and prompted Meyer to say this to Day upon returning to the football office for the first time since early August: "You only had to punt once, huh?" The Buckeyes figure to have an easy time with Rutgers, which beat Texas State in its opener but stands just 7-18 since former Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash took over at the start of the 2016 season. "They are talented. That's the No. 1 thing that stands out," Ash said of the Buckeyes at a press conference. "They have got size. They have got speed. They play really hard. They are physical. That's what stands out."

ABOUT RUTGERS (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Artur Sitkowski became the third true freshman quarterback in school history to start a season opener - Frank Burns (1945) and Ryan Cubit (2001) are the others - and he got his career off to a good start by passing for 205 yards and one touchdown against Texas State. Senior running back Jonathan Hilliman rushed for two touchdowns in his first game at the school and the Boston College transfer has 30 scores (28 rushing, two receiving) in his career. The Scarlet Knights limited Texas State to 169 yards and three defenders had two tackles for loss - sophomore defensive end Elorm Lumor (one sack, one fumble recovery, one blocked field goal), senior cornerback Blessuan Austin (one sack, one interception) and sophomore nose tackle Julius Turner.

ABOUT OHIO STATE (1-0, 0-0)

Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins fared exceptionally well in his first career start by passing for 313 yards and five touchdowns, the latter tying for second most in a game in school history. Senior receiver Terry McLaurin had 121 receiving yards for his first career 100-yard outing, while the ground game also was churning as junior Mike Weber racked up 186 rushing yards and he stands 92 yards away from becoming the 26th player in program history to top 2,000 yards on the ground. The defense experienced some issues with Oregon State's Artavis Pierce breaking out for touchdown runs of 80 and 78 yards during a 3 1/2-minute sequence of the third quarter, but junior defensive end Nick Bosa had two sacks and recovered two fumbles - returning one for a touchdown - while junior defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones also recorded two sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Ohio State has won all four meetings and blanked Rutgers in each of the past two years (58-0 in 2016, 56-0 last season).

2. Scarlet Knights redshirt freshman DE Tijuan Mason (fractured leg) is out indefinitely after being injured in the opener.

3. Buckeyes junior S Jordan Fuller (hamstring) missed the opener but is expected to return on Saturday.

PREDICTION: Ohio State 58, Rutgers 3

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