No. 3 Ohio State cruises to 49-10 win over Rutgers


COLUMBUS — With fellow running back TreVeyon Henderson unavailable, Miyan Williams finally had his opportunity to be the featured running back in the offense, and he ran wild with it in No. 3 Ohio State’s 49-10 rout of Rutgers on Saturday.

Williams finished with 191 yards on 21 carries, and his five rushing touchdowns tied the school record for the most in a single game.

Ohio State was content to ride Williams in the running game as he routinely gashed a Rutgers defense that often deployed a two-high safety look for most of the game in their best efforts to limit C.J. Stroud and the prolific Buckeye passing attack.

The strategy by Rutgers did, in fact, limit Stroud’s opportunities, and he finished with a rather pedestrian 154 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. But it was a classic scenario of picking their poison for Rutgers as the Ohio State offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage to pave the way for Williams’ monster performance.

The game got off to a rather inauspicious start for Ohio State after Emeka Egbuka muffed a punt following Rutgers’ opening drive, giving the Scarlet Knights new life at the Ohio State 18.

Three plays later, Sean Ryan hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Evan Simon, and Rutgers had its first-ever lead over Ohio State since joining the Big Ten in 2014.

In an early hole, Williams and the Ohio State offense didn’t waste any time leveling the score. Williams’ 32-yard run on the third play from scrimmage had Ohio State knocking on the door at the Rutgers 2, and he finished off the drive two plays later for his first score of the afternoon.

A quick Rutgers punt on the ensuing possession had the Ohio State offense back on the field, and a pair of completions from Stroud to Egbuka had them back in the red zone. Williams powered into the end zone from a yard out on the 10th play of the drive for his second touchdown of the first quarter, and Ohio State took a 14-7 lead.

The early touchdown lead would be all Ohio State needed to win the game thanks to a stifling defensive effort from the Silver Bullets that limited Rutgers to just 187 yards of offense in the game. However, Ohio State continued to add to its points tally.

Stroud got in on the action on the first play of the second quarter when he connected with Julian Fleming for a 36-yard touchdown strike, increasing the lead to 21-7 as Ohio State began to gain separation on the scoreboard.

Williams completed his first-half trifecta just before halftime with a 1-yard run on fourth down to add to Ohio State’s lead, which stood at 28-7 as the two teams entered the break.

Led by linebackers Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg, who each recorded seven tackles in the first half, Ohio State held Rutgers to just 90 yards of offense over the opening two periods. The duo finished with a combined 20 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.

Rutgers (3-2) cut into the Ohio State lead early in the third quarter on a 35-yard field goal from Jude McAtamney, bringing the score to 28-10, but Ohio State continued to pull away from there.

Williams raced 70 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive for his fourth touchdown of the day, and Stroud added his second touchdown pass of the day on a 4-yard strike to Marvin Harrison late in the third quarter as Ohio State opened up a 42-10 lead.

Still sitting on four touchdowns, Williams was afforded one more opportunity to write his name in record books late in the third quarter when Chambers intercepted a pass from Simon and returned it to the Rutgers 20.

Williams received his moment three plays into the drive as he took the handoff from Stroud and busted into the end zone from two yards out, putting the finishing touches on a career night and a sizable win for Ohio State.

While it was hardly the most emphatic effort from the Ohio State offense this season, head coach Ryan Day was rightfully unapologetic for his team’s performance after the game, particularly given the way Rutgers did its best to shorten the game.

“I think it has to do with the way that (Rutgers) went into the game, playing in a lot of two-high coverage and saying we’ll let them run it for five (yards). We’re good with that,” Day said. “And then on offense, they’re running it, huddling, taking 30 seconds of the clock on every play, and snapping it with 10 seconds.

“What happens with that is on offense, we ended up with 59 total plays, and they ended up with 56. So there’s just not a lot of football there. And even at the end, we’re just running out the clock and moving on. Still, 49-10 is a heck of a day, and in those types of games, you have to just be proud of a win.”

With the win, Ohio State improves to 5-0 on the season. They will hit the road for the first time this season next week when they travel to East Lansing, Michigan to take on the struggling Michigan State Spartans (2-3). Kickoff for the game is set for 4 p.m.

By Dillon Davis

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Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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