PISCATAWAY, N.J.- No. 11 Ohio State returned to Big Ten play Saturday night, defeating Rutgers 56-0 for its second conference win of the season.
After breaking the conference record for touchdowns responsible for against Army West Point, quarterback J.T. Barrett continued to make history against the Scarlet Knights. Barrett became the first Ohio State quarterback in history to record over 10,000 career total yards. Also, he passed quarterback Art Schlicter for most career passing yards in Ohio State history.
Coming into the Ohio State program, coach Urban Meyer thought that Schlicter's record of 7,547 career passing yards was untouchable.
"That was an era that I remember and I grew up watching him play," Meyer said. "I remember it was almost I thought that it would never be broken. So, it's an awesome honor."
After a slow start, not completing a pass until the end of the first quarter, Barrett finished the game with 275 yards passing with three touchdowns. Completing 63.7 percent of passes, Barrett averaged 19.6 yards per pass, a season high.
After trading punts to start the game, the Buckeyes, starting at their own 40-yard line, scored on a one-yard rush by running back Mike Weber. Barrett set up the first score of the game with a 37-yard rush, his longest of the season. He finished the game with 89 yards on the ground on 10 carries.
Weber continued his success into the second quarter, scoring two more times to bring his touchdown total to three by the end of the first half. Weber, who had only seven carries on the season heading into the game due to limited playing time after recovering from a hamstring injury, ended the game with 44 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The return of Weber to the backfield was not the only story in the Ohio State offense. Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon had a career day, connecting with Barrett on two-touchdown passes in the second quarter. He led the team with 115 yards receiving on three catches.
Dixon feels as though that the connection between Barrett and wide receivers is finally starting to click.
"We are finally connecting, getting that communication and things down," Dixon said. "We are getting on a roll for sure."
The Ohio State offense did not do it all by itself. The defense shifted the momentum in favor of the Buckeyes with 3:21 left in the first quarter when linebacker Dante Booker recorded his first career interception. He also had two tackles for loss, including a sack, in the win.
Allowing 2.9 yards per rush, the Buckeye defense gave up 117 rushing yards compared to only 92 total passing yards.
The defense did not allow Rutgers to have many shots down field. With five completions on 14 attempts, Scarlet Knights quarterback Kyle Bolin threw for only 56 passing yards with two interceptions. The Rutgers offense did not even complete a pass to a wide receiver in the entire game.
The defensive line also made an impact on Rutgers' offensive performance. Defensive end Sam Hubbard led all linemen with four tackles, including one tackle for loss, with a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.
Despite the defensive performance that the Buckeyes had, defensive coordinator and former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said that there is still work to be done.
"Work in progress," Schiano said. "We have a chance to be good, but we really have to clean up a lot of stuff. I'll tell you what, our kids are working so hard that it's going to happen."
Starting with the ball in the third quarter, Barrett continued the Buckeyes offensive success from the first half, leading Ohio State on an eight-play, 80-yard drive ending with a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Binjimen Victor for his third touchdown pass of the game.
With the second team offense in, the Buckeyes were not done offensively. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins connected with running back Demario McCall for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 13:56 left in the game to further Ohio State's lead to 49-0.
McCall did not stop there. He secured the Buckeyes 56-0 win with a 48-yard touchdown run with 8:06 to go in the game. Coming into the game without a carry this season, McCall ended the game as Ohio State's leading rusher, with 103 yards on the ground on 11 carries.
With the first two conference games on the road, Meyer said, despite playing a team like Rutgers, that his team got the job done.
"We came into a Big Ten opponent that played some pretty good football in the past and you won the game," Meyer said. "The guys are pros and they took care of business."
Ohio State will continue its Big Ten schedule next Saturday when the Buckeyes return home to take on Maryland on October 7th at 4 pm ET.