Well, that went about as expected. Ohio State was a huge favorite going into the game with Rutgers and it did not disappoint. It was an unusual game plan on offense with the Miyan Williams and running game taking center stage.
When the victory bell rang, the Buckeyes cruised to a 49-10 win and continue on toward all the lofty goals still on the table and achievable.
After every game, we like to reflect on what we just saw and pull out some main observations and points that we feel we think we learned. Here are the five things we think we learned from another impressive showing against Rutgers.
Onward and upward to the next one.
Miyan Williams just keeps getting better
Oct 1, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Miyan Williams (3) runs the ball downfield during the first quarter of the NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch
Before the season began, the narrative about running back Miyan Williams is that you could do a lot worse as a backup to TreVeyon Henderson. Five games into 2022, and now it’s not a stretch to ask if he’s not the best option in the backfield and one of the best in the Big Ten.
Williams had a career day Saturday, rushing the ball 21 times for 189 yards and five (yes, five) touchdowns. He tied the school record for touchdowns in a game and even ripped off a 70-yard score to showcase a little speed to go with the gritty running style he has.
Ohio State will still need TreVeyon Henderson going forward, but man, Williams is turning into quite the weapon.
What gives with Denzel Burke?
Sep 10, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Arkansas State Red Wolves wide receiver Reagan Ealy (28) has the pass broken up by Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (5) during the second half at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Something is off with cornerback Denzel Burke after a sensational freshman campaign at cornerback. Time and time again, he appears to be the weak spot on the backend of the defense, and you have to wonder if his confidence is shaken at this point.
Clearly, there are more times he’s left on an island in the scheme and attacking style under Jim Knowles’ defense but he has the skill to be one of the best corners in the country. He gave up some more 1:1 balls today and Ohio State needs him to play like he is capable down the road.
C.J. Stroud doesn't have to win games for this year's team
Sep 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) drops to throw during the first quarter against the Toledo Rockets at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t get me wrong here. Ohio State absolutely has to have C.J. Stroud be the star that he is when it comes to playing teams that will be playing for championship aspirations. But he doesn’t have to put the team on his shoulders and big arm like he did last season.
That’s because this year, OSU continues to show that it’s a physical bunch that can push other teams around and get yardage the big boy way on the ground.
I doubt we see Day abandon the running game as quickly as he did at times last season and can now control the tempo in any way he wants on offense. It’s a nice luxury to know that you can pull out the howitzer only when you have to.
Rutgers still has a ways to go
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano walks on the field during pregame warmups before an NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Yes, I believe Rutgers is on the right path with Schiano running the show. But there’s still a long way to go to be anywhere near competing with Ohio State. It’s clear that the depth and talent need a serious upgrade before the Scarlet Knights can even think about beating teams like the Buckeyes.
Now, the recruiting has gotten better and is good for most teams, but not to the level that it needs to be. It’s an uphill battle to get to that caliber of play and we’ll have to see if Schiano can close the gap further.
Ryan Day is a passionate players' type of guy
Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day watches from the sideline during the second half of the NCAA Division I football game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 52-21. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
There was one moment in this game that I especially loved and it was when Ryan Day stuck up for his player. It wasn’t any start player either, but the punter from down under, Jesse Mirco.
Rutgers gave a look that was most likely one that Ohio State players were told to look for and take advantage of if it presented itself. Mirco picked up on the Scarlet Knights pinching in and he took it for a first down on a fake punt with the score out of hand.
But then he got leveled on a dirty hit from Rutgers return man Aron Cruickshank out of bounds in what was surely a frustrating play.
Day got hot and began jawing with head Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano for the play and I loved it. It’s why players love playing for Day, and it’s exactly what you would expect for a guy defending his guys.
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