Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-1) at Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 18, 2014, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -19 -- Over/Under:
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Ohio State Buckeyes will meet Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights hope to remain undefeated on the road and pick up their first marquee win of the season. With running back Paul James out for the season, there’s been more pressure on quarterback Gary Nova, who is completing 62 percent of his passes and has seven touchdowns in his last two games. The Scarlet Knights are 12-5 SU when Nova throws for at least two touchdowns. Leonte Carroo and Andrew Turzilli are Rutgers main receiving targets, as they’ve combined for more than 800 yards and eight touchdowns. With James out, Desmon Peoples has carried the load and he has more than 80 rushing yards in two of his last three games and has become a bigger factor in the passing game as well. Rutgers has won 10 straight when scoring 25 or more points. Defensively, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are allowing 21.7 points, 396.7 yards, and they’ve forced seven turnovers and 24 sacks. Steve Longa leads Rutgers with 41 tackles and Kemoko Turay has 5.5 sacks.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have scored 168 points in their three games since the loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies. J.T. Barrett is now completing 66.2 percent of his passes and has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two games. Michael Thomas and Devin Smith have really led the charge during this stretch, as they’ve combined for more than 600 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ohio State has 15 passing plays of 25 or more yards and is 29-3 SU in its last 32 games when scoring 21 or more points. Ezekiel Elliott has 341 rushing yards in his last two games and has three rushing touchdowns on the season. Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are allowing 20.8 points, 313.6 yards, and they’ve forced 11 turnovers and 12 sacks. Joshua Perry leads Ohio State with 38 tackles and Joey Bosa has seven tackles for loss.
The Scarlet Knights are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in October and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The difference for me in this game is the amount of pressure Rutgers is able to get with its defensive front that leads the Big Ten in sacks. Ohio State has allowed 13 sacks in the first five games. Look for the Scarlet Knights to keep this game closer than expected.