The 31 points Ohio State gave up in their week one showing against Oregon State was unquestionably disappointing. The 77 points the offense produced was not.
However, while the defense gave up more than double amount of the points I expected them too in, there was a big sign of strength on the defensive line; Nick Bosa was named national defender of the week. I expect Bosa’s monster performance to be replicated today against the Scarlet Knights, and the rest of the defense to follow suit! The main issues obviously revolved around the defensive backs, allowing four plays of over 60 yards to a team that shouldn’t of had ONE. The issues at this position have been addressed and corrected during this practice week according to interim head coach Ryan Day, and I believe the defense will avoid falling into the same problems against the Rutgers offense.
Reasons the Buckeyes WILL cover the spread:
Ohio State is 35.5 point favorites over Rutgers. They have played the four times previous to today and have never won by less than 39. The last two meetings the Buckeyes have outscored the Scarlet Knights 114-0; I don’t see this trend slowing down. The offense should score over 50 points with ease, and the defense will be pressured to have an elite performance after the week one troubles I mentioned before.
Reasons the Buckeyes WON’T cover the spread:
Rutgers won’t ever threaten to upset the Buckeyes today, and there is a very good chance Ohio State will jump out to a 28 or 35 point lead early on. The weather and coaching poses the two concerns for the bettors. Rain will most likely reach the Horseshoe around 4:30 PM, which will be around the halfway mark of the second quarter. If Ohio State is delayed or simply slowed down by the weather conditions this raises the chance of more punts and more mistakes. A loopy touchdown off a fumble caused by slickness of the ball is always possible, and could be the downfall of them covering. The second issue I mentioned is coaching. The Buckeyes are traveling a week from today to play their toughest opponent yet in TCU. Resting players in the second half and easing up offensively is VERY likely.
Prediction: Ohio State -35.5
Buckeyes 56 Scarlet Knights 10