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#343/344 ‘OVER 60.5’ Rutgers at Ohio State 2:30 PM CT

Ryan Day won his debut coaching the Buckeyes with Ohio State mostly untested in a 77-31 win over Oregon State. Dwayne Haskins was productive in the passing game while Ohio State rushed for 375 yards and poured it on to earn an improbable cover with a 21-0 fourth quarter. Ohio State won 56-0 at Rutgers last season but the Knights were winners last week beating Texas State 35-7.

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The Knights had four turnovers but freshman Artur Sitkowski was productive in his debut despite the miscues against a better than assumed Texas State defense. Rutgers allowed only one third down conversion in that game however and Ohio State converted 12 of 15 3rd down plays last week against a similarly rated Oregon State squad. Last week’s opener was critically important for the embattled program after a challenging summer while next week’s game with TCU will be on a huge national stage as the intensity particularly on defense could be lacking for the Buckeyes.

Being the Big Ten opener means more for Rutgers who has covered in three of its four Big Ten openers since joining the conference while the Knights went 4-1 ATS in Big Ten road games last season. Rutgers has been outscored 114-0 the past two years in this matchup however as even with an inflated spread the Knights would be tough to support with a freshman quarterback in Columbus.

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There should be valid concerns about the Ohio State defense. Oregon State had to play with a backup quarterback with its starter hurt just a handful of plays into the game and yet the Beavers had 31 points and 365 yards in the first three quarters. Unlike the Buckeyes Oregon State shut it down in the fourth quarter of a decided game when they likely could have added more production and points with a more aggressive approach. Ohio State allowed 5.0 yards per rush to a team in a major transition that was among the nation’s worst teams last season as the Knights will have an opportunity to move the ball and break the scoreless streak in this series and Ohio State is certainly a threat to eclipse this total on its own as well.

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