Did you know that Dogs and Bees can smell fear?
Sometimes it takes a minute to really stop down and find some of those factoids or at least to be told.
What would you say if I told you that Ohio State and Rutgers have attempted almost an identical amount of passes in this series? Or if there is a quarter that Rutgers has never scored a point against Ohio State over the course of the eight games played? Or that for all of Ohio State’s success in this series that the sack numbers are not all that great for the Buckeyes?
We tore open the past score books from this series, took a deep dive and bring you a little “Did You Know” with apologies to TriStar Pictures and of course Jerry Maguire.
The Buckeyes have owned this series, obviously and the total points through eight games only supports that statement. Ohio State has outscored the Scarlet Knights by a 428-88 margin. That breaks down to an average outcome of 54-11 in Ohio State’s favor.
Just to show how much trouble that Rutgers has had putting points on the board, the Scarlet Knights went 10 straight quarters without scoring a point against Ohio State from 2016-2018 and 12 straight quarters without a touchdown.
A Second Quarter Team
With that kind of disparity between these two teams on the scoreboard, it is not shocking that Ohio State has won every quarter of this series. Well, that is not entirely true with Rutgers outscoring the Buckeyes in two quarters out of a total of 32. In 2020 and 2015 the Scarlet Knights outscored the Buckeyes in the 4th quarter, 7-0 in games that had long been decided.
Add to that two quarters where the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights tied for total points, 7-all in both 2019 and 2016. Couple that with a scoreless frame for both teams in 2021.
Beyond that? Ohio State has won every quarter and the quarter-by-quarter cumulative stats are quite surprising.
Even with Rutgers winning a pair of 4th quarters and tying in three more, Ohio State holds an edge in that final frame, 49-42. Let’s not forget that none of these games have been competitive, especially by the end and Ohio State will have its second and third teamers in by this point.
Staying in the second half, the 3rd quarter is all Ohio State with the Buckeyes winning that frame 105-19 as the Buckeyes are generally cycling the starters out after a couple of series.
Ohio State gets off to a good start in the first quarter against Rutgers in these games, holding a 100-23 edge. For whatever reason there was a stretch between 2015-2017 where Ohio State got off to slow starts and only put up seven or fewer points in each of those games.
What does that mean for the final quarter on this list, the 2nd? That is the most astonishing set of numbers on both fronts. Ohio State has put up 171 points in 2nd quarters against the Scarlet Knights and has scored no fewer than 14 points in any match-up against Rutgers in the second frame. And Rutgers? The Scarlet Knights have scored a grand total of zero points over the course of eight games in the 2nd quarter.
A Passing Fancy?
Can you believe that over the course of eight games that the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights have attempted almost an identical number of passes?
That is where the similarities end.
Ohio State has thrown 240 passes and Rutgers has attempted four more at 244. That breaks down to 30 attempts per game.
Ohio State has completed 173 of those attempts for 2,487 yards and a 72.1-percent completion rate for 35 scores.
Rutgers on the other hand, has not.
The Scarlet Knights have only completed 130 of those attempts for 1,163 yards and a 53.3-percent rate for just 11 scores.
Rutgers also has 11 interceptions to go with its 11 scores while the Buckeyes have thrown just one over the course of eight games.
Running Up That Hill
So, Rutgers has not been able to throw against Ohio State, what about running the ball?
Well, that is no better. Rutgers has run the ball 280 times for 884 yards and six scores. That breaks down to a 3.2 yards per carry rate.
Ohio State on the other hand has been much more successful, 337 carries for 2,413 yards and a 6.4 YPC average, or double of what Rutgers has been getting.
Ohio State has seen its rushing total down slightly over the last two games with 400 yards rushing over the course of the last two games and just three touchdowns. Just for comparison, it would take almost the last four games for Rutgers to hit the same numbers, with the last four contests totaling 431 yards and four scores.
If you are a fan of place kicking, it better be PATs and you better be a fan of Ohio State. With 70 touchdowns scored in this series (Ohio State 59, Rutgers 11) there have been plenty PAT tries but how about field goals?
There has been a grand total of five made field goals with Rutgers actually holding the 3-2 edge over the Buckeyes. Now, Ohio State has not had to settle for field goals often but surprisingly enough, both of Ohio State’s made field goals have happened inside the 10-yard-line with makes of 21 and 23 yards.
It’s Not In The Sack
The Buckeyes have had some tremendous pass rushers through the years including a pair of Bosa’s and Chase Young. But even with all of that, The Buckeyes have not racked up sack numbers against the Scarlet Knights.
Ohio State only has 16 sacks through eight years and the math is easy there, an average of two sacks per game. Ohio State had four in the first game of the series (2014) and over the course of the last three seasons, Ohio State has had one per game.
Just for those who are curious, Rutgers has sacked Ohio State quarterbacks nine times over eight games and have had a sack in every game dating back through the 2017 season.
Eight Is Great
As we have said several times, the Buckeyes are a perfect 8-0 against Rutgers, one of many teams that the Buckeyes are undefeated against.
Granted, there are a lot of teams that Ohio State has played only once, and you have to factor that into the equation.
8-0 against any Power Five team is the top of the chart for the Buckeyes and Rutgers falls right into that bucket. Maryland is only 7-0 as the 2020 game was canceled.
Who else does Ohio State hold a commanding lead over in overall series?
The Buckeyes are 8-0 against Washington State, with the last meeting dating back to 2002.
Ohio State is 9-1 against both Nebraska and Oregon, 7-1 against Cal and 5-1 against West Virginia. Since everyone wants to compare the Buckeyes to the SEC, the best record against any member school in that league is 4-0 against Texas A&M, 3-0 against Kentucky and 10-1-1 against Missouri.