COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Dwayne Haskins Jr. threw four touchdown passes and No. 4 Ohio State rolled to the 900th victory in program history, routing outmanned Rutgers 52-3 on Saturday.
Johnnie Dixon grabbed two of Haskins’ scoring strikes, and backup quarterback Tate Martell added another touchdown pass and a 47-yard scoring run on a gray, misty afternoon. The Buckeyes, playing in their second game without suspended coach Urban Meyer, piled up 579 offensive yards after amassing 721 in the opener.
Meyer was back conducting practices this week but will miss one more game — next week’s prime-time clash with No. 16 TCU — to finish out his three-game suspension for mismanaging fired assistant coach Zach Smith, who was accused to domestic abuse and other misbehavior. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day ran the show again Saturday and had few reasons to fret, save for the 11 penalties that cost Ohio State 131 yards.
“We did a nice job of throwing the ball early and then running it late,” Day said.
The Buckeyes expect to get their first real test of the season against the Horned Frogs in Dallas after a couple of cake walks to start.
Parris Campbell, Luke Farrell and Terry McLaurin also caught scoring passes. McLaurin’s came on backup quarterback Martell’s first career touchdown pass, a 51-yarder on third-and-16 with 11:05 left in the first half.
Ohio State’s defense, which last week gave up several big plays for touchdowns, tightened up against the Scarlet Knights, who managed just a dozen first downs and 134 offensive yards.
Rutgers true freshman quarterback Arthur Sitkowski was 6 for 18 for 38 yards and interception before he was replaced by Giovanni Rescigno to start the second half. Sitkowski apparently was hurt on the last play of the first half when he was sacked by Ohio State’s Nick Bosa.
“Obviously, it sucks,” Rescigno said. “You want to win, it’s going to hurt for a while. But we got to get over it, (there’s) a lot of season ahead of us.”
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights still need plenty of work before they’ll be able to compete with the Big Ten elite. They’ve lost the last three games to Ohio State by a combined score of 166-3.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes showed they can score points almost at will against less-talented teams. Next week will be a better measuring stick.
Rutgers: Plays at Kansas on Saturday.
Ohio State: Gets a tougher challenge Saturday against No. 16 TCU in Arlington, Texas.
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