Gleitman’s Gameday Guide is now presented by Steamboat Dry Goods, a fully Buckeye-owned business! CLICK HERE to start shopping for all your needs and get 20% off a purchase of $25 or more at checkout using the code FIRE.
Welcome to Gleitman’s Gameday Guide, presented by Steamboat Dry Goods, a quick-hitting resource for fans on Buckeye Scoop as they prepare for the upcoming Ohio State game and the national slate of college football each week.
This guide will include my five players who must step up each week for the Buckeyes to win, score prediction and how it plays out, and “brave and bold” predictions for the upcoming contest. Additionally, I’ll take a look at the national and Big Ten games to let you know my picks (straight up and vs. the spread), as well as who I am picking as my four teams to advance to the College Football Playoff each week.
This week, Gleitman’s Gameday Guide takes a look at the Buckeyes next game against Rutgers following the first comfortable win of 2021 against Akron, as well as the rest of college football in week five.
FIVE PLAYERS WHO MUST STEP UP FOR OHIO STATE TO WIN
The Buckeyes are only a 15-point favorites in this one, and after Rutgers took Michigan to the wire in Ann Arbor last week, there is reason to be nervous. Here are five players that need to step up to ensure Ohio State walks away from Piscataway with a victory:
- RB TreVeyon Henderson: I have a feeling TH32 is going to see the rock early and often in this one. Rutgers held Michigan to just 112 yards on the ground including 68 on 21 carries for Blake Corum and 41 on 12 carries for Hasaan Haskins. Henderson needs to do this thing for OSU to win this one.
- Offensive Line:I hate listing full units here but if Henderson and the backs are going to have success they are going to need the big uglies up front to do their part.
- CJ Stroud: I believe he will be behind center this week. Turnovers, red-zone inefficiency, and missed big play opportunities will keep RU in this one. If CJ hits the passes he’s supposed to and protects the football, I think OSU will win fairly comfortably.
- Defensive Ends: The front four, sans last week, has been a disappointment this year, particularly the defensive ends. OSU needs a big game from Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Jack Sawyer, and JT Tuimoloau to get after the quarterback and make plays in the backfield to put RU behind schedule and in throwing situations.
- Special Teams Coverage: Rutgers’ return man Aron Cruickshank may be the best in the country. Ohio State, if they don’t kick it out of bounds, will need to make sure they are on point with coverage and tackling of the former Erasmus Hall star.
This will be covered in our weekly staff picks, but I want to provide it here as well:
376-75. That is the combined score of the seven games where Ohio State and Rutgers have played since the latter joined the Big Ten (and all-time). That is an average of about 54-11. Before scoring 48 points in the last two games, the Scarlet Knights had mustered just 27 total points in the first 5 contests, getting shutout in 2 and putting up just 3 points in another.
Gone are those days, though. Greg Schiano is back for his second stint with the program and via a culture change, strong recruiting, the transfer portal, and a strong coaching staff, the RU head man has his program competing week in and week out. Are the Knights ready to pull off the biggest win in school history, though?
That I am not sure of. But the good thing for Rutgers is that Ohio State is not the Ohio State we are used to seeing. The Buckeyes are breaking in a new quarterback, have all five linemen either new to the lineup or playing new positions, and have struggled on defense dating back to last year, forcing a mid-year change in defensive coordinator, scheme, and personnel in 2021. If there’s any time the dominant Big Ten power will be ripe for the picking, it’s now.
With all that said, while I think Rutgers is going to play their most competitive game against the Scarlet and Gray, I feel the “Jimmys and Joes will beat the Xs and Os”, as they say. I think RU plays Ohio State very tough for three quarters but gets worn down a bit in the final frame and the Buckeyes pull away in the end for a victory in SHI Stadium.
Ohio State 41 Rutgers 26
BRAVE AND BOLD PREDICTIONS
While the score prediction is pretty straight forward, here are three “brave and bold” predictions each week that I’ll make about things that happen in the game:
- Rutgers’ defense has been very good this season. The Knights have not allowed 300 total yards of offense to any opponent this season, with Michigan notching a high of 275 yards against RU last week. I predict that not only will Ohio State have the highest total yardage against RU this year, but that they will double the previous high. Mark the Buckeyes down for 550+ this weekend.
- We saw it last year and my guess is we’ll see it again. RU will overcome a talent disadvantage through strategy and execution via the trick play. I think the Knights will score not once, but twice on ”trick plays”, either on offense or special units.
- I feel dumb thinking the defensive line is going to break out every week. They did last week, but I don’t count that because it was Akron. I do think they will have another big week against a “real opponent”, though, and see the Buckeyes with 5+ total sacks in this one. One for Zach Harrison, one for Tyreke Smith, one for Tyliek Williams, one for JT Tuimoloau, and one for Haskell Garrett.
Every week I will pick every Big Ten game and a few select national games both straight up and against the spread (LW SU: 10-6; LW ATS: 7-9; TOTAL SU: 38-23; TOTAL ATS: 31-30)
- Ohio State at Rutgers (+15): Ohio State SU & ATS
- Iowa at Maryland (+3): Maryland SU & ATS
- Michigan at Wisconsin (-1.5): Wisconsin SU & ATS
- Charlotte at Illinois (-11): Illinois SU & Charlotte ATS
- Minnesota at Purdue (-2.5): Minnesota SU & ATS
- Indiana at Penn State (-12.5): Penn State SU & Indiana ATS
- Western Kentucky at Michigan State (-10.5): MSU SU & ATS
- Northwestern at Nebraska (-12): Nebraska SU & ATS
- Arkansas at Georgia (-18.5): UGA SU & ATS
- Cincinnati at Notre Dame (+2): UC SU & ATS
- Ole Miss at Alabama (-14.5): Alabama SU & Ole Miss ATS
- Oregon at Stanford (+8): Oregon SU & Stanford ATS
- Baylor at Oklahoma State (-3.5): OK State SU & ATS
- Boston College at Clemson (-15): Clemson SU & BC ATS
- Arizona State at UCLA (-3): UCLA SU & ATS
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PICKS
Here are my weekly picks for the CFP (top 4 and first 2 out) every week heading into the slate of games:
- Alabama: Going to be a tough matchup for them this week against Ole Miss as I think their defense is a bit suspect. They are still the clear number one, though. (Last Week: 1)
- Georgia: Best defense in America and I think that leads them to a big top 10 victory this week. (Last Week: 2)
- Oregon: Remain here with a win over Arizona but they have a trap game at Stanford this week in a local time 12:30 kick. (Last Week: 3)
- Iowa: I don’t think their offense is good, but their defense is legit. They have a very slight edge over Penn State for me and this week tells us a lot about both teams. (Last Week: 5)
- Penn State: Seemed disinterested last week against FCS Villanova, and that makes sense. Home against IU this week should be a nice test. (Last Week: 6)
- Oklahoma: Did not look good against WVU and I thought they would dominate. Something is just off with this offense, while the defense has been holding this team together. They need to pick it up quick as I have Cincinatti (currently 7th) on their heels with Notre Dame (8th), Ohio State (9th), and Arkansas (10th) close behind as well. (Last Week: 4)
Be sure to check out the Buckeye Scoop Staff Picks feature this week to learn how you can win a prize pack giveaway from Steamboat Dry Goods by predicting the score of the Ohio State game!
CLICK HERE to shop Steamboat Dry Goods and get 20% off a purchase of $25+ using the code FIRE