Each game, the momentum can shift from one team to the other on one play. Other than last week’s get-well game against UNLV, each week, we will list five plays, elements of plays or series of plays that made the most significant impact in Ohio State’s games.
Here’s the five plays that mattered most in No. 11 Ohio State’s 56-0 blowout win at Rutgers.
Dante Booker interception
Looking at the final score, it’s difficult to remember that Ohio State struggled in the first quarter. Leading by seven with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter, Rutgers drove to the Ohio State 15-yard line and threatened to tie the game. On second-and-11, Ohio State linebacker Dante Booker picked off quarterback Johnathan Lewis after the ball bounced off the intended receiver and Booker tipped it to himself.
Ohio State followed that interception with an eight-play, 87-yard touchdown drive in fewer than three minutes.
Johnnie Dixon 70-yard touchdown catch
Ohio State was facing third-and-17 from its own 30-yard line when quarterback J.T. Barrett found redshirt junior wideout Johnnie Dixon behind the defense for a score.
The Buckeyes were nearing their second consecutive three-and-out at 7:27 left in the second quarter and only leading by two scores. Barrett scrambled to his right and the Rutgers safeties lost Dixon behind them. Ohio State would score two more times before the half.
Barrett to Victor, 48 yards
Before the end of the half in another third-and-long situation, Barrett stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor for 48 yards down to the Rutgers 32-yard line.
That completion with 1:55 left in the first half set up the Buckeyes’ final touchdown of the half to extend the lead to 35-0.
Nick Bosa third-down stop
Ohio State stalled on its first drive on the second half after a failed fourth down attempt. On its ensuing possession, Rutgers picked up 22 yards on second-and-23 to create a third-and-short situation. That’s when sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa blasted through the line and tallied his first tackle for loss of the game with 11:38 left in the third quarter.
Had Rutgers gotten a first down, the Scarlet Knights likely wouldn’t have drove the rest of the field for a score, based on their offense’s consistent inability to move the football. Despite that, those are the types of plays Ohio State should be able to make when prompted later in the season.
Victor touchdown grab
This play had little to do with the outcome, but had everything to do with the growth of the offense. Barrett threw his best ball of the day to Victor for a 22-yard score on a near-perfect, back-shoulder fade to the left pylon.
Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins replaced Barrett on the next offensive drive with the Buckeyes leading 42-0.