PISCATAWAY, N.J. – It was J.T. Barrett’s night. And it definitely wasn’t Rutgers’ night.
Barrett completed 14 of 22 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns to lead Ohio State to a 56-0 win over Rutgers on Saturday night.
He also rushed for 89 yards on 10 carries before Dwayne Haskins came in to play quarterback with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
Rutgers (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten) was supposed to be improved this season, or at least that is what Ohio State’s coaches claimed in the days leading up to the game.
But the Scarlet Knights looked a lot like the Rutgers teams which lost to Ohio State 56-17, 49-7 and 58-0 the previous three seasons.
If Ohio State (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) hadn’t gotten off to a slow start it could have been even worse.
OSU had nearly as many penalties (five) as it had points in the first quarter (seven). But that 7-0 lead turned into a 35-0 lead by halftime and it was the Buckeyes’ much-criticized passing game that led the way in breaking down Rutgers.
After gaining only 33 yards in the air in the first quarter, Barrett was 7 of 11 for 183 yards and two touchdown in the second quarter. He connected with Johnnie Dixon on touchdown throws of 70 yards and 39 yards and had a 46-yard non-scoring pass to Binjimen Victor.
The senior quarterback also became Ohio State’s career passing yardage leader in the first half to break Art Schlichter’s 36-year-old record. Barrett finished the game with 7,622 passing yards. Schlichter threw for 7,547 yards in his career.
Mike Weber returned to a full-time job share at running back with J.K. Dobbins and scored three touchdowns in the first half. Dobbins had 53 yards on 6 carries and Weber gained 44 yards on 10 carries.
Five OSU receivers had catches of 20 yards or more.
Ohio State’s first-half touchdowns came on drives of 60 yards, 87 yards, 63 yards, 50 yards and 75 yards.
Weber scored the first two on runs of one yard and three yards. They were followed by Dixon’s two scores and Weber scored on a two-yard run.
Barrett threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Victor with 8:02 left in the third quarter to raise the lead to 42-0.
Haskins found Demario McCall with a 35-yard touchdown pass with 13:56 left in the game for a 49-0 lead. Demario McCall’s 48-yard run with eight minutes to play made it 56-0, the 21st time OSU has scored 50 points or more in the Urban Meyer era.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.