It’s been a banner day for Ohio State when it comes to staving off the NFL for another year.
Earlier in the day, wide receiver Parris Campbell announced that he would be eschewing the NFL draft and returning to the Buckeyes for the 2018 season. Not long after, another receiver, Johnnie Dixon, along with defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones announced that they too opted against declaring in order to come back to OSU for another season.
The return of Jones is the more surprising of the two most recent ones as he had been viewed in some corners as a potential first-round pick.
Dixon led the Buckeyes in receiving touchdowns with eight and yards per catch at 23.4. For the season, he totaled 18 catches for 422 yards, both career highs
Thus far, Ohio State has lost cornerback Denzel Ward (HERE), defensive end Sam Hubbard (HERE) and linebacker Jerome Baker (HERE) to early entry into the draft. The deadline for the rest of the draft-eligible players to declare is Jan. 15.
A year after losing on the road to Ohio State 58-0, the first half brought back plenty of bad memories for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers played tough early on in a home game against No. 11 Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are rolling to another blowout win against one of the newest Big Ten members with a 35-0 lead at halftime in New Jersey.
The Buckeyes worked their way to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter as the teams jostled field position before Mike Weber picked up his first touchdown of the season. Ohio State took control of the game in the second quarter with three touchdowns, including a second touchdown run by Weber to cap a drive of 87 yards. J.T. Barrett also kept the offense going by bailing Ohio State out of a three-and-out on 3rd-and-17 with a 70-yard pass to Johnnie Dixon after keeping a play alive.
Barrett added a second touchdown pass on a 39-yard pass down the left sideline after Dixon somehow kept his feet in bounds for the score. By the time the game reached halftime, Weber added two more scores as well. Barrett has passed for 216 yards and two scores. Rutgers has just 72 yards of offense.
No disrespect to Rutgers here, because head coach Chris Ash knows he has a long way to go with this program, but Ohio State is simply demonstrating how much stronger, faster, athletic, and confident they are than their opponent tonight.