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Urban Meyer now 10-1 vs. his former assistants with romp over D.J. Durkin and Maryland

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Once again, the teacher has taken a former student to school.

Despite an embarrassing series of first-half special teams gaffes that bled into the third quarter, and with their opponent starting their third-string quarterback, Ohio State jumped out to a 41-7 halftime lead and never really looked back en route to a 62-14 woodshedding of overmatched Maryland.  In the first half alone, the Buckeyes held a 361-26 advantage in total offense; they finished the game with 584 yards to the Terrapins’ 66, 27 of which came on a late touchdown drive following an OSU fumble by backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

J.T. Barrett accounted for four touchdowns — three passing and one rushing — in three quarters worth of work.  True freshman J.K. Dobbins led all rushers 96 yards on 13 carries.

The Terps, which were forced to go to fourth-string quarterback Caleb Henderson after third-stringer Max Bortenschlager was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter, wer limited to just 16 yards passing for the entire game.  They also averaged just 1.2 yards per carry, and their only touchdown prior to the one in garbage time came on a kickoff return for a score in the first quarter.

With the win, Urban Meyer improved to 10-1 all-time against his former assistant coaches who went on to become head coaches.  The lone loss for Meyer?  Florida’s 10-7 defeat in 2010 to Mississippi State and Dan Mullen, Meyer’s former offensive coordinator with the Gators.

Since that loss, Meyer has ripped off nine straight wins over his former assistants, all of which have come since he came to OSU.  And those wins haven’t, for the most part, even been close as the Buckeyes won those games by an average of 42.6 points per game.  The only team to come within 25 points of OSU Urban was Gary Andersen‘s Wisconsin Badgers, which dropped a 31-24 decision in September of 2013; take out that game, and margin of victory stretches to 47.6 ppg.

Below are the all-time records of Meyer assistants vs. their former boss:

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State, 1-1 (29-19 loss in 2009; 10-7 win in 2010)
Tim Beckman, Illinois, 0-3 (52-22 loss in 2012; 60-35 loss in 2013; 55-14 loss in 2014)
Gary Andersen, Wisconsin, 0-2 (31-24 loss in 2013; 59-0 loss in 2014)
Chris Ash, Rutgers, 0-2 (58-0 loss in 2016; 56-0 loss in 2017)
D.J. Durkin, Maryland, 0-2 (62-3 loss in 2016; 62-14 loss in 2017)

This was also the 200th game of Meyer’s career as a head coach, with his teams going 170-30 in that span.  His .850 winning percentage is fourth all-time among FBS head coaches behind a pair of Notre Dame greats, Knute Rockne (.881) and Frank Leahy (.864), as well as Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry (.855).  It’s the highest for any coach with at least 200 games under his belt; Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and his .836 clip in 307 career games had previously held that honor.

No. 11 Ohio State’s domination a reminder not to count Buckeyes out in Big Ten or CFB Playoff

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Sure, it was only a game against Rutgers (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten), but the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) looked much more like the Big Ten title favorite they were at the start of the season than at any point this season. J.T. Barrett passed for three touchdowns, Mike Weber rushed for three touchdowns, and the Ohio State defense never gave Rutgers much time to breathe in a 56-0 road win in New Jersey.

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano returned to the Rutgers campus for the first time since being fired from the job as head coach of the Scarlet Knights, and he came in with a dominating defensive effort and game plan. Ohio State held Rutgers to 13 first downs and just 209 yards of offense in the shutout. It is the second straight shutout Ohio State has pitched against Rutgers in as many seasons (Ohio State won 58-0 last year).

The shutout for Ohio State was preserved in the final minute when a late field goal attempt simply to get any points on the scoreboard went bouncing off the upright.

Since losing at home to Big 12 frontrunner Oklahoma in Week 2, Ohio State has outscored their last three opponents by a score of 141-28. The bigger challenges still are coming later this season for Ohio State, but this stretch was needed after taking a loss at home and being knocked down a few pegs in the pecking order in the Big Ten and College Football Playoff picture. With plenty of time to rebound, Ohio State needed to get the offense on track during this stretch before having to deal with games against Penn State (Oct. 28), a road trip to Iowa (Nov. 4), and the regular season finale in Ann Arbor against Michigan (Nov. 25). Ohio State still looks every bit the Big Ten contender they were supposed to be, and right now they are taking care of business the way they needed after the early loss to the Sooners.

Ohio State will be back home next week for a game against a surprising Maryland team. The Terrapins have been hurt by injuries but managed to win on the road against Minnesota on Saturday. This should be a much more difficult road test for Maryland. Ohio State won last year’s game, 62-3.

Rutgers will get a week off to regroup and give it another shot to pick up a win in Big Ten play. Rutgers returns to the field on Oct. 14 with a road trip to Illinois.

Mike Weber scores 3 first-half TDs as Buckeyes cruising vs. Rutgers

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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.

Rutgers loses CB Blessuan Austin to season-ending ACL injury

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Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after suffering a season-ending ACL injury on the road at Nebraska this past weekend. Rutgers head coach Chris Ash confirmed the unfortunate news for the Scarlet Knights at a press conference Monday morning.

“As most of you know, Blessuan Austin came out of that game,” Ash said, per NJ.com. “It was confirmed yesterday with an MRI that he has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.”

With Austin now gone for the rest of the season just as Big Ten play opened up, Rutgers will bump Damon Hayes into the spot as a starter in the secondary.

“He played in place of Blessuan and did some good things. He has to continue to improve and develop,” Ash explained. “But I really like Damon and excited for him to go out and have this opportunity and be a full-time starter.”

Rutgers is currently ranked fifth in the Big Ten in passing defense with an average of 179.5 passing yards allowed per game, with five touchdowns allowed and five interceptions. Austin, a junior, had recorded one of those interceptions.

Rutgers avoids scholarship reductions, other harsh sanctions as NCAA issues ruling

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The Rutgers football program can officially breathe a huge sigh of relief.

As the culmination of a two-year investigation into the football program, the NCAA on Friday announced its final ruling on a case involving Rutgers.  Despite a failure to monitor charge, the NCAA essentially accepted the sanctions the university had previously self-imposed on itself for violations ranging from academic improprieties to drug-testing irregularities to lack of oversight in the recruiting ambassador program.

Below are the original penalties self-imposed by the program:

  • a 1-year probation period
  • a $5,000 fine
  • a reduction of 10 off-campus recruiting days (five in the fall of 2017-18 and five in the spring)
  • a limit of 36 official visits hosted, 26 lower than the limit
  • a 1-week ban on initiating phone calls, contact on social media and written correspondence to recruits

The only change made by the NCAA was bumping the probation period from one year to two.  Additionally, former head coach Kyle Flood, now an assistant with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, received a one-year show-cause.

The NCAA had particularly pointed words for Flood.

“The former head coach took a casual approach to compliance as it relates to the host program,” the panel said in its decision. “He exercised little, if any, oversight of the group, permitting recruiting staff to administer the program with no supervision. As the individual who had ultimate oversight of all aspects of the football program, it is implicit that the head coach was also responsible for the actions of football hosts and, ultimately, the violations they committed.”

In September of 2015, Flood was suspended for three games in the wake of a university investigation into his alleged actions.  The probe centered on an email that Flood sent from a private email account to an RU faculty member regarding the eligibility of one of his former football players.

That situation was highlighted in the committee’s decision:

In the last instance of not following university policy, the former head coach contacted a student-athlete’s instructor, contrary to university policy, to arrange for extra coursework after the conclusion of the term so the student-athlete could pass the class and be eligible for the fall 2015 season. After contacting the instructor and before meeting with her, the former head coach reached out to an academic support administrator, who warned against contacting the instructor. The former head coach stated he was unaware of university policy prohibiting him from contacting faculty members.

The former head coach provided the student-athlete with an impermissible academic extra benefit when he contacted the instructor to arrange extra coursework, an arrangement that is not available generally to the student body. The instructor ultimately did not accept the extra coursework, and the student-athlete was ineligible for the fall 2015 season.

The NCAA kicked off its probe of the football program in the spring of 2015, prior to Flood’s suspension.  The head coach, along with athletic director Julie Hermannwas dismissed in late November of 2015.