Buckeyes must find own challenges, motivation against hapless Rutgers

Buckeyes must find own challenges, motivation against hapless Rutgers

Austin Ward11 months
Aritcle written by:Austin WardAustin Ward

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Javontae Jean-Baptiste by Birm-Lettermen Row
Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Ohio State are expected to dominate Rutgers again. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about Ohio State and the score prediction against Rutgers? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football-Rutgers

Ohio State is a comfortable favorite over Rutgers. (Courtesy/VegasInsider)

There is no point in pretending.

Rutgers doesn’t belong in the same conference as Ohio State. It’s not competitive on the same field as the Buckeyes. And honestly it doesn’t even appear most of the time like the two programs are trying to play the same sport despite all the earnest attempts the Scarlet Knights have made to copy the kings of the Big Ten.

So, to Ryan Day’s credit, he hasn’t crafted some message this week for his team raving about improvements from Rutgers or hyping up the matchup during his media appearances to turn this primetime matchup into something it clearly is not. The Buckeyes are fully aware that they can only truly measure themselves against their own standard in the Horseshoe on Saturday night, and that’s exactly where the focus has been for what could easily turn into a delayed version of the spring game.

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Ohio State coach Ryan Day has the Buckeyes rolling. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“The big message this week has been how can we do things better?” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said on Tuesday afternoon. “How can we practice better? How can we coach better? How can we teach better? How can we listen better? How can we protect ourselves from this virus better? How can we eat better? Sleep better?

“Everything has to be great, that’s what we have to focus on.”

That approach has been a huge factor in fueling the rise of the Buckeyes into a Big Ten buzzsaw, and it’s critical that they maintain that during this light stretch of the schedule. Ohio State must make the most of this opportunity to build depth, keep its execution sharp and find ways to challenge itself to ensure it’s ready for elite competition.

Rutgers obviously doesn’t fit that description, so the Buckeyes will have to do that on their own.

The Pick: Ohio State 84, Rutgers 0.

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