C.J. Stroud returned to pass for 330 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as No. 11 Ohio State routed host Rutgers 52-13 on Saturday.
Stroud did not play in the 59-7 win for the Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) over Akron on Sept. 25 to rest his sore shoulder but was sharp against the Scarlet Knights (3-2, 0-2), with four first-half TDs en route to a 45-6 lead.
Rutgers entered off a 20-13 loss at ranked Michigan in its previous game but visions of upsetting the Buckeyes faded quickly as TreVeyon Henderson and Denzel Burke scored 40 seconds apart for an early 14-0 advantage.
Henderson raced 44 yards for a TD on the Buckeyes’ second snap of the game and on Rutgers’ next possession, Burke had a 23-yard interception return for a score.
It was the third straight game that Ohio State had a pick-six.
Henderson was lifted as an injury precaution midway through the second quarter after gaining 71 yards in eight carries.
Rutgers’ highlight was a 75-yard touchdown catch by Aron Cruickshank from Noah Vedral to make it 24-6.
Stroud responded with 1-yard TD pass to Mitch Rossi for a 31-6 lead. Stroud finished 17 of 23 before departing after an 11-yard TD pass to Chris Olave early in the third quarter.
Olave earlier had a 56-yard TD among his five catches for 119 yards. His two TDs give him 27 in his career to tie Cris Carter for third on the all-time Ohio State list behind David Boston (34) and Devin Smith (30).
The Buckeyes totaled 406 yards of offense in the first half (273 passing, 133 rushing) and had 17 first downs.
Vedral finished 16 of 26 for 152 yards and three interceptions as the Scarlet Knights fell to 0-8 vs. the Buckeyes since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
Ohio State scored at least 50 points in six of them and had 49 in the other two.
–Field Level Media
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