Rutgers likes to call itself the home of college football.

The designation originates from an 1869 match between Rutgers and the College of New Jersey, which was later renamed Princeton University.

The genesis of the game was when a group of Rutgers athletes sent a letter to a college in New Jersey challenging their football team to a game.

They called it football, but the game the two schools played that day bears little resemblance to the football they play today.

One of the reasons for this was that there was no rule book. Before the competition, the teams agreed on the rules.

In the first game, the teams scored by hitting a round ball into the goal. The ball was advanced mainly by kicking. He could not be advanced by carrying him and the forward pass would not become a part of football until several decades later.

Both teams fielded 25 players each. The Rutgers student newspaper described it as “headlong running, wild screaming and frantic kicking.” One writer today said it was like hard-hitting football.

Rutgers won 6-4. And the rest, as they say, is history, although it could be embellished a little over the decades.

Rutgers didn’t make much football history from that first step. Big Ten play since 2014 has been especially tough for the streaky Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers is 14-59 in Big Ten games and has seven Big Ten teams it hasn’t beaten since joining the conference (Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota).

No. 3 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) is a 40-point favorite over Rutgers (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) when the Scarlet Knights come to Ohio Stadium for Game 15: 30.

OSU has scored 49 or more points in all eight of its games against Rutgers. Ohio State went 52-13 last year.

On paper, the game looks like it could be just as one-sided and just as high-scoring.

Ohio State ranks No. 2 nationally in total offense with 558.8 yards per game. Rutgers is 98th in rushing yards at 367.2 per game.

Ohio State is 3rd in the nation in scoring at 48.8 points per game, while Rutgers is 84th at 28.5 points per game.

Defensive ratings are much closer. Rutgers is ranked No. 9 in the nation in scoring defense and Ohio State is No. 18. The Buckeyes are No. 21 in scoring defense and Rutgers is No. 25.

But these ratings are a bit of an illusion. Given the choice between OSU’s defensive unit and Rutgers’ defensive linemen, probably every coach in the country other than Rutgers’ Greg Sheaan would say they’d take Ohio State’s talent.

Rutgers could be part of football history. But it won’t do anything historic against Ohio State this year.

Prediction: Ohio State 49, Rutgers 10.

Contact Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.