Game 11 Recap: Ohio State 52 – Maryland 51
Last week, Ohio State and Michigan State battled it out in a traditional Big Ten game, with punts and field position playing a factor in the outcome. This week, both teams might as well have been Big 12 teams with the amount of yardage and points scored in this match up. This was not the type of performance Ohio State wanted to have before next weeks showdown, but they came out with a win against a Maryland team who was fighting for bowl eligibility and a send off for their seniors in their program. With the amount of young players who contributed to the Terrapins on Saturday, they should be good moving forward, and a competitor in the Big Ten.
Maryland started off with the ball, and on their second play, Anthony McFarland gashed the Ohio State defense for a 81 yard run after a missed contain by Ohio State’s Arnette. On the kickoff, Maryland was able to recover a short kick to regain the ball in Ohio State territory, but a fumble on a trick pass back pattern gave Ohio State the ball for the first time, in which they were able to drive down for a field goal. Back and forth the teams went, exchanging scores an turnovers, and Maryland held a 24-17 lead going into halftime, after a costly fumble from JK Dobbins near the goal line on Ohio State’s last possession.
Things didn’t get any better when Ohio State got the ball back to start the second half, as Maryland intercepted a tipped pass all the way for a touchdown, and extended their lead 35-17. In a away site for the Buckeyes, nearly 70% of the crowd rooted for the Scarlet and Gray, but were now getting uncomfortable, as visions of Purdue this year and Iowa last year started to creep up in their minds. Luckily, Ohio State drove down the field on their next possession to bring it back to a one score game.
Ohio State’s defense made some adjustments, and forced Maryland to punt on their next three possessions, but Ohio State couldn’t capitalize in that time, punting twice, and Dwayne Haskins fumbled the ball after running into one of his blockers. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter when Ohio State was able to tie up the game at 31 point each, after Haskins passed to KJ Hill to tie the school record for passing touchdowns in a season. Maryland and Ohio State would then each score two more times, none bigger than the Ohio State touchdown to tie the game, and after a defensive stop, force the game into overtime. The last touchdown from Haskins to Victor earned him the new season record for passing touchdowns in a game.
Ohio State started with the ball, and got a big play from Dobbins on his first carry, but after an incomplete pass, and a stopped 3rd down run from Haskins, Ohio State faced a 4th and 1. They called a time out to think about going for it, or going for the field goal. Ohio State drew up a play-action pass to Berry, who converted the 4th down, and brought Ohio State up to the Maryland 5 yard line. On their next play, a 4 yard reception was called back due to an Ohio State offensive foul, and brought them to 1st and goal on the 20 yard line. The next play after, a defensive pass interference brought Ohio State back to the 5 yard line. The very next play, Haskins scrambled for a 5 yard touchdown run to give Ohio State it’s first lead of the game.
Maryland then took over for their possession, and nearly got a touchdown on their first play of overtime. A review showed the runner was just short, and then on the next play, they broke the plan to get them to 52-51. Maryland and Matt Canada was looking to decide the game in the first overtime, and went for a two point play. After a scramble to the left, Pigrome missed an open receiver in the end zone, and ended the game with an Ohio State win.
Dwayne Haskins finished the game with 406 yard passing, with 3 touchdowns, and 59 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. He put on a show for his home state crowd in attendance, as 20 family and friends were in attendance to see him play. JK Dobbins lead the running backs with 37 carries and 203 yards and a touchdown. Mike Weber has a bruised quad, but he traveled with the team and suited up, but did not play. McCall came in as the next back up for Dobbins. Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon both broke 100 yards receiving, and came up in key moments for the offense.
Ohio State can now take a sigh, review the film, and get ready for The Game next week, as Big Ten Championship stakes are on the line for both teams.
Maryland literally ran all over Ohio State in the first quarter, and the Buckeyes were able to clamp down on that, but never took the lead in the game until their touchdown in overtime. However, the turning point of the game was the last scoring drive for Ohio State. It was set up by a great return for Demario McCall, which gave Ohio State great field position. They drove down the field, and Haskins passed it to Binjimen Victor in the corner of the end zone to help tie the game, and that touchdown gave him the Ohio State record for passing touchdowns in a season. Ohio State then started with the ball in overtime, which was capped by a Haskins touchdown run. Maryland answered back, but a bad throw on a failed 2-point conversion gave Ohio State the win.
Star of the Game
Dwayne Haskins made every bit of his homecoming feel important, and he needed to deliver they type of performance he gave to keep Ohio State’s post season goals alive. He accounted for 6 total touchdowns, 3 passing and 3 rushing. He eclipsed 400 yards for the 4th time this season, and he also captured the season records for passing yards, and passing touchdowns. He ran more than we were used to him seeing, but that extra wrinkle, especially with Weber sidelined for this game, gave Ohio State an edge against the Maryland defense, and might make Michigan have to play Haskins as a runner next week.
For Ohio State, it is somewhat simple. With the win, the winner of The Game will play Northwestern in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. Now, should Ohio State win their next two games, they might still be on the outside looking in, and might need some help. There are still two weeks left where anything could happen. Potentially the best case scenario for Ohio State now though is for Alabama to win out, Clemson to win out, Notre Dame to win out, and West Virginia to beat Oklahoma next week or potentially in a rematch for the Big 12 title. Washington State is another team to look out for, but if it comes to Ohio State at 12-1, and Washington State at 12-1, Ohio State would have the better resume. Worst case scenario if Ohio State wins out is a trip to the Rose Bowl to potentially play Washington State, and miss the playoff.
Ohio State (10-1) hosts TTUN (10-1) for a noon kickoff. College Game Day will be in Columbus.
Maryland (5-6) travels to Penn State (8-3) for a 3:30 kickoff.
Photo credit to The Lantern