Game Preview: Ohio State vs Maryland

Block out the outside noise. Thats all the Buckeyes need to do at this point of the season, and take care of business. The Buckeye creative team not so subtle took a shot at ESPN’s Desmon Howard for criticizing the Buckeyes, but the rest of the audio from the beginning of this weeks game trailer is nothing but praise. Ohio State knows what is coming next week, and for the season mantra of being competitive stamina, they cannot overlook the Terrapins team that will be hosting the Buckeyes one week before arguably the biggest game in the college football regular season.

10 and 0 with a chance to go 11 and 0. Thats is what is at stake this week, and the Buckeyes know that, and I am sure Ryan Day has preached all throughout this week. In fact, the Buckeyes practiced outside in the snow this week. There is a different vibe to this team, one that still is being mocked as being “soft” and afraid of the elements. The noise. Its everywhere, and the Buckeyes are having to block it all out. 

This game will be on ABC with a 3:30pm kickoff.

Know the Opponent:

Head Coach: Mike Locksley (4th season)
2022 Record: 6-4
Location: College Park, Maryland
Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State Preview

The story of this season for Ohio State is not about the stats that they have put up, which have been impressive on both sides of the ball, but rather which version of the Buckeyes will we see this week. I cant recall outside of the COVID season where a championship calibur team has had struggles with health and injury, yet are still in the hunt and undefeated with 2 weeks to go of the regular season. Ryan Day mentioned that right now he is hopeful that Jaxon Smith-Njigba plays this season, and not that he has expected to. If the Buckeyes can get through Michigan and the Big Ten Championship game and win without JSN, then we might see the full compliment of weapons on both sides of the ball in time for the playoffs. I am sure the Buckeyes will treat this as a business trip, and get in and get out as soon as possible, and shift their focus to Michigan. 

CJ Stroud is starting to get semi-finalist nominations, and rightfully so. He is tied for the most passing touchdowns with North Carolina’s Drake Maye at 34 for the season. He has passed for 2750 yards and still only 4 interceptions. His passer rating of 188.2 is the best in the country. This game will be a great one for him to keep adding to his stats and make a mark towards his Heisman campaign. Stroud has now rushed for 83 yards for the season, thanks to the last two games of rushing output. 

Who will play at running back? That is going to be the question going into this game as TreVeyon Henderson was out last week for the second straight week, and Miyan Williams was injured at the end of the 1st half before getting pulled. Williams leads all backs with 783 yards on 117 carries for 13 touchdowns. Henderson still has 96 carries for 552 yards and 6 touchdowns. Two players we might see getting more carries in the backfield is Dallan Hayden, who rushed for his second 100 yard game last week, and is now at 357 yards on 73 carries for 2 touchdowns. Xavier Johnson flashed last week, and has shown he can carry the ball as well, with 4 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Marvin Harrison Jr might end up being the best receiver in the country this year, with his biggest competition being Tennessee’s Jaylin Hyatt. Harrison has 60 catches for 969 yards and 11 touchdowns. Emeka Egbuka is also one of the top receivers in the country, and has 51 catches for 832 yards and 8 touchdowns. Julian Fleming, who has not been as consistent since the Penn State game, has 22 catches for 385 yards and 6 touchdowns. This can be a goo week for him to get back into the flow and make some plays. Cade Stover, aka Farmer Gronk, has been a weapon all season in the tight end position, and has 29 catches for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Maryland Preview

The Terrapins are bowl eligible this season, and are looking to try and win their 7th regular season game for the first time since 2014. They started the season undefeated their first 3 weeks, and then went into Michigan, giving the Wolverines their toughest test this year, and almost won, but fell 34-27. They rebounded the following week and beat Michigan State, but then fell in a 2 point loss to Purdue. They bounced back once more and beat Indiana and Northwestern, but lost two more against Wisconsin and then last week they were shut out against Penn State 30-0.  With Ohio State this week and Rutgers next week, they would feel good to go 1-1 these last two games to get to that goal. 

Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother to Tua, is the starter for Maryland at quarterback and has passed for 2152 yards this season with 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He is one of the more dynamic quarterbacks in the Big Ten, and the Buckeyes will have to plan for his running ability. Taulia was injured earlier this year, and just came back, but if he is not in, Billy Edwards Jr has stepped in at quarterback this season as well.

The leading running back is Roman Hemby, who has 815 yards on 134 carries and 7 touchdowns. Antwain Littleton II is the second leading rusher with 62 carries for 331 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

The wide receiver group has a lot of talent, and will challenge this Buckeye secondary. Rakim Jarrett leads the team with 37 receptions and 406 yards with 3 touchdowns. Corey Dyches, the tight end, is the second leading pass catcher with 29 catches for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jacob Copeland is the third leading receiver with 22 catches for 331 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Buckeye Spotlight

Tommy Eichenberg. The senior linebacker is a semifinalist for the Butkus and Bednarik awards. The Buckeyes are obviously great offensively, but this is a game that could test the defense — and it will be worth watching how Ohio State responds with Michigan looming.

Hoosier Spotlight

Beau Brade. The Maryland safety has had a good season in pass coverage, and he’ll have his hands full with Ohio State’s fabulous receiving corps.

Water Cooler Stat of the Game

2018. The last time the Buckeyes traveled to Maryland was in the epic 2018 edition where Dwayne Haskins was involved in both the passing and running game. CJ Stroud has mentioned at the beginning of the season that he is dedicating this year to Haskins, and this game is parallel to the 2018 season with the Terrapins being the last opponent standing before The Game. 


Ohio State will travel on the road for its penultimate game against a Maryland team that just got shut out against Penn State. The Buckeyes biggest question mark going into this game will be can they manage to stay healthy, and have a healthy rotation at running back as Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson both were hurt last week, which gave Dallan Hayden a chance to get more reps. Xavier Johnson also filled in, and he flashed with a 71 yard rush, and I am sure Day will game plan to use him more if it means keeping the top two running backs next week. The Buckeyes cant get caught looking ahead to The Game next week, as the Terrapins do have a good quarterback with Taulia Tagovailoa, but her has not passed more then 77 yards the past two weeks. I see the Buckeyes rolling, and taking care of business, getting out of Maryland with a win and moving to 11-0.

Ohio State 52 – Maryland 13

Photo Credit: FOX Sports

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