Game Preview: Ohio State vs Maryland

September has turned into October, and we are already one-third of the way through the regular season. Enjoy these moments, and enjoy these Saturday’s, because from this point on, the season is going to be quick. 
Ohio State returns for their homecoming game and will host an undefeated Maryland team who has upset aspirations. The Buckeyes are calling for a Scarlet out of The Shoe, so I am hoping to see a sea of red on the television screen. Even though it wont be a ranked vs ranked match up, Bog Noon Kickoff will be on campus as Joel Klatt and Gus Johnson will call the game. 
Buckeye Nation, with a chance to move to 5-0, lets get hype.

Know the Opponent:

Head Coach: Mike Locksley (5th season)
2023 Record: 5-0
Location: College Park, MD
Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State Preview

The Buckeyes are returning back from an idle week, and let the landscape of college football start to shape itself out. Their win against Notre Dame looked even better as the Irish defeated then undefeated Duke on the road. Ohio State will have to continue to be Notre Dame fans the rest of the way to help them just incase the Buckeyes do stumble to either Penn State or Michigan, but we are all hopeful that Ohio State takes care of business so they dont have to be at the mercy of other outcomes. For those who like to track, it is 2 weeks now from Penn State, 8 weeks away from Michigan, and 9 weeks if they can make it to the Big Ten Championship game. 
Kyle McCord has thrown for 1055 yards to go along with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception. He did not throw a touchdown against Notre Dame, but that was in large part due to the experience at defensive back Notre Dame presented. This week, he should be able to open it up in the air a little more.
TreVeyon Henderson is the lead running back, with 44 carries with 295 yards and 5 touchdowns. Chip Trayanum has fit in so far as the 2nd running back, and is still looking to make big moments like he did against Notre Dame. He has 25 carries for 146 yards, and has scored a touchdown in 2 consecutive games. 
This week will be big for the wide-outs for Ohio State. Marvin Harrison Jr leads the group with 17 catches for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns. Emeka Egbuka has 19 catches for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cade Stover continues to be McCord’s safety net, with 17 catches for 240 yards on the season. 

Maryland Preview

Maryland enters this game 5-0 on the season, and winner of 7 straight games, with their last loss against the Buckeyes in College Park last season. They have not played the best competition, but they have looked solid offensively for the season, and their common opponent in Indiana, the Terrapins defeated the Hoosiers at a much bigger margin. Surprisingly, Maryland did not enter the AP poll or Coaches poll, somehow still behind 2 loss LSU, but a potential loss would have made the ranking moot if the Buckeye does what they are expected to do. An interesting side note for this game, especially after Ryan Day’s famous post game rant against Notre Dame, Josh Gattis is the offensive coordinator for Maryland, who could be pinned as the person who started the narrative that the Buckeyes were soft when he was the OC for Michigan in the 2021 game. I wonder if Ryan Day is using this as additional motivation.
The Terrapin offense is led by senior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who is one of the top statistical quarterbacks in the Big Ten so far this season. He has passed for 1464 yards with 13 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. He also has made some plays with his legs, and has rushed for 68 yards on 14 carries to go along with 3 rushing touchdowns.
The lea running back is Roman Hemby, who has rushed for 309 yards on 64 carries, and 4 touchdowns. Behind him is Colby McDonald who has 26 carries for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. The other work cow is Antwain Littleon II who has 37 carries for 164 yards and 1 touchdowns.
Taulia spreads the ball out in the passing game with 4 receivers over 200 yards. Jeshaun Jones leads that group with 19 catches for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tai Felton is the next receiver with 18 catches for 299 yards to go along with 3 touchdowns. Kaden Prather is next on the team with 18 catches for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns. The last target to keep an eye on is tight-end Corey Dyches who has 18 catches for 214 yards and 1 touchdown. 

Buckeye Spotlight

Kyle McCord. With a week to rest and get sharper, I am curious to see how Kyle McCord takes his next step in his Ohio State legacy. The emotions after a big win against Notre Dame should be subsided, and it is now time to get back into the Big Ten schedule with 8 straight weeks that end with a trip to Ann Arbor.

Terrapin Spotlight

Taulia Tagovailoa. The senior quarterback leads the conference in passing yard and touchdowns and has been the focus of the Josh Gattis offense for the Terrapins. If Maryland has any chance in this game, it will be because of the play of Taulia.

Water Cooler Stat of the Game

1940. Ohio State starts their season facing 5 straight undefeated opponents for the first time since 1940. The 5-0 Terrapins are also one of the 4 undefeated teams in the Big Ten East, along with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. 


Ohio State enters the game coming off a bye week, and even though Marvin Harrison Jr downplayed his ankle injury, there is some concern for the Buckeye passing offense which was supposed to be the strongest unit going into the season. However, Egbuka, Stover, and the depth ate receiver can help Kyle McCord continue to grow as they have the next two games to get ready for Penn State. Maryland enters this game undefeated, with their last loss being against Ohio State last season, and are hoping to defeat the Buckeyes on the road behind the arm of Tualia Tagovailoa. I think the Silver Bullet defense gets tested, but will be the difference and prove why Ohio State is the better team.

Ohio State 35 – Maryland 7

Photo Credit – Athlon Sports

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