Let’s get the obvious part out of the way: Ohio State was sleep walking that first half against Maryland, and mental mistakes, along with the inability to get a push at the line of scrimmage made this game closer that comfort. Maryland should have been ranked going into this game, and if they were in the SEC, they would have been top 20 team, but a loss will keep them out of reach. Joel Klatt said on the broadcast best though, this could be a 9 or 10 win Maryland team, and if they do end the regular season with that record, they should be ranked, and be a helpful data point for the Buckeyes once the playoff polls come into place.
It is concerning that the Buckeye has issues running the ball, even after the second half adjustments, but fortunately, they have time to get it fixed, but the window is getting smaller to improve with Penn State two weeks away. TreVeyon Henderson was injured for this game, and that might have left the running back room a little empty. Chip Trayanum had a decent game in his place, but there was not home-run or long run for the game.
Fortunately, but Buckeyes woke up in the second half, and scored 27 unanswered points to finish the Terrapins, and started to look like one of the best teams int he country. I will continue to give credit to this years Ohio State defense, who had two interceptions, the first being a pick-6 by Josh Proctor and got the Buckeyes not he board for their first score in a moment where Ohio State could not get anything going on offense and were forced to 5 straight punts.
Even with playing a choppy game, the Buckeyes are 5-0, and have a chance go 6-0 next week against Purdue.
Kyle McCord threw for a career high 320 yards, on 19 of 29 completions for 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He did get blitzed and saved a few times this game for -20 yards rushing.
Chip Trayanum got the lions share of the carries with 20 touches for 61 yards and 1 touchdown. Miyan Williams got in on a few situations aunt only ran 6 times for 23 yards.
Marvin Harrison Jr led all receivers with 8 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. Cade Stover was the next leading receiver with 2 catches for 66 yards. Julian Fleming was third on the team with 2 catches for 45 yards. There were plenty of opportunities to get more points on the board, and McCord will have a lot to improve as he keeps developing.
Maryland scored on their opening drive in the second half, but that would be the last time the Terrapins would score. The Buckeyes drove down 76 yards in 4 played and tied it up. On Maryland’s next drive, Ohio State got it second interception for the game, and thanks to a decent return, set up the Buckeyes with another scoring drive with a field goal. Ohio State scored the next 17 points, and their defense shut down the Maryland offense to help Ohio State cover the spread.
Star of the Game
Marvin Harrison Jr. Going into this game, it was a question mark on how healthy Marvin Harrison Jr would be with the ankle injury in the Notre Dame. This week, he showed why he is one of the best players in the country, and a key part of the offense to help Ohio State get momentum on offense.
There wasn’t a lot Ohio State could have done to help themselves with after a slow performance to start, but as the game finished up, Oklahoma defeated Texas 34-30, and stopped the Longhorn’s Hail Mary attempt. This should potentially keep the Buckeyes at 4 and 3 in the AP and Coaches polls respectively, but more inconsistent play could see them drop.
Ohio State (5-0) will travel to play Purdue (2-3) for their 3rd trip to the Hoosier state, it will be a 12pm kickoff on Peacock.
Maryland (5-1) returns home to face Illinois (2-4) who are now going on 2 straight losses with a 3:30pm kickoff on NBC.
Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete | AP