The Buckeyes offense has finally arrived … last week’s victory over a good Nebraska team was important on many levels. First they beat a good team – that in itself is always valuable. Second, their coming out party was a nice presentation for the CFP Committee to witness (How could such a victory be ignored – similarly to the 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin in the Big 10 Title game 2014). And third, these talented players were finally able to muster the confidence they need going into games with *ichigan State (regardless of their bad season – CANNOT EVER be ignored!) and of course, the booger eating Wolverines up north.
Now The Maryland Terrapins will have a shot ….
This coming Saturday (November 12th) at 3:30 pm on ESPN in Maryland Stadium our Buckeyes will “again” be in a MUST win game against a home team, that arguably is good, just not better on any level. But often teams such as this, overlooking occurs – and – then boom ….
The Terrapins are 5-4 overall, and 2-4 in Big Ten play.
Maryland is coming off an embarrassing loss to TTUN at the Big House – 59-3. That in itself is hardly the surprise. Like it or not TTUN looks for real. Maryland, certainly went into that game prepared and was looking for either a closer outcome. After this weekend the Terrapins will be heading to Nebraska … so in actuality they appear to be on a roll for a three-week bad period. That has to be deflating for a team that started off the season with hopes of turning their program around.
If the Buckeyes overlook this game (cautiously I will add – “very” unlikely) – they are completely out of the hunt for a national title.
Panic was initially sweeping Columbus in their slow starts and conservative play against Wisconsin and their melt-down against Penn State, along with their offensive sputtering against Northwestern. But they came alive – and did so quite well against a “damn” good Nebraska Team. This was precisely what they needed. The talent level of the Buckeyes is off the chart. It is simply sinful to not take advantage of this talent.
QB: Their QB, Perry Hill is good, effective, and will completely catch you off guard. He has thrown for 1,143 yards with 10 TD’s, and only 3 interceptions. His QB rating is even better than our very own JT’s. Mr. Hill has a 152.8% QB rating. Keep an eye on him. He is hardly a slouch.
Running: Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison both share the spotlight in the backfield for the Terrapins. Johnson has run for 635 yards thus far this season with 4 TD’s. Harrison has run equally, 633 yards, with 5 TD’s.
They both are good and effective behind a suspect line. Johnson at 5’10, 184 lbs., a Sophomore out of Cumberland, Maryland is more a plow, strong legs, and a spirited determination. Harrison, a Freshman out of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, is only 5’8 but packs a bowling ball punch with 188 lbs. He is more finesse to the contrary.
These two running backs are hardly ones to ignore. If they had a better line in front, their numbers certainly would be higher.
Receiving: DJ Moore, out of Philadelphia, is their best receiver, in my opinion. He has snagged 30 balls for 466 yards and has made it to the end zone 5 times. But – wait – they actually have another good receiver. His name is Teldrick Morgan. He stands 6’0” and has caught 31 balls for 342 yards with 3 TD’s. I like these two receivers.
The Maryland Terrapins defensive unit is by far not the best in the country. They do have effective players. DT – JR – Jesse Aniebonam thus far this season has 9.5 tackles for a loss this season equaling 56 yards. LB – JR – Shane Cockerille is their leading tackler with 38 solo, 41 assisted, which equals 79. CB- SR – Alvin Hill is impressive with 23 solo, 10 assisted for a total of 33. He also leads the team in interceptions with 2.
This unit has given up 245 points so far this year … far from impressive.
QB – JT, unquestionably is our leader. He has thrown for 1,965 yards with a 218.3 yards per game average. He has been good on 21 TD’s and has only 4 interceptions. His QB ratings is a improved to a 149.9 %.
JT is well respected in our cult of Buckeye Nation. He is second in command, only behind Coach (Urban). His abilities are impressive each and every week. The opposition must lose their minds with the talent of this young man. If he doesn’t get you in the air, he’ll certainly knock you out of your game on the ground with his 570 yards.
Running – Mike Weber gets better each week. He has increased his numbers to 842 yards for the season along with 7 TD’s. he undoubtedly will reach the 1,00 yard mark this year (his first).
Curtis Samuel, who I prefer to call Mr. Everything (as Urban has now named him the starting punt returner coming into this game). He has rushed for 599 yards and has had 5 TD’s on the ground.
Receiving – Yep, Mr. Everything again. Curtis Samuel has 52 receptions for 676 yards, and 5 TD’s. Noah Brown slides into second with 26 receptions for 323 yards, and 7 TD’s.
The Buckeyes are one of the best units defensively in the nation. Raekwon McMillian leads the team with 23 solo tackles, 31 assisted, for a total of 54. Malik Hooker is 2nd with 31 solo tackles, 22 assisted, for a total of 53. He also leads the team in interceptions with 5 of which he has returned for an impressive 165 yards and 2 TD’s. This is also number one in all of the Big Ten. Robert Landers, FR – DL – leads the team in tackles for a loss with 7.5 equaling 27 yards.
I could end there in the defensive summary of this preview for the Maryland match-up .. which I should. Because I could also tell you about Jerome Baker, Damon Webb, Nick Bosa, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Chris Worley, Sam Hubbard … are you feeling me?
Last week against the Nebraska Cornhuskers I mentioned in my preview that the Buckeyes were no longer the overwhelming and murderous apparatus it was over the first month of the season. I’d like to amend that. They are back. The Nebraska win was huge. It was huge because the offensive unit finally came out to play. But what was nice was that the defensive unit too came to play – and keep in mind – I am speaking of a good Nebraska team.
Last week the combo of Warriner and Beck finally jelled and showed some brains. Their play calling was good, effective, creative, and dare I say “smart”. Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That was one game. Let’s see if they can do it back to back, and then of course, against an uncharacteristically bad MSU team (But they sure do like when we Buckeyes overlook them – don’t they?). So let us see what happens. Urban’s decision to replace Wilson at the punt returner with Mr. Everything Curtis Samuel was both brilliant and well overdo. This will add a flair of excitement unquestionably.
Buckeyes – 51 Terrapins – 9. And that folks is my final answer.