The Ohio State Buckeyes had their way with the Maryland Terrapins in the Shoe Saturday evening – winning 62-14. But it is hardly so glamorous.
In the first half alone Maryland returned a 100-yard kickoff, scoring their first 6 (PAT good). There was a fumble on a PAT attempt. A field goal was blocked. And J.K. Dobbins had himself a fumble recovered by Maryland.
Amazingly the Buckeyes amassed 361 yards in the closing of the first half.
On first view, minus the numbers, the offensive line for the Buckeyes seemed out of synch. There were moments of confusion, even a quitting session as performed by Isaiah Prince on the third possession by the Buckeyes. And again by Brandon Bowen at the 3:40 mark of the first half.
Outside of the errors the Buckeyes were blessed with the performance of JT Barrett. JT against Maryland in his career as a Buckeye has delivered 6 TD’s with zero turnovers. Allow me to repeat that – at least the latter part – zero turnovers. And JT continued to shine against the Terrapins. He would complete the game in the third quarter with 261 yards, three TD’s, and would be 20 of 31.
The Buckeyes defense was dominant, truly. The offense topped the 60 point mark for the first time this season as the Buckeyes – and no disrespect of Maryland here – owned the game.
Let’s not ignore that Maryland came into the game averaging nearly 40 points per contest and over 400 yards of offense, The Buckeyes defense though allowed just 66 yards which were the fewest allowed by the Buckeyes in a Big Ten game since allowing 60 to Indiana on Nov. 5, 1960. This is note-worthy.
Baron Browning made a team-high six tackles while Nick Bosa (five stops) and Dante Booker (four tackles) each had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. So the Buckeyes defense is finally jelling well.
JT Barrett, as I have already mentioned, led the offense to six touchdowns on the day. He finished 21-of-30 passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 59 yards and adding another score on the ground.
There were five Buckeyes who crossed the end zone. In addition to Barrett, J.K. Dobbins crossed the goal line while leading the team with 96 yards on 13 carries. Mike Weber also ran 13 times for 59 yards and notched his fourth touchdown in the last two games. Paris Campbell and Antonio Williams also reached the end zone on the ground.
The Buckeyes opened the scoring on the first drive as Barrett smothered a 70-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge. On Maryland’s third play from scrimmage, Bosa hit Terrapin QB Max Bortenschalger whose fumble was scooped up by Jerome Baker and returned 20 yards for another Buckeye touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff (already mentioned in the Buckeyes errors) Maryland’s Ty Johnson raced 100 yards for a score and before the crowd was settled in their seats, it was 14-7 Ohio State.
Just over two minutes later, the Buckeyes were back in the end zone again as Barrett hit Binjimen Victor on a post route in the back of the end zone and after the extra point snap and hold was botched, OSU led 20-7.
The Ohio State defense was the story of the opening half. OSU limited Maryland to just 26 yards of total offense on 28 plays. The Buckeyes also forced a pair of fumbles and held the Terps to just two first downs. The Buckeye offense added three more scores in the second quarter – a Marcus Baugh touchdown reception, a Campbell 24-yard TD run and a 5-yard Barrett to Austin Mack connection – and Ohio State headed to the locker room in front 41-7.
Mike Weber got the scoring started in the second half as he amassed 44 of the 65 yards on the Buckeyes second drive which ended with the Detroit, Mich., sophomore taking it in from eight yards out. After another Maryland fumble, the Buckeyes capitalized again as Dobbins ran three times for 28 yards and found the end zone for a 55-7 advantage.
The final two scores of the game came in the fourth quarter. Antonio Williams scored for the Buckeyes on a run right up the middle with 10 minutes to play and the Terrapins took advantage of a short field and got a 20-yard run from Javon Leake with just over four minutes to play to account for the final score.
Don’t look for Urban to accept this as a job well done. Along the sideline he appeared anguished, even tormented. If this game had been against, ahhhh let’s say Northwestern, it would have been a whole different story.
Regardless, this victory is essential – specifically since the Sooners of Oklahoma has lost to Iowa State and TTUN is losing to *ichigan State at this very moment as I type 14-3 in the 2nd. What would all of that mean anyway for the polls? Can I dream??
.See you in Lincoln next weekend