On a day filled with Buckeye touchdowns, the most memorable score came from senior tight end Marcus Baugh.
Baugh caught a pass from J.T. Barrett, turned upfield, hurdled a Maryland defender at the 5, stuck the landing and continued into the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 27-7 lead and effectively put the game out of reach.
It was the second time Baugh had pulled off a hurdle against Maryland in as many years. He said he knew what he had to do when he saw where the defender was looking.
“I was looking at him, but he was looking at my legs, so I just knew and I just did it,” said Baugh.
“It’s kind of assumed when you get someone smaller. You just kind of wait and look at their body language when they try to come make a tackle.”
That was Baugh’s only reception on the day, but his teammates know it was just a part of his contribution to the offense.
“A lot of good things,” said senior OL Billy Price. “His development throughout the year and I think the offensive culture itself is changing as well. You see last week when we played Rutgers, Johnnie Dixon caught that pass I think it was right before halftime and Marcus’ block was why he got in the end zone.”
Baugh has struggled to live up to the hype he had coming in as the fourth-ranked tight end recruit in the nation. He ran into trouble off the field early in his career, and has been criticized for giving inconsistent effort at times on the field as well. Baugh said he knows what he needs to do to contribute to the team.
“Me and (offensive coordinator Kevin) Wilson talked. I just have to play hard. Coach Meyer just told me I’ve got to play hard. That’s all I’ve been focusing on doing, not worrying about right or wrong,” said Baugh. “Just trust the people around me and playing hard. That’s it.”
Head coach Urban Meyer says he’s finally seeing what he wants to out of Baugh.
“I think the quarterback, receivers are working well together. Marcus Baugh is really coming on at the right time. So I think he’s getting much better. And he’s hitting his stride a little bit,” said Meyer. Price agreed.
“I think there’s a lot of good things from Marcus going on right now, a lot of confidence that he’s building in the offense as well in his abilities and what he can bring, a different dimension to what we can do,” said Price.
Baugh said he feels like he’s finally realizing his potential.
“It was hard, going through what I’ve gone through. Coaching changes, coordinator changes, you just roll with it and do what you’ve got to do,” he said. “This year, I’m playing how they thought I would play when they recruited me.”