Football

Sloppy Buckeyes Destroy Maryland 62-14

J.K. Dobbins scores vs. Maryland

There are certain mistakes a football team can make that are nearly always fatal.  Victory just doesn’t follow when you make them.

The Buckeyes made nearly every kind of that sort of mistake in the first half against Maryland, with special teams being a prime culprit. Ohio State allowed a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, had a field goal blocked, and botched a point after touchdown.

And that was just the first quarter.

A shanked punt and a delay of game on a kickoff were lowlights of the second quarter, as was a lost fumble to set up the Maryland offense deep in OSU territory. To say that the special teams were horrible would be an insult to the word horrible.

“A young freshman gave up a little blocked field goal,” Urban Meyer said after the game. “Our punter did not hit, the freshman punter didn’t hit it very well. And then a veteran kicker, I’m still befuddled with. We’re the only team in the country that can’t kick the ball down the field. It’s something I have to strongly evaluate and find out why.

“And then obviously kick return, you know, part of our kickoff, a big part of our kickoff is kick the ball on target. And we’re not on target. So that’s something to work on and get fixed. And there’s a lot of people upset about that and I’m one of them. We’ll find out.”

It should have been fatal. Instead the Buckeyes totally dominated from scrimmage, outgaining Maryland 361 yards to just 21 yards in the first half.

Yeah, OSU had its ugly moments, but the rest of the time they played so well, particularly on defense, that they went to the halftime locker room with a 41-7 lead despite their glaring miscues.

Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett wasn’t too shabby in the first half either. He completed 17-of-26 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns. His TD passes went eight yards to Binjimen Victor, 10 yards to tight end Marcus Baugh, and five yards to Austin Mack. Barrett also scored a touchdown rushing.

The rest of OSU’s scoring came via the ground, including a 20-yard fumble recovery and return for touchdown by Jerome Baker to put Ohio State up 14-0.

The Buckeyes put up three more scores in the second half, all of them on the ground, to lead 62-7.  OSU tailbacks Antonio Williams, J. K. Dobbins, and Mike Weber all tallied second-half rushing touchdowns. Maryland scored on offense late in the fourth quarter to make the final 62-14.

For the game, the Buckeyes amassed 584 yards of total offense. Maryland was held to just 66. The Buckeyes brought a balanced offensive attack, gaining 281 yards through the air and 303 on the ground.

Ohio  State is now 5-1 on the season and 3-0 in Big Ten play. Maryland falls to 3-2 and 1-1 in league play.

3 Responses

  1. I appreciate the thoroughness and relevance of John’s writing. I am curious if anyone wants to weigh in on the “targeting” ejection of Denzel Ward in the first half, it could make for interesting exchanges. For my money, Ward did everything he could NOT to “target” the receiver. He used his shoulder, not his head, to strike the receiver’s upper chest- NOT the receiver’s head. What else is the guy supposed to do, and how in the world do the officials still screw up the call AFTER replay?
    I am watching college football slowly de-evolve into the barely watchable mess that is pro football, and this nonsense doesn’t help. In every sport I know, there is some sort of “targeting”- this occurs because humans use their eyes to orient themselves in physical competitions. Pitchers “target” the catcher’s mitt, and fielders target the first baseman when throwing a runner out at first base. Basketball players “target” the hoop when shooting, and “target” the ball when trying to block an opponent’s shot. The examples are limitless. The main problems are that rules makers seen to forget the collision-oriented nature of football, and that officials are now apparently taking up the mantle of mind reader as they try to determine a player’s intentions, rather than his actions- and they are failing miserably. There is NO WAY Ward’s call should have stood post review, no way. There were already personal foul penalties in place before this absurd, politically correct “targeting” language was born. What’s the answer? Maybe there should be a penalty- sarcastically named, I hope- for QBs who throw lollipops to receivers that leave them vulnerable to hard hits!

    1. Working on it right now, actually.

      1. Yes, the problem is the commenters to that piece missed the sarcasm and the real issue has gone by the wayside. The bottom line is this. Despite the (justifiable) criticism officials often receive, most would be perfect on the day’s work if they had the luxury of slow motion review for all close calls- inbounds vs out of bounds, catch/no catch, and so on. The fact that these folks ROUTINELY screw up the “targeting” call AFTER repeated slow motion review, clearly indicates they understand neither the letter nor the spirit of the rule. These same officials will not review their own bad calls, will not be asked to explain them, and will go on believing they were right. That’s why this rule needs to be scrapped. The call doesn’t mean much when your team is ahead by a billion points. It sure as heck does matter, however, when its tight and one of your best players gets ejected FOR FOLLOWING THE DARN RULE! Its a garbage rule that needs to go.

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