The Buckeyes just became the first team outside of the ACC or SEC to earn the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. Now, they have to defend it.
That starts this weekend with a home date against Maryland. The Terrapins are 0-5 against Ohio State all-time, with the first meeting coming in their inaugural Big Ten season of 2014.
While the series isn’t long or balanced, it does feature some interesting stats. For example, Ohio State has never scored fewer than 49 points in a game against Maryland.
The first four games in the series were blowouts (52-24, 49-28, 62-3, and 62-14) before last year’s 52-51 overtime nail-biter.
This year’s game also figures to be an action-packed affair – at least on the Ohio State side of the scoreboard.
Maryland enters with a 3-6 mark, and is just 1-5 in Big Ten play, while the Buckeyes are 8-0 overall and 5-0 in conference.
The Ohio State defense has allowed just five plays of 30+ yards all of this season.
They gave up six plays of 30+ yards in just the 2018 Maryland game alone.
That day, running back Anthony McFarland had rushes for 81 yards, 75 yards, and 52 yards.
Darryl Jones had a 60-yard reception. Dontay Demus had a 56-yard reception. Taivon Jacobs had a 30-yard reception.
The OSU defense has allowed just six touchdowns all season.
Two came against the backups in the fourth quarter against Florida Atlantic.
One came on a trick play just before halftime against Indiana.
One came at Nebraska late in the third quarter when the score was 48-0.
Another was early in the second quarter against Michigan State.
The most recent covered just 30 yards after Wisconsin blocked a punt in the third quarter.
The Ohio State defense has already intercepted 10 passes from opponents this season. That puts them 17th in the nation.
In 14 games, the 2018 Buckeye defense only picked off 11. That ranked 72nd in FBS on a per-game basis.
Chase Young enters the Maryland game with 13.5 sacks on the season. The OSU school single-season record is 14 by Vernon Gholston in 2007.
Young has more sacks than 28 different FBS teams have recorded this year. Included on that list are programs like Texas, Mississippi State, and Missouri (13.0 each). Unsurprisingly, this is an area where Rutgers is also terrible. The Scarlet Knights defense has recorded just 11 sacks all season.
Ohio State has won 26 of its 28 games in the month of November since Urban Meyer took over in 2012.
The only two losses during that time came against Michigan State (2015) and at Iowa (2017).
Nearly three out of four drives for opponents – 73.5% – have failed to cross midfield against the Buckeyes this season. That’s the highest percentage of any defense in the country.
The Buckeyes have scored more points on drives following opponent turnovers (76, including Damon Arnette’s pick-six at Indiana) than their opponents have scored all season (63).
The total score of Maryland’s three wins this season. They beat Howard 79-0, Syracuse 63-20, and Rutgers 48-7. Of course, that’s against one low-level ACC team and two FCS opponents.
In their other six games, the Terps have been outscored 242-75. That means that they scored more in the season opener against Howard (79) than they have in their six losses combined (75).
J.K. Dobbins needs 203 yards rushing to pass Eddie George for third place on the school’s all-time rushing yardage list.
Dobbins enters the Maryland game with 3,566 yards in his career. He passed Tim Spencer for fourth on the all-time list against Wisconsin.
Anthony McFarland rushed for 298 yards against the Ohio State defense in 2018.
That is the second-most ever by a player facing the Buckeyes. Only Tim Biakabutuka (313) rushed for more yards in a single game against the OSU defense.