If you found yourself bored by the week-after-week Ohio State dominance, then consider yourselves reawakened. Or maybe consider yourselves to blame.
Buckeye defensive end Chase Young is out this week — not suspended — while OSU looks into improper benefits, so this does change things a bit for the Ohio State defense.
It also changes things a bit for the staff picks.
I’m pretty sure all of the staff picks came into my inbox before the news broke, so any mention of Chase Young will have to either be ignored or ridiculed. I am fine with either approach, especially since I haven’t even written my pick yet. I do apologize for getting these published about 10 hours later than normal, but there was stuff happening.
In all seriousness, however, don’t blame yourself. Blame me and Tom Orr for asking whether Young would break the OSU sack record in the first or second quarter on Saturday.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been remarkably focused this season under Ryan Day and I’m betting that focus is never sharper than it will be tomorrow. That being said, Chase Young is very talented and losing him is going to hurt, regardless of focus. The loss of playmaking will give the Maryland offense more opportunities to have success than they would have had with him on the field. It also means more of those opportunities are going to click.
But the Buckeyes will still have the advantage up front on both sides of the ball. This defense is going to want to show that they are more than just Chase Young and the Gang. Even without Young and Jonathon Cooper, the Buckeyes will still put four defensive ends on the field who would be starting at many or most Big Ten schools this season.
And Ohio State still has JK Dobbins, Justin Fields, tackling, and the best secondary in America.
Ohio State 52, Maryland 7
I really don’t think this game will be an issue for Ohio State as long as they keep doing what they have been doing. If they lose focus they will be exposed a bit, but I think the Buckeyes want to show how far they have come since this game last season.
The Maryland offense hasn’t been good, they have great skill players but the offensive line is struggling and they just can’t put anything together. I know Maryland put up 51 points last year but this Buckeye defense is entirely different. The Buckeye defensive front has been so good that they will find any cracks in the Terrapins offense, take advantage of those, and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
Maryland is giving up a lot of points this season and their their pass defense has been struggling, so Justin Fields and the Ohio State offense should be able to put up big numbers. I think
Chase Young as well as the rotation of Ohio State receivers will have big days. I’m predicting the Buckeyes to come out strong and play with something to prove.
Ohio State 56 Maryland 6
Ohio State doesn’t find itself in a position to really have to pay someone back for a previous game. There is no need for a revenge tour when you lose maybe one game each season.
This week, though, the OSU defense has a score to settle. Maryland running back Anthony McFarland ran for 298 yards, including touchdowns of 81 and 75 yards. It was the biggest day any running back not named Biakabutuka has ever put up against an OSU defense.
This year’s OSU defense has been a much different story. They have given up 5 plays of 30+ yards all season after allowing 5 of them in just that one game at Maryland last year.
This is not a game the Buckeye defenders are going to overlook. Given how lousy Maryland has been overall, it’s probably not going to be a fun day to be a part of the Terps’ offense.
Ohio State 45, Maryland 0
I’m going to run through a list of current team stats for both the Maryland Terrapins and the Ohio State Buckeyes, but I won’t tell you which stats represent which team. Should be fun.
Points per game – 29.6
Points against per game – 30.0
Rushing yards per game – 184.2
Rushing yards against per game – 151
Passing yards per game – 200.2
Passing yards against per game – 262.8
FG percentage – 25%
Sacks – 18
3rd down conversions – 34%
Turnover margin – +0
Points per game – 48.3
Points against per game – 7.9
Rushing yards per game – 284.3
Rushing yards against per game – 91.5
Passing yards per game – 230.5
Passing yards against per game – 132.8
FG percentage – 77.8%
Sacks – 34
3rd down conversions – 57.3%
Turnover margin – +11
Now, you may be surprised to learn that Team B is actually not Maryland, but Ohio State!
Bottom line, the Buckeyes are a far superior team to the Terps this year and, really, every year. They simply need to remember that, take it to the field, and show it for 60 minutes.
Ohio State 56, Maryland 7
The 52-51 overtime escape pulled off by Ohio State at Maryland last November 17th seems like eons ago. Almost as much of a distant memory is the Maryland team that started out 2-0 this season, blasting Howard 79-0 and Syracuse 63-21. Ever since then, Maryland was able to thump Rutgers on October 5th, but the Terrapins have been dominated by their B1G brethren by an average of 45-12. Something tells me that Ohio State is going to labor substantially to keep this game under 50 points.
Even with the coaching staff stressing how Justin Fields and the other starters need game repetitions, I am hoping that the coaching staff will use this game as an opportunity to give the backups some valuable game experience, specifically several of the redshirt freshmen and true freshmen who have not yet used up a year of eligibility. One of those true freshmen who has already exceeded the four game threshold, Marcus Crowley, is my prediction to get a lot of work in the second half behind the backup offensive line, with both Chris Chugunov and Gunnar Hoak getting time piloting the Ohio State offense.
Ohio State 56, Maryland 7
I tried to think of a good paragraph about this game to explain my final score prediction and nothing seemed to work. I could go for humor, play it straight, get all esoteric and stuff, or whatever. But no matter how things started, it just didn’t seem to coalesce by the end where my score prediction goes. What I settled on is just the obvious: this should not be a close game and it can be as lopsided as Ohio State wants it to be. If the Buckeyes play their dumbest game of the year, they should still win by several touchdowns. If they play their best, the starters won’t see the field in the second half at all. Spoiler alert: This might be the exact same paragraph I use next week.
Ohio State 59, Maryland 6
Ohio State is in phase two of their three phase bye week heading towards that monster two game stretch at the end of the year. The big question facing Ryan Day over the next two weeks is how long to play the starters.
Offensively, I wonder if the Buckeyes will look to really focus on their passing game over these next two weeks. We all know the run game can carry the offense but the staff might still be skeptical if the passing game could if needed.
Defensively, they need to continue playing with swagger and get confident for Penn State and Michigan in a few weeks. I just count on three or more sacks from
Chase Young these next two weeks.
Ohio State 63, Maryland 7
You know how you have a bad feeling before things happen, and it worries you? I have one of those twisting in my gut-type feelings about Maryland this weekend.
Maryland’s defense is no where close to being good enough to stop Ohio State. The Buckeyes match up well on the ground and through the air, and will exploit those matchups. Maryland is 77th nationally in defense, and would require 22 players on the field to slow down this attack. Fields will have another solid 200 something yards passing/70 yards rushing kind of day. I’d expect the offense to be mildly conservative coming off the bye week.
On offense, Maryland will scare us all when we think about last season. But the Silver Bullets obviously are playing better this year, and the man coverage scheme allows for more help from the back 7 in the rushing attack. I wouldn’t worry about another 295 yard game from either Turtle running back.
In the end, expect this one to be rather ho-hum for the good guys. I worry about the slow start after the layoff, and the hype from being number one, but not enough that this game will be ugly.
Oh, that gut feeling is in relation to how badly the OSU 2s & 3s beat up on Maryland, as I expect them to see a lot of playing time.
OSU 51, Maryland 10