COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State survived a scare in College Park to secure its 11th win of the season. While all of the focus outside of Ohio State’s program was on facing Michigan next week, Ohio State surely knew it had to take care of business against Maryland first.
But instead of sealing a win early on and dominating the 6-4 team, it was a fourth quarter, full game thriller where the Buckeyes pulled away for the 43-30 win. Maryland certainly looked to outplay Ohio State, but it was the Buckeyes who outlasted the chaos.
Maryland came out hot with its quarterback play, made it difficult for Ohio State to establish the run, and ultimately made it a fourth-quarter battle for the Buckeyes, who returned to College Park for the first time since 2018 in the 52-51 overtime victory.
The score was 13-10 with Maryland leading at the half, but there were 50 combined points in the second-half action. Maryland never got the lead back after Noah Ruggles’ punt was blocked and returned by Maryland early in the fourth quarter.
To seal the win, Buckeye defensive end Zach Harrison had back to back sacks, with the second coming on a strip-sack of Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa in front of the goal line where the ball landed in the hands of Buckeye linebacker Steele Chambers, who returned it for a touchdown.
Ohio State’s first drive of the game featured a 31-yard touchdown from running back TreVeyon Henderson. But Ohio State then went on back to back three-and-outs before then settling for a field goal.
Ohio State also struggled to contain Tagovailoa, especially early on. He was 26-of-36 for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He completed passes to nine different Maryland receivers.
But early in the third quarter, safety Lathan Ransom made a critical tackle-for-loss and subsequently blocked a Maryland punt. Suddenly, the momentum shifted for Ohio State and things began clicking — though it was still a battle with each possession. Freshman running back Dallan Hayden also began to establish the run game for the Buckeyes as Henderson saw limited time and was seen in a walking boot in the second half.
Hayden has his second consecutive 100-yard game against Maryland. He had 27 carries for 146 yards with three touchdowns — all of Ohio State’s touchdowns with the exception of Henderson’s coming on the first drive.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud was 18-of-30 for 241 yards and one touchdown. Emeka Egbuka led all receivers with 82 yards on six catches.
After never-racking games for both Michigan and Ohio State this Saturday, the teams will meet each other 11-0 next week in Columbus, just the second time in the history of the rivalry, and the first time since 2006.
Photo via Ohio State Buckeyes.