As quickly as the sun disappeared behind the clouds, Maryland’s hopes of upsetting No. 10 Ohio State in front of 107,180 fans at Ohio Stadium vanished.
Behind a strong performance from redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett, who completed 20-of-31 passes for 261 yards and rushed for 59 yards, the Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) handed the Terrapins (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) a decisive 62-14 loss.
Barrett and the offense took less than four minutes to march down the field for the game’s first score. It did not end there as Ohio State scored seven times and punted just once while Barrett was in the game.
“It all ties in together,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “You know, I see our offensive line getting a little better. I think we’ve still got a long ways to go in that area, and receivers are making very good plays for him.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins replaced Barrett late in the third quarter and finished 3-for-4 for 42 yards. Barrett spread the ball around as eight different players caught passes from the starter and three — tight end Marcus Baugh and wide receivers Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack — caught touchdowns.
Baugh found the end zone from 10 yards out after he hurdled a defender and tip-toed down the sideline for his first touchdown of the season. Barrett hit Victor in the back of the end zone midway through the first quarter as the rangy 6-foot-4 receiver came down with his second contested touchdown in as many games. Victor led the Buckeyes with four catches for 55 yards.
A little more than five minutes into the game, sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa slapped the ball out of sophomore quarterback Max Bortenschlager’s hand, forcing a fumble which junior linebacker Jerome Baker picked up and carried into the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead.
The Terrapins’ offense never threatened the Buckeyes. Bortenschlager completed 3-of-12 passes for 16 yards before he was injured late in the third quarter due to a hit by cornerback Damon Arnette, who was penalized for targeting and ejected after review.
Arnette will miss the first half of next week’s game against Nebraska. Cornerback Denzel Ward was also ejected for targeting after a hit on senior wideout Taivon Jacobs in the first quarter.
The Terrapins combined for just 66 yards, compared to the Buckeyes’ 584 yards. Defensive ends Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis and linebackers Dante Booker and Baker each picked up sacks. Baker, Bosa and defensive end Chase Young forced Bortenschlager to fumble three times, two of which were recovered by the Buckeyes.
“I don’t want to take away our pass defense. When you hold them to, looked like 16 yards or something like that, passing, that’s good secondary play,” Meyer said. “But I know why they didn’t throw very much. The D-line was all over them.”
The Terrapins responded quickly to the Baker scoop and score with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by junior running back Ty Johnson. It was Johnson’s first kickoff return for a touchdown this season.
Johnson entered the game averaging 8.9 yards per carry, but took 12 carries for 57 yards Saturday. The Terrapins rushed 42 times for 50 yards.
The Buckeyes struggled to gain yardage on the ground early in the game. However, led by J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, Ohio State managed 281 rushing yards. Dobbins led the team with 13 carries for 96 yards, but also fumbled early in the second quarter, the Buckeyes’ first of two turnovers. He later scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Sophomore running back Antonio Williams scored Ohio State’s final touchdown.
Despite the Buckeyes dominating in nearly every facet of the game, nothing went right for Ohio State’s special team unit. Punter Drue Chrisman sent his first punt 22 yards and fumbled the snap on a 47-yard field goal attempt as the holder. Redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger missed a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter and sent one of his kickoffs out of bounds. Johnson averaged 32 yards per kickoff return.
[Special team is ] something to work on and get fixed,” Meyer said. “And there’s a lot of people upset about that and I’m one of them.”
Redshirt sophomore right guard Branden Bowen suffered a broken leg during the first quarter and was carted off with a cast on his leg. Meyer said he would undergo surgery Saturday night. Redshirt sophomore Matt Burrell replaced Bowen at right guard.
Ohio State heads west as it attempts to extend its win streak against Nebraska (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.