No. 10 Ohio State dominated Maryland in one of its most impressive games all season, beating the Terrapins 62-14. Whether it be on offense or defense, the Buckeyes had the answer for everything Maryland threw at them, as they outgained it 584-66 in total yardage. Here are some important statistics from Ohio State’s victory against Maryland.
1 – total first quarter offensive yards for Maryland. Ohio State was off to a hot start in the first quarter not just offensively — having put up 20 points on 187 yards — but also defensively. The defensive line had already blown up the Terrapins’ offensive line several times, sacking quarterback Max Bortenschlager twice and forcing him to fumble that led to a scoop-and-score from linebacker Jerome Baker. Bortenschlager failed to complete a pass in two attempts that quarter and the two running backs for Maryland totalled only 16 net yards.
On Maryland’s first drive of the quarter, Bortenschlager was sacked on both the first and third plays, coughing up a fumble on the latter sack that was recovered by linebacker Jerome Baker and returned 20 yards for an Ohio State touchdown. The Terrapins brought those seven points back on the subsequent kickoff from redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger, but had another play on the next drive that lost yardage before a pair of incomplete passes and a punt.
This quarter essentially set the tone for the rest of the game as the Ohio State defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage all game long. This, combined with the inaccuracy of Bortenschlager in critical moments, prevented the Maryland offense from finding any form of consistency throughout the game.
8 – different Ohio State starters who caught a pass. The only two skill-position starters who did not catch a pass in the game were running back J.K. Dobbins and quarterback J.T. Barrett. The redshirt senior signal-caller distributed the ball to everyone at his disposal, finding all six starting wide receivers, the starting tight end and running back Mike Weber.
After the season opener, wide receiver Johnnie Dixon said every game gives a new wideout a chance to shine. In Saturday’s victory over the Terrapins, no one receiver in particular really stood out above the rest, rather each contributed and put the depth of Ohio State’s receiving corp on display. Perhaps most notably, each receiver with the exception of H-back K.J. Hill caught at least one pass for 10-plus yards.
Teams often count on at least one player to step up and emerge as that one top guy the quarterback can rely on situations he needs to make a completion. At times, that guy has looked like it could be H-back Parris Campbell or wide receivers Johnnie Dixon or Binjimen Victor. For now, Barrett will have to continue to rely on a group rather than a go-to receiver.
1.2 – Maryland offensive yards per play. In what was Ohio State’s most dominant defensive showing of the season, the Buckeyes limited the Terrapins to a mere 1.2 yards per play. Up until a 20-yard touchdown rush by third-string running back Javon Leake on Maryland’s last drive of the game, the Terrapins had averaged only 0.85 yards per play with 46 total yards coming on 54 plays.
Maryland’s offense picked up the fewest yards allowed by Ohio State since 1960. The Buckeyes had more total penalty yards (85) than the Terrapins had total yards (66), and the Terrapins had just as many penalty yards as total yards.
The key takeaway in this game is that without starting defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and its top cornerback Denzel Ward, who was ejected for targeting, for most of the game, the Ohio State defense put up its most dominating performance this season. This comes at a crucial time in its season because the schedule begins to feature its most challenging opponents, with road trips to Nebraska and Iowa as well as home games against Penn State and Michigan State on the horizon.
12 – Ohio State tackles for loss. The key to that defensive dominance — as it so often is — was the performance of the defensive line. Playing without two starting defensive tackles — Jones (injury) and Michael Hill (suspension) — hardly seemed to impact the end result as the Terrapin offensive line was transformed into a revolving door all night by the defensive line.
The unit forced three fumbles (recovering two), including one that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Jerome Baker, sacked the quarterback five times and held the opposition to just 50 yards on the ground. Twenty of those 50 yards came on one rush in garbage time in the fourth quarter.
With Jones expected back next week, Hill’s indefinite suspension potentially eventually coming to an end and the continued display of depth from performances like defensive ends Chase Young (a tackle for a loss and forced fumble) and Jonathon Cooper (three tackles), Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer can continue to rely on his defensive line moving forward.
“I think you felt the D-line in several games, and like Indiana, you couldn’t feel them because the ball was out so fast. The line of scrimmage we just dominated,” Meyer said. “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. But I know why they didn’t throw very much. The D-line was all over them.”