Maryland Debriefing: Ohio State Dominates Maryland in Every Aspect of the Game, Except Special Teams

By Kevin Harrish on October 8, 2017 at 8:05 am
J.T. Barrett led Ohio State to victory once again on Saturday.

62-14 is an ugly, ugly score, and it doesn't even do this game justice – this was an absolute bloodbath.

When Ohio State's starters left the game with five minutes left in the third quarter, the Buckeyes were out-gaining the Terps 468-15. Maryland had as many rushing yards as it did first downs – two.

Most knew the game wasn't going to be pretty, but it was even more lopsided than most could have imagined. The Buckeyes were nine units strong (if only because special teams isn't one of those units) and Maryland was uh, not, and Ohio State won, 62-14.

Let's debrief.

Quick Breakdowns


This might have been Ohio State's best, most complete offensive showing yet.

The Buckeyes finished the game with 584 yards of total offense – 303 through the air, 281 on the ground, scoring 62 points. Ohio State was clicking on all cylinders, destroying Maryland with a balanced offensive attack.

Sure, it's been against inferior opponents, but this offense looks drastically different from what we saw against Oklahoma a few weeks ago.


As good as the offense was, the defense was better. When the starters came out at the end of the quarter, Maryland had a grand total of 15 total yards, no offense points and just two first downs.

Ohio State absolutely owned the trenches the entire game and at times Maryland seemed to be going backwards more than it went forwards.

Buckeye Leafs

Offense: J.T. Barrett

Since Ohio State's loss to Oklahoma and the ensuing barrage of fans calling for Dwayne Haskins, J.T. Barrett has been nothing short of fantastic, and Saturday was no different.

Barrett went 20-31 on Saturday, throwing for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. He was effective distributing the ball on short routes and made a number of accurate passes downfield.

Of course, it was against Maryland, but it was still a stellar performance.

Defense: Jerome Baker

Pretty much everyone did almost everything they were supposed to do on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday, but we're giving the nod to Jerome Baker because he was the only one who scored.

Baker had three total tackles, a tackle for a loss, a sack, a 20-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and a forced fumble of his own.

Plays of the Game


Ohio State scored a lot of different ways on Saturday, but this was probably the coolest and most beautiful.

J.T. Barrett handed the ball to J.K Dobbins, who handed it to Parris Campbell on a reverse, who took it 24 yards for a touchdown.


Once Campbell got the ball, J.T. Barrett sprung the touchdown with a lead block on the one defender who could have made the tackle.


Putting anybody one-on-one against Nick Bosa is probably not an ideal thing to do. Maryland did it, and they paid for it.

Though to be fair, you can't double team everyone. 

Biggest Surprise

The special teams looked like hot garbage. Urban Meyer takes a lot of pride in his teams' special teams play, but Saturday was about as poor of a showing as possible. The Buckeyes had blunders on kickoffs, punts, extra points and field goals.

It's hard to imagine Urban Meyer was pleased with that.

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment

Weekends have been a little too relaxing at the Tressel household lately, so Jim and his wife Ellen decided to do something quite exhilarating before watching Ohio State take on Maryland – they purchased a 1,000-piece puzzle of a beautiful Ohio farmhouse and set out to beat their previous record time of 6 hours, 32 minutes and 57 seconds.

As experienced puzzle-doers, they have impeccable strategy. Ellen nailed down the edges while Jim sorted the inside pieces, trying to group like-pieces together and finding the occasional match. By the time Ellen finished the edges, the inside was good to go, and the pair worked together to finish the puzzle in a record time of 6 hours, 17 minutes and 34 seconds.

After their thrilling finish, the Tressels were excited to relax in front of their beloved Buckeyes, and Jim, most of all, was excited to watch Ohio State's best, most consistent unit – special teams.

Just a few minutes into the game, disaster struck. The Maryland returner broke loose and housed a kickoff, then soon after the Buckeyes botched an extra point and had a field goal blocked. Jim was shaken, to say the least.

"It's okay, Jim," Ellen said, sensing her husband's frustration. "They can only play better from here!"

He calmed down a bit and grew excited once he saw Drue Chrisman, his favorite player, stroll on the field. Surely he wouldn't let him down.

Chrisman shanked the punt.

Jim, typically calm and composed, flipped the coffee table in front of him, sending puzzle pieces flying everywhere.

He managed to compose himself long enough to watch a little more, but turned it off when Ohio State had a delay of game on a kickoff.

"I didn't even know that was possible!" he said as he walked outside to cool down.

He didn't return until after the game was over, which thankfully means he missed a kickoff out of bounds and a missed field goal.

Biggest Blunder

I cannot pick one, so I will simply give you a list of special teams blunders:

  • Kickoff returned for a touchdown
  • Botched extra point
  • Blocked field goal
  • Shanked punt
  • Delay of game on a kickoff
  • Kickoff out of bounds
  • Missed field goal

Urban, how does that make you feel?

Underrated Things


I don't often complain about officiating and generally get irritated with fans who do, but this was an absolutely atrocious call.


Ward led with his shoulder and extended out with his arms, never making forceable contact to the neck or head.

Not only was this not targeting, it was a fumble. Ward should have had a great hit, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown. Instead, he missed the remainder of the game.


You get a touchdown, you get a touchdown, you get a touchdown...

Five different Buckeyes scored a rushing touchdown on Saturday, which is a lot. J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, J.T. Barrett, Parris Campbell and Antonio Williams all found the end zone.

It's almost like Ohio State's entire roster is pretty good at football.

It Was Over When...

The Buckeyes answered Maryland's kickoff return touchdown with a touchdown drive of their own. It was probably over before then, but that made it pretty clear Maryland would not be winning.

Biggest Question Going Forward

How will Matthew Burrell fare the rest of the season at right guard after Branden Bowen's injury? Burrell was in the thick of the position battle all spring and fall before Bowen ultimately pulled away. Urban Meyer said he was the only other player who was really even close to winning the job, so the talent is obviously there, but experience is not. He has one full game against Nebraska until he's thrown into the fire against Penn State.

Also, with Damon Arnette's targeting expulsion in the third quarter, he will miss the first half of next week's game against Nebraska, meaning freshman Jeffrey Okudah will likely get plenty of reps. Buckeye fans will be anxious to see how he performs.

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