Maryland needed just two plays to go 25 yards and put the ball in the end zone in overtime of Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Maryland. But after winning the coin toss and opting to get the ball after the Buckeyes, the Terrapins watched their opponent score and wanted to go for the win. They didn’t want to extend the game any longer.
So, Matt Canada sent the offense out there with the result of the game hanging in the balance.
“I thought about it, I said a quick prayer and just played,” Chase Young said. “Just played technique. That’s it.”
Tyrell Pigrome nearly found an open receiver in the end zone, but came just a couple feet from hitting Jeshaun Jones for what would have been a game-winning touchdown.
“They said, watch the jet, so I basically jetted up the field so I could contain the jet sweep, but I didn’t know – what was that, play action? I didn’t think they were going to play action,” Young said. “But Pete (Werner) was covering, and I told Pete before the play, ‘Pete, you’re going to make a play because they’re going to come at our linebacker,’ and he made a play. I love my brothers. They played hard.”
After the game, Urban Meyer said after seeing the Terrapins gash his defense, he would have made the same decision to go for two points and the win as Canada.
“Going for the two-point play at the end, that was my call,” Matt Canada said. “It was a gut call. It felt like they were scoring, we were scoring. We had the ball and we had to make one play to win. It took a lot of different – instead of having to score again, we would have had the ball first. So obviously it didn’t work and that was my call.”
“Ohio State is a good football team – credit to them,” Canada said. “They made one more play than we did. Obviously, we went for the win at the end. That’s my call and it didn’t work, so that’s on me. I thought our guys played really, really hard. We did a lot of good things. Obviously, every game you want a play back here and there. But I’m guessing everybody who doesn’t sit in this room every day – outside in the entire room – didn’t give us a chance. The season was over last week. That’s what everybody thought. We were written off. And these guys bounced back and played a tremendous game against a highly ranked opponent.”
Just how important to Dre’Mont Jones was it for the Buckeyes to beat the Terrapins?
“Very important because, I mean, if we would've lost that game, then pretty much everything's over,” Jones said.
Ohio State pulled out the win, but that didn’t stop Maryland running back Anthony McFarland Jr. from running all over the Buckeyes’ defense. McFarland, a high school teammate of Young, had 21 rushes for 298 yards, including two touchdowns. He scored both touchdowns early in the first quarter on rushes of 81 and 75 yards.
“I told them going into the game, ‘That boy Ant a beast,’” Young said. “He definitely made some money off of his game. I’m happy for him. That’s my brother since I was in middle school, so we go way back. But I’m happy for him.”
After escaping College Park, Maryland, with a win – however unconvincing it may have been – Ohio State can finally shift its focus to Michigan. Jones claimed he had not watched the Wolverines play this season, but Haskins admitted they’ve been on his mind.
“Every week. I watch Michigan every week. They are always pretty good,” Haskins said. “I know Rashan Gary, we’re both from Jersey. I know a couple of other players, like the corners – Lavert and David Long. So, getting some experience against them last year will help out going into this week. Everything goes into full throttle actually starts today, so we’re going to get ready for them right now.”
It’s a matchup Dobbins has long been awaiting.
“Next week’s game is what I left Texas for,” Dobbins said.