Ohio State didn’t have its best defensive player on Saturday. It didn’t matter one bit.
Even without Chase Young, Ohio State cruised to a blowout victory over Maryland at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, 73-14, to improve to 9-0 and demonstrate once again why the Buckeyes are currently No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The Buckeyes were dominant right from the beginning of the game, scoring touchdowns on all of its first six possessions. Justin Fields capped off a six-play, 47-yard opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victor. The Buckeyes drove 71 yards in 11 plays on their second possession, capped by a 4-yard Fields touchdown run.
|#1 OHIO STATE||21||21||10||21||73|
Following its second touchdown, Ohio State went for a surprise onside kick and executed it perfectly, as Chris Olave caught the kick from Blake Haubeil in midair 22 yards downfield. The Buckeyes maintained possession, took over near midfield and capitalized again with an eight-play, 57-yard drive, capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Fields to K.J. Hill, to take a 21-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.
Ohio State drove 76 yards on 11 plays on its next possession, capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Olave, who was left wide open in the end zone by Maryland’s defense. J.K. Dobbins scored touchdowns on each of Ohio State’s next two possessions, a 7-yard touchdown to cap off an 86-yard drive and a 20-yard run to cap off a 54-yard drive, to give the Buckeyes 42 points before halftime.
The Buckeyes went 8-for-8 on third downs and 6-for-6 in the red zone in the first half, which they finished with 366 yards. Fields completed 16 of 25 passing attempts for 200 yards and three touchdowns, Dobbins had 90 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and Olave had five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets.
Ohio State’s defense, meanwhile, was as dominant as ever without their star defensive end. Ohio State held Maryland to just one yard in the first quarter, in which Tuf Borland had five tackles and the Buckeyes forced three punts. The Terrapins finished the first half with just 66 yards and zero points; their six possessions before halftime ended in five punts and a turnover on downs.
|705||NET TOTAL YARDS||139|
|6.8||AVERAGE PER RUSH||1.9|
|12.4||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||9.6|
|22||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||7|
|15||PASSING 1st DOWNS||3|
|3||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||6|
|7.5||YARDS PER PLAY||2.8|
|1 (0)||TURNOVERS (DEF PTS OFF)||2 (14)|
Borland and Malik Harrison tied for the first-half team lead with five tackles, while Harrison also had two pass breakups. Defensive tackle Davon Hamilton had a pair of first-half sacks.
Ohio State’s starters did not play after halftime, but the Buckeyes continued to pile onto the lead.
Their opening possession of the third quarter ended with a turnover, when former Ohio State linebacker Keandre Jones – now the top pass-rusher for Maryland – blew by backup left tackle Dawand Jones and hit Chris Chugunov to force a fumble that the Terrapins recovered. Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome threw a pass straight to Ohio State linebacker K’Vaughan Pope for an interception on the very next play, however, and two plays later, Chugunov threw a perfect pass to Garrett Wilson for a 14-yard touchdown.
Ohio State drove to the 6-yard line on its next possession before settling for a 23-yard field goal to extend its lead to 52-0.
The Buckeyes’ second-team defense was just as dominant as the first-team defense to start the third quarter, holding the Terrapins to a combined minus-8 yards in their first three possessions of the second half. Maryland finally got on the board on its fourth possession of the second half, though, when Ohio State was flagged for three straight penalties and then left Dontay Demus wide open for a 26-yard touchdown pass from Josh Jackson.
Ohio State extended its lead back to 52 points with 10:04 to play when Marcus Crowley followed up a 25-yard run with a 1-yard touchdown run on the next play. A return to Ohio State’s 27-yard line by Maryland’s Javon Leake on the Buckeyes’ ensuing kickoff set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Tayon Fleet-Davis that cut Ohio State’s lead back to 45. But the Buckeyes drove right back down the field to take a 52-point lead once again on their next possession, which Demario McCall capped with a 5-yard touchdown run.
After Jerron Cage recovered a Fleet-Davis fumble at Maryland’s 42-yard line, McCall ran from another touchdown from 20 yards out – after the Buckeyes decided to go for it on 4th-and-3 – to break the 70-point barrier for the second time this season, cross the 700-yard threshold for offensive yards and secure its third 21-point quarter of the game.
Ohio State will look to improve to 10-0 in another game it will be heavily favored to win next week, when the Buckeyes will play Rutgers on the road.
- Tuf Borland, Jordan Fuller, J.K. Dobbins and K.J. Hill for Ohio State's game captains for Saturday's coin toss.
- With Chase Young suspended and Jonathon Cooper also unavailable for Saturday's game, Tyreke Smith and Zach Harrison started at defensive end, with Harrison making his first career start.
- Rashod Berry, who had played only at tight end since 2017 but began his Ohio State career at defensive end, saw playing time at both tight end and on the defensive line for the Buckeyes on Saturday. He became the first Buckeye to play on both sides of the ball in the same game since Zach Boren in 2012.
- Garrett Wilson made his first start of the season at punt returner after substituting in for Demario McCall in previous weeks.
- Chris Olave started in place of Austin Mack at Z receiver, who was listed as a game-time decision due to injury. Jameson Williams also saw early playing time at the Z position with Mack sidelined.
- True freshman offensive tackle Dawand Jones officially burned his redshirt by playing in his fifth game of the season.
- Second-team left guard Matthew Jones went down with an injury in the fourth quarter and limped off the field. True freshman Enokk Vimahi replaced him in the lineup, making his Ohio State debut in the process.
- True freshman running back Marcus Crowley was injured in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off the field under his own power after Ohio State initially called for a cart.
- 101,022 was the official attendance for Saturday's game at Ohio Stadium.
- Backup kicker Dominic DiMaccio, who missed his only previous extra point attempt of his career against Miami (Ohio), made his first career extra point following McCall's fourth-quarter touchdown.