Ohio State beat Maryland, 73-14, and it didn’t even have the best player in college football active.
Ohio State went up by 21 points in the first quarter and had nearly covered the spread when it went into halftime on Saturday with a 42-0 lead. It was another dominant performance for the Buckeyes who are one win against Rutgers from opening the season with 10 straight victories by at least 24 points.
Let's get into this week's stock report.
One of Ohio State’s most consistent players is also one of its quietest.
Hamilton entered the program as the No. 998 overall prospect in his recruiting cycle, far and away the lowest-ranked non-special teamer in Ohio State's class. He committed to Ohio, Pittsburgh and Kentucky before eventually ending up as a late addition to the Buckeyes, who certainly must feel glad he opted to flip late in the process.
The fifth-year defensive tackle is shooting up NFL draft boards after having what Ryan Day has described as one of the best offseasons of any player on the team. Hamilton had his first career two-sack game versus the Terrapins, following up a one-sack performance in a matchup with Wisconsin's possible All-American center Tyler Biadasz.
Third-down defensive creativity
Having Chase Young means understanding you don’t have to do much out of the ordinary to get a pass rush. Not having him on Saturday forced the defensive coaches to get a bit creative.
On the first third down of the game, Ohio State effectively used a 3-4 look with Zach Harrison at defensive tackle, Tyreke Smith and Rashod Berry at defensive end and Baron Browning as a pass-rushing linebacker off the edge. Later in the game, Tuf Borland picked up his first sack of the season on a blitz coming out of another funky defensive front.
Some Intriguing third-down packages by Ohio State's defense.— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) November 9, 2019
The most recent had Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste as rush linebackers, Haskell Garrett at defensive tackle and Tuf Borland and Malik Harrison on a twist rushing up the middle. Borland got home for the sack. pic.twitter.com/1Xl7som6yp
However long Young remains out, it's clear that Ohio State is willing to mix up its looks to get pressure.
Master Teague’s chase for 1,000 yards
J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber both shared the load as Ohio State's lead backs the past two years, yet they never ran for 1,000 yards in the same season. They came close last year, with Dobbins reaching 1,053 and Weber going for 954, but it didn't happen.
And while it's still relatively unlikely to happen this season, Ohio State's dominance has made having two 1,000-yard running backs an outside possibility. Whether Dobbins would reach the mark was never truly a question. Both Ryan Day and Tony Alford billed him as the bellcow back, and he has responded by averaging 7.2 yards per carry en route to 1,200 rushing yards through nine games. Nobody viewed Teague as a threat to reach the 1,000-yard mark this year, though.
When the Buckeyes entered the season, the coaches didn't even feel certain they knew who would back Dobbins up. Teague, who earned that spot within the first couple games, has rushed for 699 yards with four touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. The sophomore had 18 rushes for 111 yards against Maryland. With a game against Rutgers just five days away, he might have 800 rushing yards by this point next week.
Is it likely that Teague reaches 1,000 rushing yards? Not really, considering the difficulty of the end-of-season stretch. But it's certainly still doable, depending on how Alford uses him during competitive games. Either way, Teague will get his chance next year when Dobbins is likely in the NFL.
Chris Olave as a go-to receiver
Olave only had five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown, modest numbers from a starting receiver on a team that scored 73 points. But he also had 10 targets, accounting for 40 percent of Justin Fields' pass attempts. He's developing into a go-to-receiver for Fields.
With such a veteran-laden team, Ohio State hasn’t had to rely too heavily on Wilson. In the meantime, the freshman just keeps making plays.
Wilson led the Buckeyes with 82 receiving yards on Saturday, catching four passes and scoring a touchdown. He now has 18 receptions for 216 yards and four touchdowns in his freshman season. Without Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack and K.J. Hill on next year's roster, there'll be room for him to climb the depth chart and vie for a starting job. For now, he's making his presence known in a limited role as it becomes clearer by the game that he deserves more targets.
Ohio State’s quarterback depth was the team’s chief concern at the beginning of the season, and it remains atop the exceedingly short list of issues.
In an effort to change that narrative, Chugunov had his best performance of the season – and possibly of his career – on Saturday, completing 8-of-11 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers don’t even include the 46-yard touchdown pass he delivered to Wilson through contact that got called back due to a well-deserved holding penalty on Dawand Jones.
One performance doesn’t change the massive dropoff at quarterback that would be the result of any injury to Fields. But Chugunov’s performance on Saturday has to give Ohio State a bit more confidence in its backup than expected.
1) My god, what a bomb by Chris Chugunov under pressure— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) November 9, 2019
2) Nice tackle for loss by Dawand Jones pic.twitter.com/yBrVXsc567
The cult of Joe Burrow
Speaking of Ohio State backup quarterbacks…
Burrow is the clear Heisman Trophy frontrunner after LSU took down Alabama in a battle of SEC powerhouses. The numbers are ridiculous – 3,198 passing yards, 78.9 completion percentage, 33 passing touchdowns, four interceptions – and he has the Tigers undefeated.
Plus, as evidenced by the welcome he received back in Louisiana, he’s a cult hero.
Joe Burrow arrives home to Baton Rouge to a hell of a scene. pic.twitter.com/7dnYH9gmOK— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) November 10, 2019
I thought better of you, Vegas. I really did.
A 50.5-point line? Really? For Ohio State-Rutgers?
That’s one of the most lopsided betting lines in recent Ohio State history, especially when considering it’s a Big Ten road game, and it still feels surprisingly low. I’d worry that maybe the oddsmakers know something I don’t, but this is Rutgers. I repeat, Rutgers. The same Rutgers team that got its doors blown off by Maryland. If Chugunov was starting the entire game, 50.5 points might be a reasonable spread. With Fields playing a half, it’s hard to imagine Ohio State not covering.
Chase Young’s Heisman Trophy campaign
It’s over. Even if Young makes a surprise return and is back for the game against Rutgers, he won’t win the Heisman Trophy. Not a chance.
Everything about that award comes down to perception. As a defensive end, he had already done the unthinkable by having voters actually consider him. Now, after getting suspended, Young's fighting an even more unwinnable battle in that area.
Decommitments happen. That’s just part of college football.
But a decommitment during a game? Now, that’s new. Maryland experienced that first-hand when three-star offensive guard Jordan White announced he won’t be playing for the Terrapins during halftime. The Terrapins have the fourth-lowest rated 2020 recruiting class in the Big Ten, and it doesn’t include a single top-20 prospect from the state of Maryland. Not great.