Ohio State defeated Maryland 66-17 to record their second straight blowout.
The Buckeyes scored 50-plus points for the second game in a row to secure an undefeated record in conference play. The Terrapins, on the other hand, have given up 50-plus for the second game in the same span in consecutive five-score losses.
Maryland scored a field goal, but Ohio State wasn’t behind long. The Buckeyes scored 21 unanswered, and for the second week in a row, the Buckeyes scored on their first seven drives (except those that ended the first half). The Buckeyes imposed their will in the air and had nearly 300 passing yards before the half.
The starters played through the third quarter, but by that time the game was well out of hand. Ohio State ended the game with a 49-point beatdown to maintain an undefeated record in the series.
Ohio State Defeats Maryland 66-17 in Homecoming Game
Ohio State Establishes Air Superiority Over Maryland
Ohio State may well have run the air raid offense with the number of yards they gained through the air. Maryland had three cornerbacks injured going into this game, and it showed.
Through three quarters, C.J. Stroud threw 33 times, completed 24 of his passes, gained 406 yards, and threw five touchdown passes.
The gruesome threesome at wide receiver all had great games. Chris Olave led the pack with seven receptions, 120 yards, and two touchdowns. Jaxon Smith-Njigba joined him in the 100-yard club on five receptions. Garrett Wilson also had five receptions, along with 84 yards and two scores to go with it.
TreVeyon Henderson had trouble getting started on the ground, but Stroud fed him through the air. Henderson caught the ball on a couple of wheel routes, one of which went for 30 yards. The second went for his second total touchdown of the game.
Ohio State Overcomes Slow Start on the Ground
Henderson entered the game rushing for more than nine yards a carry. With all of Maryland’s vulnerabilities on defense, they were still able to contain the talented back.
The true freshman only had 17 yards on the ground in the first half on nine carries. The half wasn’t a total bust for Henderson, as he still averaged that many receiving yards on four receptions, and he did score a short rushing touchdown.
In the second half, he came alive. With seven more rushes in the third quarter, Henderson exploded and breached the century mark after the slow start. On the day, he had 16 carries, 102 rushing yards, and an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
Surprises on Defense
Maryland was held to below 20 points for the second game in a row. Terps’ quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was missing the Big Ten’s leading receiver, so he knew it would be a rough game going in.
Tagovailoa spent most of the day running away from Zach Harrison and Javontae Jean-Baptiste. He lost 52 yards, some of which came from sacks, and others which came from negative runs. He ended the day with a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio for the second straight game.
With the linebacker’s room getting thinner by the week, Steele Chambers stepped up against the Terps. After making the move from running back in the offseason, he was flying all over the field to make tackles. He sniffed out several screens and had the sidelines covered pretty well.
The great game by Chambers helped the Ohio State keep Maryland to only 45 rushing yards on the game.
In the secondary, Sevyn Banks had his best game of the season. He has been working his way back from an injury and hasn’t been at 100 percent until this week. This was his best game of the season by far, and he looked like the top cornerback that everyone thought he would be.
Craig Young ended the scoring with a pick-six, which was the fourth straight game with a defensive touchdown for Ohio State. For as good as Ohio State’s defense has been in years past, the Buckeyes defense has never scored in four consecutive games until this season.
Emeka Egbuka on Kick Returns
True freshman receiver Emeka Egbuka hasn’t been able to get on the field behind Olave, Wilson, and Smith Njigba, despite being the top receiver in his recruiting class.
He has been able to find a role on kick returns, however. Maryland didn’t get many chances to kick, but when they did, Egbuka found space. On four returns, he gained 41.5 yards on average, with a 67-yard long.