The Ohio State University Buckeyes scored early and often en route to a 62-3 victory over the University of Maryland Terrapins.
“They just played really well. You could tell they were a really well coached team and were very prepared to play us,” senior offensive lineman Michael Dunn said. “We just have to do a better job.”
Maryland won the toss and deferred, putting the Ohio State offense to the test first. The Buckeyes were up to the challenge, taking their first drive for 7 plays, 71 yards and 7 points.
Perry Hills completed one of three passes for negative four yards on the Terps’ first possession. He injured his left shoulder on the last play of the drive and was replaced by Caleb Rowe.
“Our offense runs a lot better when Perry is in there,” Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin said. “When he’s been healthy our offense has been pretty effective.”
Ohio State gained 363 yards in the first half, compared to 94 for Maryland — an accurate synopsis of the Buckeyes’ dominance.
Despite the Buckeyes’ success on the ground and through the air, the Terps defense gave its offense a few opportunities.
Over and over again, the Maryland offense sputtered and failed to capitalize on possessions when the defense forced turnover-on-downs or punts.
Case in point: with 7:40 remaining in the half, the Terps defense forced a turnover-on-downs at their own 30-yard-line. On the first offensive snap Caleb Rowe tossed a careless interception to Buckeye cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
“We didn’t take advantage of opportunities we had,” Durkin Said. “If you’re going to play with or beat a team like that you have to take advantage of opportunities, we didn’t.”
In addition, the Maryland defense forced the Buckeyes to settle for field goals on multiple occasions. Ohio State converted seven of 13 third-down conversions. Maryland went one for 15.
The second half brought with it second-stringers for the Buckeyes – after a field goal and a touchdown, increasing their lead to 55-3, Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer elected to pull starting quarterback J.T. Barrett and some other starters.
Barrett put in an efficient performance on the day, completing 18 of 27 passes for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. He added 47 rush-yards on 11 carries, running for 2 scores.
“He is one of the nation’s best and he’s proven it time and time again. He did today,” Durkin said. “He’s hard to rattle. He’s played in a lot of football games.”
Sophomore safety Darnell Savage, Jr. echoed Durkin’s remarks, adding that Barrett is a smart quarterback and recognized some things in their defense.
“We’re going to watch film and see what those were.”
For the second half Maryland elected to go with freshman quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome.
Rowe and Pigrome had well documented struggles, completing a combined 14 of 24 passes for 137 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception.
“There are probably a lot of teams like that in the country. You take their starting quarterbacks out and they struggle a bit,” Durkin said.
The wide margins of victory in the past two games reflect a tale of football programs that are at different stages of development. Maryland is still growing, while both Michigan and Ohio State are established powerhouses.
“There’s a ton of growth. The score of the games doesn’t quite equate to that but that’s not what it’s measured by,” Durkin said. “There have been a lot of great things to look at and build on from this year.”