By Jim Baird | AM Football Briefing | Saturday, November 12
CRAB CAKES AND FOOTBALL: Maryland does two things pretty well, crab cakes and football. But recently it’s only really been the crab cakes. That is changing under first-year head coach DJ Durkin. After a 2-4 start last year, Maryland coach Randy Edsall was fired. The Terps finished 3-9, with a 1-7 conference record. In came Durkin. The 38-year-old oversaw Jim Harbaugh’s formidable Michigan defense last season — and got his start working as a graduate assistant for Urban Meyer at Bowling Green.
Right now things are changing at Maryland. Under Armor is pumping enough cash and swag into the program to make even Nike blush. Durkin, one of the nation’s best at closing with recruits, is on pace for a top 20 class in 2017, keeping more area talent at home. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Terps started the season 4-0 and were favored headed into Happy Valley. They lost to the Nittany Lions, the first of a skid that has seen a single win in the past five games. Last week, Jim Harbaugh welcomed Durkin back to Ann Arbor with a trip to the woodshed 59-3. Maryland enters the game banged up — their quarterback Perry Hills is questionable and their playmaking kick returner/defensive back William Likely is out for the season. The Terps have a top-25 rushing offense — can they find daylight against an Ohio State defense that held Nebraska to 78 yards on the ground?
PREDICTION: Last week, Ohio State shook its offensive struggles and lit up the Cornhuskers for 62 points and nearly 600 yards. Maryland is banged up. But even at full strength, they simply just don’t have the skill to hang. JT Barrett passes for 250+ yards with another big day from Curtis Samuel: Ohio State rolls the Terps 52-14.
Happy gameday. I’m reporting from College Park on a cool, sunny 50 degree autumn day as the Buckeyes continue their march toward The Game. Thanks for clicking on The Buckeye Daily — the Ohio State morning football briefing the press, program and fans read, edited by Sporting News college football reporter Jim Baird. Know someone who would appreciate this e-mail? Sign up here or send me a line email@example.com. And join the squad following on Twitter @buckeyedaily.
1) Ohio State is double trouble for Maryland, Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch – November 12
2) 5 reasons Ohio State football will beat Maryland: Dwayne Haskins is on the Buckeyes roster, Ari Wasserman, Plain Dealer – November 11
3) Durkin having early success at Maryland, Nicholas Piotrowicz, Toledo Blade – November 12
4) Terps unveil special ‘RedOps’ uniforms for Ohio State game, Troy Machir, CSN Mid-Atlantic – November 7