Maryland was a 19-point underdog at No. 23 Texas to open the season — they won by 10 points. The Terps were a 13-point underdog at undefeated Minnesota last week — they won by 7 points. So today on the road as a 30 point underdog to the Buckeyes, the Terps aren’t likely to be afraid. They’ve made a habit this season of big road upsets.
But Maryland will be in hot water Saturday. While the program is headed in the right direction under D.J. Durkin winning more and recruiting some of the best talent in school history, they have been hit hard by the injury bug. Starting quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome and backup Kasim Hill were both lost to season-ending ACL injuries. The Terps enter Saturday’s game using their third string quarterback, sophomore Max Bortenschlager (who is 1-0 as starter, winning at Minnesota last week).
Bortenschlager has weapons that will test the Buckeye defense. The Terps’ rushing offense ranks No. 24 in the nation, averaging 233 yards per game. Running back Ty Johnson is ranked No. 8 nationally in all-purpose yards averaging 160 per game. In his past six games dating back to last season, Johnson has averaged 10.3 yards per carry.
While Johnson rumbles on the ground, wide receiver DJ Moore is the Terps playmaker to watch through the air. Moore leads the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (5), yards (403), yards per game (100.8) and receptions per game (7.5).
The Buckeyes defense will get a good test against Moore and Johnson, but it won’t be enough to change the result of this one. JT Barrett will continue to look good airing it out against a Maryland passing defense ranked No. 93 in the country. And expect J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber to get theirs on the ground. It’s closer than Vegas thinks, but the Buckeyes handle the Terps: 42-17.
- Ohio State vs Maryland: Game preview, prediction and 6 things you should know, Jim Baird, Land-Grant Holy Land – October 6
- Tracy Sprinkle has overcome hardships to thrive as an Ohio State senior captain, Bill Rabinowtiz, Columbus Dispatch – October 6
- It’s okay to enjoy Ohio State beating bad teams by a gazillion points, Matt Brown, Land-Grant Holy Land – October 6
- Top QB target says Kevin Wilson offense is ‘really good for me’, Bill Kurelic, Bucknuts – October 6
- Ohio State recruiting attacks weak spots: Tennessee now, which state is next?, Bill Landis – Cleveland.com – October 6
- New Tee: Thanks for the Wind, Eleven Warriors – October 6
I’m at home base in DC today, after spending all last weekend in the pool getting scuba diving certified. The flippers are off today, and the TV is on for a great slate of college football.
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Photo Credit: HIllel Steinberg