Three things we learned from OSU's 52-24 win
October 4, 2014 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land - 1. Starting Michael Thomas was the right move. It was a bit surprising to see Michael Thomas listed as the starter at wide receiver over senior wideout Devin Smith earlier this week, but coach Meyer and the staff let Thomas show off his excellent talent. Thomas hauled in an impressive over-the-defender grab for a touchdown in the second quarter and was Ohio State's leading receiver with 4 receptions for 75 yards. Thomas has been Ohio State's most reliable receiver this season, and against Maryland, with Thomas' uncle and former NFL wideout Keyshawn Johnson looking on, it was much of the same story.
2. Joey Bosa is really just that good. Joey Bosa and the Ohio State defensive line were so disruptive in the first half that Maryland chose to go with backup quarterback Caleb Rowe in the second half with hopes to shake things up and gain some momentum. Despite that, Bosa dominated all game long. In the first half alone, the sophomore defensive end produced 5 tackles, 3 of which went for losses, and a sack. The second half was much of the same, as Bosa helped pressure Rowe and force some turnovers including an interception by Eli Apple in the third quarter. The Buckeyes know they have a superstar at defensive end and still have him for a whole season next year as well.
3. The offensive line is getting back to normal. The opening drive of the game was enough to prove that the Ohio State offensive line came to play for the third straight game. After the debacle against Virginia Tech at home, the criticism of the line was crashing in from all directions. Since then, the line has steadily improved with games against Kent State and Cincinnati. Quarterback J.T. Barrett had another solid performance (18-23, 267 yrds, in large part due to the time provided for him to throw. With the thick of the Big Ten schedule coming up, there's no better time for the line to solidify their game...
Buckeye Breakdown: Ohio State Romps Vs. Terps
October 4, 2014 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Ohio State had a lot working as it pulled away to a 52-24 win against Maryland on Saturday in the Big Ten opener. BSB takes a look at how each of Urban Meyer's units did and what we learned in the victory against the Terrapins...
Postgame videos: J.T. Barrett, Luke Fickell, Cameron Johnston, Joey Bosa
Urban Meyer Postgame Maryland Source: Bucknuts
Two-Minute Drill: Updates from Ohio State - Maryland Postgame
October 4, 2014 Source: The Ozone - The Buckeye players and coaches spoke with the media following Ohio State's 52 - 24 win over the Maryland Terrapins. Here are the highlights.
Urban Meyer Updates
Meyer said that he was very pleased with the performance today. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. They still have work to do.
Meyer said that he was most pleased with the minimal amount of return yards that they allowed. He said he may even put the kick coverage team in first class on the way home.
He said that he's been very impressed with how the offense has attacked the Bear defense now, and is happy with how excited the offense gets when they see it.
Meyer said the quick start was critical to keep the crowd out of the game. It helped that they got to start on offense away from the Maryland student section.
Meyer started to say that if you take away the one deep ball and then stopped and said, “someday we will.” He said they will continue to be aggressive on defense because it will continue to allow opportunities to step in front of passes like they did in this game.
Meyer said he has “a lot of confidence in our quarterback right now.” He said they do want to throw it more than they did in this game, however.
On Barrett: “He's playing very well. The guys around him are pretty good.”
Meyer said he wishes the team played again next week, adding “There's a lot of positives right now.”
Tom Herman Updates
Herman took responsibilities for the play-calling in the redzone saying that he thought with the way Maryland's front was lining up that they would be able to run through it well enough to get into the endzone.
Luke Fickell Updates
The four interceptions don't happen by accident, it happens from the aggression and people being where they are supposed to be.
On Raekwon McMillan: “It's not by accident that somehow #5 just comes up with the ball a couple of times. He's always around the football. Those are things that — I'm not saying they're taught, but they don't happen by accident.”
On the defense: “It's getting there.” He said closing is the biggest deal right now. “We've just got to finish things” adding that it's a sign of youth and inexperience. “There's a lot of things to really, really build on.”
Darron Lee, Raekwon McMillan, Nick Vannett, J.T. Barrett, Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, & Ezekiel Elliott Updates...
Instant Analysis: Ohio State 52, Maryland 24
October 4, 2014 Source: ESPN - How the game was won: The Buckeyes are once again operating at an elite level offensively, but it was the revamped, aggressive defense that made the biggest difference on the road to open Big Ten play. Defensive end Joey Bosa was relentless up front and a force in the backfield, the secondary grabbed four interceptions, and the concerns about pass coverage were forgotten for at least one week.
Game ball goes to: J.T. Barrett. The development of the redshirt freshman over the past month has been a sight to behold. Barrett’s command of the offense, decisions in the zone-read game, accuracy as a passer and five total touchdowns all make him look like a veteran, not somebody who has made only five starts. He is just getting better, and the Buckeyes are showing no signs of slowing down the tempo with Barrett taking the snaps.
What it means: The race is still in its early stages, but the blowout revealed plenty about the candidacy of both teams. As was expected all along, the Buckeyes have more than enough talent to win the East Division and play for the league title even after a somewhat shaky start that included a nonconference loss to Virginia Tech. On the other side, Maryland turned some heads early with a decent start and a road win against Indiana, but it doesn’t look quite ready to knock off the best in the Big Ten.
Playoff implication: The early loss certainly cut down on the margin for error, but the Buckeyes appear to be back on track to contend for a spot in the four-team field thanks to the high-powered offense and a defense showing signs of turning the corner. The Buckeyes certainly can’t be ruled out of the conversation given the way they are rapidly improving with so many youngsters in the lineup. The calendar is still circled for the trip to Michigan State on Nov. 8, which could determine the fate of both programs.
Best play: Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith calls them ""wow moments," and Michael Thomas added another to his highlight reel. The athletic target had to go up and snag a pass from Barrett in the corner of the end zone, winning a one-on-one battle in the fight for the ball and then somehow getting his toes down before falling out of bounds for a score that sent the Buckeyes on their way. (video below)
What’s next: The Buckeyes are off with their second bye of the season next week, giving them another opportunity to tweak the defense and allow Barrett a few more practice reps as he zips through his learning curve. Their push for a division championship resumes Oct. 18 with a matchup against the other conference newcomer in a home date against Rutgers.
Buckeyes Spoil Maryland's First B1G Home Game
October 4, 2014 Source: Bucknuts - It was billed as the biggest home game in the history of Maryland football.
But Ohio State was only into two celebrating two things – touchdowns and big plays on defense.
The 20th-ranked Buckeyes blew out to a 24-3 lead in the second quarter and coasted to a 52-24 win over the Terrapins before a sellout crowd of 54,000 Saturday at Byrd Stadium. OSU spoiled Maryland’s first home game as a member of the Big Ten.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett enjoyed another huge day for the Buckeyes, who improved to 4-1 overall in winning their Big Ten opener. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns, while also carrying the ball 16 times for 71 yards...
Michael Thomas Postgame Maryland Source: Bucknuts
Cardale Jones hurdles a Maryland defender; 4Q run for 17 yds for a 1st down (via Ramzy Nasrallah)
No. 20 Ohio State Tops Newcomer Maryland 52-24
October 4, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - Barrett throws four touchdowns passes, rushes for another
Thanks to a little experience and a spot of tea, J.T. Barrett slept better on his second trip to the state of Maryland as Ohio State's starting quarterback.
And it showed.
About a month ago, Barrett was a bundle of nerves prepping for Navy after Braxton Miller was lost for the year after shoulder surgery. He did OK, but he was what he was -- a redshirt freshman making his collegiate debut for a marquee program.
On Saturday, he returned and spoiled Maryland's first home game as a member of the Big Ten, throwing for 267 yards with four touchdowns and running for 71 and a score in the No. 20 Buckeyes' 52-24 win.
"He's playing very well," coach Urban Meyer said. "And the neat thing is, we can still get better."
Barrett is starting to run Meyer's score-all-the-time offense as if he's been doing it forever. The Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0) scored on drives lasting 3:01, 3:27, 1:18, 1:46 and 0:05 to take a 31-10 halftime lead and hush the first sellout crowd at College Park in nearly six years. Ohio State has scored 168 points in three wins since losing to Virginia Tech, a stumble that now seems as distant as that Navy game that had Barrett so antsy.
Asked to compare the two, Barrett smiled.
"It was one of those deals, popping up in the middle of the night, I think I popped up at like 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock and, like, 5:30," he said. "Just nervousness and having butterflies in my stomach. Compared to last night, you sleep easy. The thing I do now, I take the Sleepytime tea, so I go to sleep so I'm not sitting there with my thoughts at night. It's way better than it was."
Sleep was a major topic in general this week for Meyer, whose team had a noon kickoff at a stadium he had never seen. He put the players to bed at 9 p.m. Friday in an effort to eradicate what he called "that dullard look coming out of the locker room."
"It's 50-50 when you go on the road for a noon game," Meyer said. "Sometimes it's the middle of the first quarter before they wake up and that other team jumps on you. All of a sudden, it's 7-0 and you're playing uphill the entire game. We went nuts this week with that. Our coaching staff, I was grinding them pretty hard Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday about a fast start."
They sure got it. The Buckeyes might have never played Maryland before, but they marched up and down the field as if they owned the place. The 51,802 fans, at least those rooting for the home team, must've wondered what their great conference shift had wrought.
The Terrapins (4-2, 1-1) had an impressive Big Ten debut win on the road the previous week at Indiana, but their top highlight Saturday was a school-record 57-yard field goal by Brad Craddock.
"Our guys know now that here's the league that we're in," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "Between them and some of the other teams in our division, this is the standard-bearer."
C.J. Brown started for Maryland despite leaving the Indiana victory with a sprained left wrist. He played the first half and was ineffective and often under pressure, completing 11 of 18 passes for 71 yards with three sacks. He also threw an interception deep in Terrapins territory late in the half.
For the second half, Edsall turned to Caleb Rowe. The coach said the move wasn't injury-related and that he was going with a more traditional drop-back quarterback because he wanted to throw the ball more. Edsall said Brown made some poor decisions but added: "C.J.'s our quarterback."
The change mattered little to the outcome. The Buckeyes went back to work making the Terrapins look like, well, terrapins. An 80-yard drive needed only four plays and 1:27 before Barrett hit Devin Smith for a 30-yard down-the-middle strike to make it a four-touchdown lead. Barrett later added a 9-yard scoring run to cap a 60-yard drive that took 4:02 off the clock.
Ezekiel Elliott finished with 139 yards on 24 carries for the Buckeyes, and the defense had four interceptions.
Rowe finished 13 for 22 for 173 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, including one returned 19 yards by Raekwon McMillan for a Buckeyes score.
Nothing summed up the game better than the two coaches' attitudes about their impending byes. Meyer wished his streaking Buckeyes didn't have next week off. Edsall is welcoming it with open arms.
"We're looking forward," Edsall said, "to taking a deep breath."
Postgame Quotes From Ohio State vs. Maryland Source: OSU Official Site
Ohio State vs Maryland (Oct 04, 2014 at College Park, Md.) Source: OSU Official Site
Scoring Summary, Team Statistics, Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation,
Box Score, Play-by-Play, Play breakdown
It was over when... J.T. Barrett threw a 30-yard TD pass to Devin Smith to put the Buckeyes up 38-10 with 6:30 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Barrett. He did a good Braxton Miller imitation, going 18 for 23 passing for 267 yards and 4 TDs and ran for 71 yards and 1 TD.
Stat of the game... 12. Ohio State has a Big Ten-high 12 games with 50 points or more since Urban Meyer took over in 2012.
Star of the game... It’s becoming a ditto situation. Quarterback J.T. Barrett manipulated an offense that ran some, passed some and rolled up 500-plus yards for the third straight game. Barrett passed for 267 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 71 and another score.
Turning point... Darron Lee’s interception of C.J. Brown’s pass late in the first half. Lee fumbled on the return, but it was recovered by linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who was tackled at the Terrapins’ 1. On the next play, Barrett found Nick Vannett to increase Ohio State’s lead to 31-10.
Repercussions... Was anyone paying attention? Defeating a team by 28 on its home field after Maryland dominated Indiana a week after Indiana upset Missouri should gain some serious consideration. The polls will have that say today.
• Ohio State is 73-24-4 all time in Big Ten openers.
• Saturday was the first meeting between Ohio State and Maryland.
• Ohio State has now won 17 consecutive Big Ten games dating to the 2012 season. The Big Ten record is 20, set by the 2005-07 Ohio State teams.
• Head coach Urban Meyer has not lost a game in the month of October since the 2010 season while at Florida. He has won his last nine games in the month of October overall.
• With the win, Meyer improves to 11-0 in road games at Ohio State.
• J.T. Barrett has thrown for 909 yards, 14 touchdowns and just one INT over the last three games.
• With four pass plays of 20 or more yards Saturday, Ohio State now has a total of 19 on the season.
• With two catches Saturday, Devin Smith now has 99 career receptions. In the third quarter he caught a 30-yard TD pass from Barrett, his 23rd career TD grab and the 15th of his career of at least 30 yards.
• Ohio State's defense held the Terrapins to 310 total yards, 118 yards below their season average of 417.6 yards per game coming into Saturday's game.
• Joey Bosa tied a career high with 2.5 TFL defensively. He also added one sack.
• Darron Lee came up with his first career INT late in the first half to set up Ohio State's fourth TD of the day.
• Ezekiel Elliott has posted back to back 100-yard rushing games with 139 vs. Maryland and 182 vs. Cincinnati.
• Raekwon McMillan recovered a fumble after a Darron Lee interception, his first, late in the second quarter and returned it to the 1, leading to a TD. McMillan then intercepted a pass of his own in the 4th quarter and returned it for a TD, his first career INT and score.
• Doran Grant's fourth quarter interception was his first this season and fifth of his career.
• The Buckeyes intercepted four Maryland passes, three picks were by freshmen (Eli Apple, McMillan and Lee)
Sources: ESPN, Columbus Dispatch, OSU Official Site
Barrett's Hot Streak Continues At MarylandSource: Bucknuts
Raekwon McMillan Basks After First Career Pick-Six Touchdown Source: Bucknuts
Ohio State notebook: Turning hares into tortoises
October 4, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Maryland has as much speed and big-play ability as any team Ohio State will play.
Running back Brandon Ross came into the game averaging 20.6 yards per reception, and receivers Diggs, Deon Long and Marcus Leak were among the six players who had catches of 30 or more yards.
Besides a 60-yard catch by Jacquille Veii that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown, however, Maryland had only two gains from scrimmage of 20 or more yards, the longest 25.
“They’re very fast, and they close very, very quickly,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said of the Buckeyes.
Jon Spencer's Ohio State-Maryland report card
October 4, 2014 Source: Mansfield News Journal -
OFFENSIVE LINE GRADE: B+
The front five finally seems to be hitting its stride. There were a couple of breakdowns but, for the most part, it was a clean performance against a dinged-up defense, which had its way with a good Indiana offense this past week in Bloomington.
RUNNING GAME GRADE: A
Ezekiel Elliott (24 carries, 139 rushing yards) picked up where he left off against Cincinnati, accounting for most of the yardage on Ohio State's opening touchdown drive. J.T. Barrett again was efficient (16 carries, 71 yards, 1 TD). He executes play fakes better than Braxton Miller and, by hiding the ball well, is that much more effective on his keepers. He also made a nice move to fake out middle linebacker Cole Farrand, who had 19 tackles against Indiana, on a 9-yard TD run.
PASSING GAME GRADE: A
Doesn't it always work this way? Tight end Jeff Heuerman was awfully quiet for someone who made noise during the week with his "We're going to welcome Maryland to the Big Ten" comments. Fortunately, his teammates had his back. Corey Smith made his best impression this season, and Michael Thomas made a circus grab for a TD that probably gave uncle Keyshawn Johnson flashbacks of his NFL career as he watched from the sidelines. We're watching Barrett (18-of-23, 267 yards, 4 TDs) grow in front of our eyes into maybe the Big Ten's best quarterback. Really impressed with his timing and how he put the ball where only his receivers could catch it.
DEFENSIVE LINE GRADE: A
This group's best game by far. Joey Bosa, who would be a first-round pick if he declared for the NFL draft tomorrow, took the lead with Michael Bennett right behind him. Even Steve Miller, who seems to be in his eighth year, had his moments as a replacement for the forgotten Noah Spence. Rather he will be forgotten if the D-line continues to play like this. It not only puts heat on the quarterback — Maryland starter C.J. Brown clearly was rattled — but takes the heat off of Ohio State's beleaguered secondary.
LINEBACKERS GRADE: B
Darron Lee came off the edge untouched on Maryland's first play, which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Lee set up the knockout TD with an interception late in the first half on an absolutely brain-dead call by Maryland coach Randy Edsell inside his own 10 and running into 20 mph winds. I was thinking we hadn't heard much out of middle linebackers Curtis Grant and Raekwon McMillan when the latter intercepted a tipped ball and returned it 19 yards for a TD midway through the final quarter. Maryland switched QBs at halftime, which speaks to the overall solid performance by the Buckeyes' defense.
DEFENSIVE BACKS GRADE: B
The Terrapins had a couple of receivers running free early, but Ohio State's ferocious pass rush saw to it that there was no repeat of this past week. I have to say I thought senior corner Doran Grant would be much further along by now, although he had a late pick on a deflected ball, and the safeties aren't making nearly enough impact plays. Sometimes you forget they are out there. We did see nickle corner Armani Reeves make a play, and corner Eli Apple had an end zone interception, which shows progress. We just need to realize it's going to come in baby steps.
SPECIAL TEAMS GRADE: A
This could have been a game-changer, but Maryland's Big Ten-best return game was held in check by Ohio State's conference-best coverage units. Dontre Wilson busted off a 32-yard punt return that was wasted on one of the few drives that went nowhere. With an assist from the wind, Cameron Johnston launched a 69-yard punt that was downed at Maryland's 7-yard line and indirectly led to a Buckeyes' touchdown when Lee picked off a pass to give it back to the offense. I'll be shocked if Johnston doesn't win the Ray Guy Award, which is presented to college football's best punter annually, before he's finished.
COACHING GRADE: A
Maybe input from Urban Meyer was responsible, but it was nice to see the defense get offensive from the get-go. If you can't rely on your secondary, take the game out of its hands and force the issue with your highly-touted front four. It also was nice to see a couple of tipped balls turn into interceptions in the fourth quarter after the Terps had scored twice. If the defense can tighten things up even more and demonstrate a killer instinct, maybe we will be looking at a Big Ten championship caliber squad by the Nov. 8 trip to East Lansing, Michigan.
Ohio State vs. Maryland: Game Grades, Analysis for the Buckeyes
October 4, 2014 Source: The Bleacher Report - How did Ohio State grade out after its convincing 28-point victory?...
Ohio State Stock Market Report: Maryland
October 5, 2014 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land - Who's up and who's down, now that Maryland is in the books and B1G play has started.
Blue Chip Stocks:
J.T Barrett, QB: Since his forgettable performance against Virginia Tech, all Barrett has done is score points. Barrett finished 18/23 for 267 yards and four TDs, and most importantly, no picks. He also added another 71 yards and a TD on 16 carries. Barrett made great decisions with the football, and will almost certainly lock up another Big Ten Freshman of the Week award, which may need to be named after him by the end of the season. His athleticism may not wow anybody, but as he continues to grow more comfortable with the playbook and in reading defenses, his play is going to make this offense difficult to stop.
Ohio State's Special Teams: Maryland boasted one of the best punt and kick return units in the country, and Ohio State bottled them up. A 69 yard punt which pinned Maryland deep in their own territory near the end of the first half lead to a Darron Lee pick, and an emphatic door slam on any hint of a Maryland comeback. The Buckeyes decidedly won the field position battle, and when you can do that and take away a major advantage of your opponent, you're making Jim Tressel proud. Enjoy those first class seats.
Joey Bosa, DE: The entire Ohio State defensive front had a great game, but nobody shone brighter than Bosa, who was a veritable one man wrecking crew. Bosa had 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, and constant pressure the entire game. Bosa and friends kept Maryland's running game bottled up, and prevented either of their QBs from getting comfortable. The Buckeyes scored a boatload of points, but their defense set a lot of that up, and that defensive effort started up front, led by Bosa.
Darron Lee, LB: I'll admit it, I wasn't sure high on Lee as a prospect when he signed with Ohio State. Maybe it was because it wasn't totally clear what position he would play in college (he was, after all, a high school QB). Maybe it was because he didn't have the high four-star pedigree that a lot of Ohio State's other prospects did. Maybe it's because he played at New Albany, and I'm from Granville, and we resented those guys in my day.
The point is, I'm an idiot, and Darron Lee is already showing he's one of Ohio State's best defensive playmakers. Lee's interception near the end of the first half broke the game completely open. Lee has a nose for the ball, and gives Ohio State a bright future at linebacker. He was dinged up at the end of the game, so hopefully he gets healthy in time for Rutgers.
Ohio State's offensive line: The last time I wrote one of these articles, I thought the offensive line was such a poor investment that I compared it to Greek sovereign debt and Pokemon cards. Well, I guess all those Charizards have paid off somehow. Big rushing performances against Kent State and Cincinnati could potentially be excused as big numbers against bad defenses, but Maryland was a top 35 defense by S&P+, and for most of the game, Ohio State just blew them off the ball. They did give up more sacks than the team would like, but for Ohio State rushed for 269 yards and controlled the clock, and that doesn't happen without great offensive line play.
Fourth down execution: Hard to pick too many nits with a win that big, but Ohio State managed to leave even more points on the table, whiffing on two red zone trips thanks to failed fourth down attempts. This blog will never criticize anybody for being aggressive and going for it (punting from inside your opponent's 45 should be banned), but Ohio State's play-calling might have been a little too cute, and even if it wasn't, the team failed to execute in those short yardage situations that they typically dominated for the rest of the game. Ohio State isn't likely to be so fortunate as to score 50 points in every other game in Big Ten play, so if they're going to go for it deep in the red zone, they need to make sure they get their points.
BUY: Ohio State's young defensive playmakers. Ohio State's much maligned pass defense unit wracked up four interceptions today. Three of those passes were picked off by either true or redshirt freshman, in Darron Lee, Raekwon McMillian, and Eli Apple (btw, if you tweeted about Apple's interception and didn't use APPLE PICKIN' in there, you done messed up). This unit has and probably will continue to make mistakes, but the potential is undeniably there, and today, their ballhawking ability was on full display.
BUY: Ohio State's depth at WR. Ohio State completed passes to nine different receivers against Maryland, and five Buckeyes caught more than one pass. With Barrett's accuracy, and with all the speed in this position group, wideouts have to know that if they keep running their routes correctly, eventually, they're going to get the ball in the right spot, and this many viable options has to give comfort in case anybody gets injured. Michael Thomas has probably been the biggest threat from this group (and he had an absolutely ridiculous TD catch to go with his team leading 75 yards), but it could be any of four other guys in any given game. That's a good problem to have.
Sell: Ohio State being eliminated from the playoff. It's probably still a longshot, give that Ohio State still has issues to resolve with their secondary, and they're depending on major production from a lot of very young players. Still, even that Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and and BYU all lost this weekend, it just goes to show that anything can happen in college football, and Week 6 is way too early to rule anybody out completely. If Ohio State keeps winning, things often have a crazy way of taking care of themselves.
Players, coaches, cheerleaders & Brutus sing Carmen Ohio in front of the OSU section
Maryland Postgame Quotes
October 4, 2014 Source: Maryland Official Site - Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall
“First, I want to compliment the crowd today. It was a great environment, a great atmosphere out there today. We really appreciate all their support and everything else. We wish we could have done a few more things today to give ourselves a better opportunity, but what we found out today is that Ohio State is a very good football team. We knew that coming in. That’s the standard that we are going to have to reach here at Maryland. We are prepared to do that. I love our kids, they played hard, they got after it and, again, we just made a few too many mistakes against a quality team to be able to come out on the winning side of the ledger.”
On Ohio State’s offense:
”They have a very good offense and we said all week long that they’ve been getting better. The quarterback is a dual threat quarterback who can run the zone-read. They ran a little bit more option today. Did some of those things utilizing the quarterback and they put a lot of pressure on you. We’re not as big up front as we would like to be, but again, I thought our kids competed and battled and what we have to do is get off blocks a little bit better and just continue to tackle a little bit better.”
On quarterback C.J. Brown’s interception before halftime:
“We were in a two-minute situation and we’ve worked on those things and the young man made a poor decision and things like that happen in football. You don’t like to see things like that happen, but it did. When those things happen, we just have to regroup and come out and overcome those things.”
On Ohio State’s scheme:
“The things that we saw today, we felt they would do. Everybody always come in with one or two little things that they put in. I thought that we adjusted to those things, but again, we didn’t execute well enough. Give Ohio State credit.”
On Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett:
“We said during the week that he was a really good quarterback and you can just see him getting better each and every game. There were things that we tried to do; pressure him and zone coverage. He’s very good. My hats off to him in terms of how he played.”
On Ohio State’s speed:
“Their closing speed on defense was very good and we got a couple of plays today against them. They are very fast and they close very quickly. I give my tip of the hat to them and they are an outstanding football team that has proven that for many years.”...
Maryland football finds that size matters in the Big Ten, especially vs. Ohio State
October 4, 2014 Source: Washing Post - It didn’t take long to realize Maryland’s football team was in big trouble Saturday afternoon against Ohio State. In fact, pregame warmups provided all you needed to know. As the teams ran through drills, Ohio State’s size advantage was clear. The Buckeyes noticed, too.
From the start Saturday, Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer took the smart route. When your team is capable of dominating an opponent, football is a simple game. There’s no need to utilize trick plays or gimmicks. Just run the ball...
Ohio State-Maryland Capsule
October 2, 2014 Source: Associated Press
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Buckeyes seek their 17th straight Big Ten victory in their league opener and look to move up in the Top 25 with their third consecutive win. Maryland hopes to stage a winning performance before an expected sellout crown in its inaugural Big Ten home game. It would be a signature win for a program on the upswing.
Maryland’s passing attack against an Ohio State unit that last week surrendered four TDs, including three scores of at least 60 yards in a 50-28 win over Cincinnati. The Terrapins are undecided at quarterback because of starter C.J. Brown’s sprained left wrist, but he and Caleb Rowe combined for 361 yards passing and three touchdowns in a rout of Indiana last Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ohio State: QB J.T. Barrett, who got the job when two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year Braxton Miller was lost for the year after shoulder surgery, is coming off two big games in which he is a combined 49 of 66 passing for 642 yards and 10 TDs with one interception. In addition, TB Ezekiel Elliott is coming off a career day with 28 carries for 182 yards and a TD against Cincinnati.
Maryland: Linebacker Cole Farrand had 11 solo tackles and eight assists last week. The total, which included 1 1/2 tackles for a loss, earned him Big Ten defensive player of the week honors. It was the most by a Big Ten player this season and second-most by a FBS player.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ohio State has won its past 16 Big Ten openers ... Maryland has scored a total of 184 points, third-highest total in the Big Ten. ... The Buckeyes tied an NCAA record with 45 first downs against Cincinnati ... Maryland WR Stefon Diggs leads the team in catches (29) and receiving yards (398). His seven career 100-yard games are tied for second in school history. ... This is Ohio State’s second trip to the state this year, having beaten Navy 34-17 in the opener at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. ... Ohio State has 15 completions of at least 20 yards. ... It may not last, but Maryland is alone atop the East Division of the Big Ten at 1-0. Four teams have one loss and the Buckeyes and Michigan State open league play this weekend.
Ten Pressing Questions Ohio State vs Maryland
October 4, 2014 Source: Bucknuts - As always, we have our Ten Pressing Questions feature to prepare you for today’s game. We will provide the answers in our First Look column. Here we go:
* 1. Can J.T. Barrett push toward a third straight 300-yard game? – Barrett tore up the defenses from Kent State and Cincinnati. This will be a step up in class, though, with a trip to Maryland. The Terrapins are 61st nationally in passing yards allowed (234.2 ypg). Maryland CB William Likely is one of the Big Ten’s best corners. Barrett has stayed away from picks. Can that trend continue?
* 2. Can [b]Ezekiel Elliott build on his huge game against Cincinnati? – [/b] Elliott accounted for 233 yards total offense (181 rushing, 52 receiving) in the win over UC, running behind an improving offensive line. Maryland gave up 370 yards rushing in its 34-20 win at Syracuse two weeks ago. Last week, the Terps held Indiana’s Tevin Coleman about 60 yards below his season average. Maryland is ranked 100th nationally in rushing defense (200.6 ypg).
* 3. Which OSU receivers will rise to the occasion? – It has been somebody different each week for the Buckeyes between Devin Smith, Michael Thomas and last week Dontre Wilson. As noted, Likely prides himself as a shutdown corner. Barrett would be well served to spread the ball around. He completed passes to 10 different receivers last week.
* 4. Can the tight ends stay involved? – Nick Vannett had a big day against Kent and Jeff Heuerman followed suit last week. Maryland has an outstanding LB in Cole Farrand. OSU needs to test him in coverage, particularly early to loosen up the defense for the running game.
* 5. Can the OSU offensive line continue its upward trend? – The Buckeyes rolled up 710 yards total offense against Cincinnati and only allowed one sack. From a clown show performance against Virginia Tech, that was a much improved showing last week. Again, Maryland’s defense is much better than UC’s. Maryland DT Darius Kilgo and DE Andre Monroe must be accounted for.
* 6. Who will play quarterback for Maryland and can the Buckeyes pressure him? – Maryland starter C.J. Brown, who is also the team’s leading rusher, sprained his left (non-throwing) wrist against Indiana. Backup Caleb Rowe filled in and threw for 196 yards in the second half. It seems likely that Rowe will start. So far, DE Joey Bosa is the only Buckeye to consistent pressure an opposing quarterbacks.
* 7. Can the Buckeyes bottle up Maryland RBs Brandon Ross and Wes Brown? – If C.J. Brown can’t play, look for Maryland to run the ball more with these two backs. They are also effective pass catchers out of the backfield. Ross had a 90-yard catch-and-run TD vs. Syracuse and a 36-yard score against Indiana. Will freshman Raekwon McMillan again play the lion’s share of the snaps at MLB?
* 8. Can the Buckeyes slow down Maryland’s outstanding receiving corps? – OSU pushed hard to sign Stefon Diggs, but he stayed home at Maryland. Diggs, Deon Long and Marcus Leak form quite a trio of receivers for the Terps. OSU was burned for three touchdowns of 60 or more yards last week vs. Cincinnati, so the secondary will be under close watch. Maryland favors the screen game, but you know they will also take a shot deep after seeing those blown coverages on tape.
* 9. What impact will special teams have? – Maryland blocked punts against South Florida and West Virginia, while Diggs and Likely are big-time in the return game. The special team units have been OK for OSU so far.
* 10. Can the Buckeyes open Big Ten play with a key road win? – The Buckeyes are walking into a real set-up here with this being Maryland’s first-ever Big Ten home game. The Terrapins are a spiffy 4-1 and coming off a resounding win at Indiana (37-15). They and their fans will be keyed up to try and take down the Big Ten’s best program from the last 15 years.
|Five key factors for OSU victory|
October 3, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch -
1. Take crowd out of game
This will be Maryland’s first Big Ten home game and Ohio State’s first true road test. Buckeye fans outnumbered Navy fans at their opener in Baltimore. That won’t be the case in College Park. The Terrapins want to ride the emotion of the day. The best way that Ohio State can prevent that is to jump to an early lead and show that while the Terps have proved they’re a decent team, they aren’t ready to beat the league’s elite teams.
Control Terps' wideouts
The Buckeyes recruited Stefon Diggs hard out of high school, and the junior has proved to be everything Ohio State figured he would be. In five games, he has 29 catches for 398 yards and two touchdowns. But he’s not the only threat: Deon Long and Marcus Leak are talented receivers, as is running back Brandon Ross. The Buckeyes were burned for big plays repeatedly against Cincinnati.
3. Score in red zone
Maryland ranks 89th nationally in total defense (434.8 yards per game) but is fifth in red-zone defense. The Buckeyes do not want to have to settle for field goals against a Terrapins team that can light up the scoreboard. In an otherwise sterling offensive performance against UC, the Buckeyes did have to kick field goals twice in the third quarter.
4. Win special teams
Diggs (kickoffs) and William Likely (punts) are dangerous returners, and the Buckeyes can’t give them opportunities to break long returns. Buckeyes punter Cameron Johnston has been excellent in his career at limiting returns, and the kickoff-coverage unit has made strides since a poor performance against Virginia Tech. Maryland ranks 106th in net punting.
5. Catch the ball
The past two games, defenses haven’t been able to stop Ohio State. The only ones who’ve been able to foil Buckeyes drives have been the Buckeyes, with dropped passes being the main culprit. Three straight drops ended one possession last week. J.T. Barrett has been mostly accurate throwing the ball. Receivers must catch it.
Who has the Edge: Ohio State vs. Maryland
October 3, 2014 Source: Columbus Dispatch
When Buckeyes run . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
After being stymied by Virginia Tech, the Buckeyes’ running game has gotten on track in a big way the past two games, totaling 664 yards. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 182 yards last week against Cincinnati, powered by a line that blew the Bearcats off the ball. Quarterback J.T. Barrett has proved himself an able runner as well, and running backs Curtis Samuel and Rod Smith also are dangerous. Maryland’s defense ranks 100th nationally against the run, yielding 200.6 yards per game. .
When Buckeyes pass . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
Barrett has had consecutive 300-yard passing games, and Maryland is only middle-of-the-pack (60th nationally) against the pass. The Buckeyes have plenty of weapons in the passing game, although drops have been an issue. Cornerback William Likely is a blossoming star in Maryland’s secondary. The sophomore has five pass breakups and three interceptions this season.
When Terrapins run . . . Edge – OHIO STATE
Quarterback C.J. Brown is the leading rusher in terms of carries (56), yards gained (266) and touchdowns (five). His status against Ohio State won’t be known until game time because of a left-wrist sprain. Wes Brown is the backup RB but has more yards (182) than starter Brandon Ross (178). Ohio State is only 65th nationally against the run (153.0 average), but that was skewed by Navy’s 370 yards in the season opener.
When Terrapins pass . . . Edge – MARYLAND
Stefon Diggs and Deon Long make up one of the more dangerous receiver tandems in the country. The Terps use an elaborate screen game, especially with Diggs (29 catches, 398 yards, two TDs). Ross also figures heavily into the screens, having taken two for long-distance TDs. If C.J. Brown can’t play, backup Caleb Rowe has proved capable at QB. OSU’s pass defense vs. Cincinnati was punctuated by several big plays; the Bearcats averaged 60 yards on their four TD passes.
Special teams . . . Edge – MARYLAND
Diggs leads the Big Ten in kickoff return average (29.4), and Likely leads in punt-return average (22.0), so the Buckeyes’ work is cut out for them. They have improved since the Virginia Tech game, but this will be a big test. Punting has been an issue for the Terrapins. Nathan Renfro’s net average is only 34.3.
PLAY OF THE WEEK: Double-wide screen
Ohio State defenders should be cautioned to keep their eyes on the proper screen when they play at Maryland for the first time today.
And we’re not talking about the newly upgraded Byrd Stadium video boards. This is about the screen plays the Terps run on the field, such as this one — let’s call it “double-wide screen,” because it has the potential to go to either side of the formation.
Indiana found that out last week when the Terps showed up for their first Big Ten game. Backup quarterback Caleb Rowe, who replaced injured starter C.J. Brown midway through, executed this play with aplomb, flipping a soft toss to running back Brandon Ross, who did the rest.
But it wasn’t as if Ross had to run through the entire Indiana defense on the 36-yard TD play. The Hoosiers had been split while trying to cover both flanks. No doubt the Ohio State defense will see this play, or a variation, today.
Maryland sends three receivers to the right side and one to the left, with Ross flanking the quarterback in the shotgun. At the snap, the linemen let the defensive front through with little resistance, while the left tackle and left guard careen into the left flat and the center and right guard head to the right flat.
At the start, it appears to be a bubble screen to the right, because the two inside receivers have taken blocking postures on a couple of defenders while the far-right receiver cuts back in for a possible pass. But the ball actually goes to the left to Ross, who upon catching it finds himself with a path-clearing trio of the receiver plus the two linemen, who because of screen rules are allowed to block downfield before the ball is thrown.
Ross had a 90-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a similar play in the Terps’ win at Syracuse two weeks ago.
Source: Columbus Dispatch
|Joey Bosa Post-Practice Q&A Source: The Ozone also Vonn Bell, Pat Elflien, and Jeff Heuerman... |
|Ohio State TE hopes he and his teammates are ready to welcome Maryland to the Big Ten.|
|Ohio State OL discusses the challenge of rotating between the guard and center positions. You won't believe it when you learn when it was he first snapped a football!|
|Urban Meyer Post-Practice Q&A Video: Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke with the media about the upcoming game against the Maryland Terrapins following practice on Wednesday. October 1, 2014 Source: The Ozone|
Meyer on Maryland: 'They’re the Most Athletic Defense We’ll Face So Far This Year'
October 1, 2014 Source: Eleven Warriors - Remember the way Virginia Tech's defense suffocated Ohio State a month ago? Don't look now, but head coach Urban Meyer said Maryland's crew could be better.
"They’re the most athletic defense we’ll face so far this year," he said Wednesday after practice.
That's saying a lot considering how the Hokies simply dismantled the Buckeyes' offense in a 35-21 win at Ohio Stadium Sept. 6.
Whether the Terrapins can do the same to Ohio State will be determined Saturday in College Park.
In a 50-28 win against Cincinnati, Dontre Wilson had six catches for 71 yards. The contest marked a considerable juxtaposition between Wilson now and last season. "He’s so little, and when you’re in a balanced offense you gotta be able to block and do all the things, so he was a little bit like a token player last year but he’s gained 15 pounds, he’s stronger, he’s much more suitable and also he’s the kind of guy we wanted to run him a little bit, and when you’re real little, it’s hard to run without getting beat up," Meyer said. "He’s done a nice job at getting big, we still want him to gain another 10 pounds. Meyer added Wilson has good hands, but is a bit of "a body catcher, but he’s worked hard on it. I like where he’s headed."
Meyer said the offense is coming together, but added “we have to do it against better defenses — nothing against Kent State and Cincinnati — but we’ve got to continue to grow. What I think is going on best is the balance right now. You look up the scoreboard and seeing 250 or 300 each, you know, that’s a good sign. The last two years, we were kind of run-dominated.” Meyer added the need for the Buckeyes to multi-dimensional on offense.
Ohio State, of course, opens its Big Ten slate of games Saturday. It's more or less no different than any other game, Meyer said. "It is different, but not really. Everybody’s just in survival mode and now you’re getting guys banged up a little bit — it’s Week Five, Week Six, whatever it is — and Big Ten does make everything a little different, but to say like ‘Well, did you practice harder?’ No, but we understand the significance of it because our goal is to compete for a championship in November. This is it."
Meyer said starting center Jacoby Boren is a battler. “That’s what he is … he’s an undersized guy — his survival rate is because he’s a Boren. They’re all like that, the ones I’ve been able to coach and I wasn’t with the older brother but Zach’s the same way, he’s a grinder, he’s worker and their survival rate at this level is because they’re tough and they do things the right way … he’s doing a good job. He needs to continue to battle because he’s a little smaller in stature.
In light of the NCAA’s expected move to autonomy that would give the Power Five conferences more control than ever before, the Big Ten issued a statement proposing cost of attendance, medical insurance, guaranteed four-year scholarships among other things. “I’m sure right in the middle of all that conversation. I haven’t been recently, but it’s the right thing to do.”
Meyer, who has yet to play a game at Byrd Stadium, reiterated how he expects Maryland's campus to be a lively atmosphere this weekend: "I had my staff call, so they just told me a little bit about what it is, they said it’s a loud environment. I anticipate — I think it’s their first Big Ten home game — so it’s going to be a great environment."
'We're going to welcome them to the Big Ten': Ohio State-Maryland quick hits
October 1, 2014 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Tight end Jeff Heuerman was being friendly. When Maryland hosts Ohio State for a noon kickoff Saturday, it will be the Terrapins' first Big Ten home game after making their debut in their new conference with a win at Indiana last week.
"We're going to go there and we're going to welcome them to the Big Ten," Heuerman said after practice on Wednesday. "We're going to go on the road and it's going to be a big game and we're going to show them what Big Ten football is and hopefully it'll come out in our favor."
Heuerman's welcome sounded maybe 65 percent neighborly, 35 percent like a warning. Told he sounded like someone offering a warm greeting, Heuerman laughed.
"We'll show you what's up," he said with a smile...
Here are other notes and quick hits from interviews with OSU players and Urban Meyer after Wednesday's practice.
• Meyer said he did think the pass defense looked better in practice this week.
• Safety Vonn Bell cheerily said he expects to hear some trash talk, and give some tight back, with Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs, a player that he sees carrying himself with confidence.
• Meyer said he still wants Dontre Wilson to gain another 10 pounds as he role as a receiver continues to increase...
|Does OSU Teach DBs To Face Guard and Prepping For Terps October 1, 2014 Source: Bucknuts|
Vonn Bell: “They want you to play through the hands,” he said. “When the receiver is about to catch the ball or when the receiver catches the ball, they want you to punch through the hand. You’ve just got to play through the hands, so that’s what they teach us.” ...
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, Ezekiel Elliott and Darryl Baldwin preview Maryland.
Two-Minute Drill: Urban Meyer Updates From Sept 29 Media Luncheon
September 29, 2014 Source: The Ozone - + Meyer started by showing appreciation for the largest crowd ever in Ohio Stadium. He credited the offense for staying high intensity and starting out fast. "J.T. continues to be a very good distributor. They are giving him more and more responsibilities.
+ Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Mike Thomas were champions on offense. Corey Smith was close. Rod Smith was a champion. He's battling for the #2 spot for Meyer. J.T. Barrett was a champion as were Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett. Expect more of the two-tight end sets. The player of the game was the entire offensive line. The other player of the game was Ezekiel Elliott. 112 of his yards were after contact.
+ Defensively, the champions were Joey Bosa, Mike Bennett, Josh Perry and Armani Reeves, and Bosa was the player of the game.
+ Meyer said there were four plays on defense that were bad. The first one was UC's long TD. The second was the screen pass touchdown. The third was the touchdown right before the half. The fourth one was obviously the fourth touchdown. They have addressed them and worked on corrections yesterday. They are not "at all" giving up on their system of play.
+ Meyer said the kicking game was a strength. The coverage units received a standing ovation from the team. Bri'onte Dunn had a fantastic day in that regard.
+ He said there is a really big challenge on special teams this week in punt and kickoff coverage. They have two of the best returners in the nation. They have already spent a lot of time on their coverage units this week.
+ Meyer said he's never been to Maryland's stadium but expects it to be lively. "They've been waiting on this I imagine for a while."
+ Meyer was asked if the staff is always able to be aware of players being injured on the field and he said his strength staff is always on top of that and they tell him immediately if anybody looks shaky.
+ Meyer said his job is to find out why they gave up those four big plays. He found out the why. He said he needs to get more involved as a game manager to have more input in a situation like the one at the end of the half with nobody in the middle of the field on defense.
+ Meyer said he was really excited to get his skill going last week because they haven't been able to do it yet. "Virginia Tech, I wish we had that one over again." He said it's a street fight to get onto the field now and he's even more excited about the offense now. "We're recruiting some depth." Tempo wears out the defense, but if you don't have depth it wears out the offense too. "This is the first time I feel very comfortable with tempo."
+ Meyer said Barrett is not further along that what he expected him to be because he has very high expectations for him. "He's a product of those around him." "This is a group to be around right now."
+ Next year? "Braxton's our quarterback. He's a Big Ten Player of the Year."
+ Meyer said he doesn't follow the Big Ten or scores, but he has people provide him updates. "I always check my friends' [scores]." Meyer said he hasn't studied Michigan to break down their issues. He said regardless of what is going on there, "Game 12" will be a different effort.
+ Meyer said he talked to Anthony Schlegel about stopping the fan. They said they had some fun with it and gave him a "Hit City" award. He thanked him for protecting the team and the players.
+ Meyer said they had a really good relationship with Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs. "He's as good as there is in America."
+ Meyer said Maryland's receivers concern them. They have to get their pass defense fixed. "It started yesterday."
+ He said when you play aggressive coverage you will give up big plays, "however, it's happening too frequently right now."
+ Meyer said Joey Bosa is an energizer. He practices that way, from day one. He thought he would be game-ready as a freshman, but he didn't know he would be this game-ready. He said he's a little more talented than John Simon, but the competitive nature is similar.
+ Meyer said that Barrett's command of the offense has allowed him to be able to change plays. "He did a very good job." Meyer said Barrett changed a dozen plays in the second half and they were good decisions. He has proven that he has the cognitive ability to do it, but "now we're going on the road."
+ Meyer said Barrett doesn't rattle the walls when he speaks, but he's done a good job of being a voice.
Ed Warinner, Luke Fickell, Ezekiel Elliott, Darryl Baldwin, Armani Reeves, Darron Lee Updates...
No. 18/20 Ohio State at Maryland
September 29, 2014 Source: OSU Official Site - Game to be televised on ABC at Noon ET...
First and 10
• Ohio State enters the game having won 16 consecutive Big Ten regular season games.
• Ohio State tied an NCAA record with 45 first downs in the win over Cincinnati. It also topped 700 yards of total offense for the third time ever.
• Ohio State has recorded 15 pass plays of 20 or more yards through four games.
• Redshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett accounted for 409 yards of offense (330 passing, 79 rushing) with four TD passes in the win over Cincinnati.
• Barrett has thrown for 300+ yards in back-to-back games for the first time since Troy Smith in 2005.
• Barrett leads the Big Ten in total offense with 323.0 yards per game.
• Sophomore RB Ezekiel Elliott enjoyed a breakout game with 182 yards rushing Saturday vs. UC.
• Senior WR Devin Smith needs three more receptions (97) to reach 100 for his career.
• Sophomore DE Joey Bosa has three forced fumbles this season, all of which have led to Buckeye points (23 total).
• Head coach Urban Meyer has not lost a game in the month of October since the 2010 season.
Ohio State and Maryland are meeting for the first time on the college football gridiron. The Terrapins joined the Big Ten Conference on July 1 of this year after 62 years as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
FIRST COACHING MATCH-UP
The game will match an Urban Meyer-coached team vs. a Randy Edsall-coached team for the first time. Meyer is in his 13th season as a head coach while Edsall is in year No. 16 as a collegiate head coach,
having spent 12 seasons at Connecticut prior to taking over at Maryland in 2011.
Maryland is 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in Big Ten play entering Saturday’s game. The Terrapins opened the season with wins vs. James Madison (52-7) and at USF (24-17) before dropping its only game of the
season at home vs. West Virginia, 40-37, Sept. 13. Since the loss Maryland has picked up two road wins at Syracuse (34-20) and Indiana (37-15) to open Big Ten play.
The Terps are led offensively by senior QB C.J. Brown, who is 73 of 128 passing with three INTs and seven TD passes. He also leads the team in rushing with 266 yards and five TDs. Stefon Diggs is UMD’s
leading receiver with 29 catches for 398 yards and two TDs.
Maryland’s defense ranks second in the Big Ten with six INTs, one of which was returned for a TD. Randy Edsall is in his fourth season as Maryland’s head coach with a 17-25 record. He is 91-95 overall in his career after spending the previous 12 seasons at UConn, where he compiled 74-70 mark with five bowl appearances.
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Maryland braces for talented Ohio State defensive line
October 3, 2014 Source: Washington Post - The tension for Maryland’s matchup against No. 20 Ohio State picked up steam when Buckeyes tight end Jeff Heuerman told reporters in Columbus: “We’re going to welcome them to the Big Ten.”
It was the latest wave made by a Buckeyes offensive player, whether it be on the field or off the field; Ohio State (3-1) tied an NCAA record with 45 first downs and amassed over 700 yards of total offense in a 50-28 win over Cincinnati last week. And freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, making his own way in place of injured star Braxton Miller, has thrown for over 300 yards (with 10 total touchdowns) the last two weeks.
But Maryland Coach Randy Edsall highlighted the team’s defensive capabilities on Thursday, particularly up front.
"I think this will be the best defensive line that we face, so far this year. I think this is the biggest challenge, to this point in time, that we face as a team. And we understand that,” Edsall said.
Ohio State’s defensive line is led by 6-foot-5, 278-pound sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa, who is proving to be on the country’s most talented pass rushers. He’s registered 4.5 tackles for loss (2.5 sacks) and already has posted three forced fumbles, all of which have set up Ohio State scores. And it has two veteran defensive tackles in senior Michael Bennett and junior Adolphus Washington. Bennett has started 18 career games and is one of the team’s captains, while the former blue-chip recruit Washington is long (6-4, 295) who has three tackles for loss.
Edsall credited Maryland’s offensive line as a “group of guys that has a lot of pride,” and he’s been pleased with their communication through five games. The continuing development of the unit, which was thought to be one of the question marks entering the year, will be tested in full against the Buckeyes.
Maryland football vs. Ohio State: 5 story lines to watch
October 3, 2014 Source: Washington Post - 1. Maryland’s quarterback situation... 2. Rejuvenated defense vs. J.T Barrett... 3. Finding touches for Diggs and Long... 4. Ball security... 5. Offensive line play...
Maryland Cumulative Season Stats Source: Maryland Official Site
Head Coach Randy Edsall Quotes from Tuesday's Press Conference
September 30, 2014 Source: Maryland Official Site - "We have a tremendous opportunity and tremendous challenge ahead of us this weekend. We are playing a very talented Ohio State team and a very well coached Ohio State team.
On Ohio State's personnel:
"They are very talented. They have a lot of really good athletes. They have a good scheme on offense and defense and are executing on a very high level. You can see they've gotten better from the first game and now going into the fifth game. J.T. Barrett is playing at a really high level and their skill guys as well. Their offensive line is coming along. They were young and now they have more experience. Defensively, their front four are very good and they have really good athletes on defense and do well in their kicking game. We have a lot to be concerned with, but what we have to do is come up with a plan to give our guys the best opportunity to win."
On Ohio State's quarterback J.T. Barrett:
"You can see that he has a better understanding of what they are doing and he is more comfortable with each game. He's been impressive. He's got the ability to throw the ball extremely well. He can run the ball. He knows where to go with the ball and again. He is just an extremely talented quarterback that we are going to have to contend with."
On keys to slowing Ohio State's offense down:
"It doesn't change from week to week. What we have to do is continue to get better, work on our fundamentals and technique. Anytime people are going to throw the football, the best way to help yourself there, is getting pressure. If you get pressure with a four-man rush, that makes it better because you can cover more guys. It's just a matter defensively of all of our guys doing their job and making sure that they execute their assignments and we get guys that going hard each and every play."