Ohio State started slow once again but scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to put away the Maryland Terrapins, 49-28, in Columbus.
Maryland’s offense, after getting shut out at home the previous week to a streaking Michigan team, got on the board first after redshirt junior quarterback Perry Hills fired a 52-yard touchdown pass. The Buckeye defense, which had bailed the team out from several close calls already this season, gave up a season-high 28 points, as well as 386 yards of offense.
The Terps put up a valiant effort throughout the game, going so far as to even the score at 21 in the third quarter before the cracks began to widen. Two key interceptions in the fourth quarter helped end a potential comeback from Maryland, which leads the nation in interceptions thrown.
Despite defensive struggles, the biggest takeaway from Saturday’s game was the OSU offense, which in the second half finally began to play to its potential. OSU coach Urban Meyer used redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones to start drives and let redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett finish them inside the red zone.
This system proved effective, as both quarterbacks looked sharp throughout most of the game. Jones completed 75 percent of his passes (21-of-28) for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Barrett added three rushing touchdowns and 62 yards on the ground to help lead the Buckeye offense to an impressive 499 yards of total offense and 31 first downs.
Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott pounded away 106 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries to lead the rushing attack, while redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller (79 yards, one touchdown), redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (78 yards, one touchdown) and redshirt junior receiver Michael Thomas (107 yards) put up impressive performances for the receiving corps. Redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell and redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard both added interceptions for the defense.
Maryland put up arguably its best game of the season in the loss, mostly thanks to its quarterback. Hills, after not playing for the last three weeks, put up 133 yards and a score through the air while rushing for 170 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground, as he was responsible for three of the four Maryland touchdowns.
By the numbers:
0: Arguably the most important number of all, as OSU’s offense didn’t have a turnover for the first time since facing off against Hawaii in Week 2.
17: The number of interceptions thrown by Maryland quarterbacks this season, the most in the nation.
2-0: OSU’s all-time record against Maryland.
21: OSU’s margin of victory over the Terps, the same amount that Mid-American Conference team Bowling Green beat Maryland by earlier this season.
11: Elliott has pounded away at least 100 yards for 11 consecutive games.
26: OSU’s current regular-season conference winning streak, the longest in Big Ten history.
-2: The Buckeyes’ current turnover margin for the season, as they have turned the ball over 13 times in six games compared to forcing 11 turnovers from opponents.
102: The numbers of weeks OSU has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll after the Week 7 rankings were released on Sunday, which is the most of any college football team (Oklahoma is second at 101).