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Football: OSU defense must stop Perry Hills on the ground

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OSU's defense watches a tipped ball that would then be intercepted by redshirt freshman cornerback Damon Arnette (3) during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Northwestern on Oct. 29. The Buckeyes won 24-20. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

OSU’s defense watches a tipped ball that would then be intercepted by redshirt freshman cornerback Damon Arnette (3) during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Northwestern on Oct. 29. The Buckeyes won 24-20. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Last season, a 49-28 victory for the Ohio State football team against Maryland in Ohio Stadium satisfied most fans desires to see the Buckeyes take down an unranked opponent. But all was not smooth sailing for OSU, as then-junior Terrapins quarterback Perry Hills torched the Scarlet and Gray on the ground.

Hills picked up 170 yards rushing, along with a pair of touchdowns, the last time OSU met Maryland. The Pittsburgh native had much less success passing the ball, but still managed to keep his team within striking distance at halftime.

After the teams went into the locker rooms with the Buckeyes up 21-14, OSU outscored Maryland 28-14 in the second half. Hills attempted to force the ball down the field with his team behind, and ended up throwing a pair of picks in the fourth quarter.

Last week, OSU held a potent Nebraska offense to just 204 yards of offense. Cornhuskers’ quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., a mobile threat with a big arm, was held to just 93 total yards before being knocked out of the game after taking a hard fall on the sideline in the second quarter.

This week, the Buckeyes will be presented with another mobile threat at quarterback in Hills. Although Maryland has lost four of the last five, the success of its quarterback could carry the team like last year against OSU.

Containing Hills is the No. 1 priority for the Buckeyes. Although Maryland could be considered a below-average team, OSU is not taking this week lightly with just three weeks left in the season.

“I don’t take any game for granted or see them as lesser than any other team,” OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “You can get beat any time in the Big Ten. We need to take the same approach against Maryland that we took against Nebraska.”

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