COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Ohio State exceeded nearly everyone’s expectations with a beating of then-No. 10 Nebraska at Ohio Stadium. While almost every fan expected an easy win against a struggling Maryland team, it seems fair to say nearly no one was expecting the 62-3 demolishing performance the Buckeyes put up against the Terrapins.
It was an outcome that nearly everyone close to the team expected. That is, except for the players, apparently.
“For us, it was maybe expected from y’all, but we understand that … you come out and every team is different,” redshirt junior J.T. Barrett said. “They play one team different then they’re going to play us. They’re going to give us their best shot, play us a little harder. So with that, just going out and executing our game plan because it was really good stuff we had on offense and our defense as well. With that, we really weren’t worried about expectations. We just try to go out there and play our best. And if we play our best, I think the score happens to be (like 62-3).”
By halftime, OSU found themselves up by a 45-3 mark, picking apart Maryland in every way. Led by the play of junior H-back Curtis Samuel, the Buckeyes ran rampant over coach D.J. Durkin’s defense. The Terrapins allowed an average of 245.6 yards per game on the ground coming into the game. OSU had 171 as a team by the midway point. With a strong outing for redshirt freshman Mike Weber and contributions from freshman Demario McCall, the Buckeyes finished the game with 253 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Barrett was nearly picture-perfect for the Buckeyes in the first half, tossing two touchdowns passes and running in two more. He was pulled in the third quarter, and finished his day 18-for-27 with 253 yards and four total touchdowns.
Maryland found little room to breathe in the first half, picking up just 94 yards on 35 plays from scrimmage. Senior quarterback Perry Hills started the game for Maryland, but was pulled from the game after taking a hard hit on the Terrapins second drive. He finished his outing going just 1-for-3 for -4 yards passing and rushing the ball twice for no gain.
Durkin said the injury was to Hills’ left shoulder after the game.
To add to its offensive woes, Maryland had just five rushing yards in the first half, smothered by a brutal OSU rush defense. The Terrapins finished the game with just 43 as a team.
Redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore grabbed an interception along the sideline, giving OSU its 15th interception this season. Last season, OSU had 12 on the year.
Lattimore said he watches film of some high-profile NFL players like Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis to find ways to improve his game.
“I just try to take little things from each one of them and try to make it into my game,” he said.
The second half was all about experience for the young members of OSU. On the Buckeyes’ first drive, freshman running back Demario McCall was targeted on the first play from scrimmage, resulting in a 32-yard reception. Eventually, he would find the endzone from three yards out in the third quarter. McCall now has three touchdowns this season.
The OSU defense locked in for the remaining two quarters, giving up just 82 second half yards.
Senior H-back Dontre Wilson, who grabbed a first-half touchdown reception, had to be helped off the field after being tackled on a rush to the left. Although he remained down on the field for some time, OSU coach Urban Meyer was seen clapping as Wilson was helped to his feet.
The Buckeyes kept Maryland out of the end zone for the entire game, even after allowing the Terrapins to reach inside the one-yard line early in the first half.
Samuel was the leading pass catcher on the day, hauling in five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman K.J. Hill led all wide receivers with five receptions for 62 yards, tied for his most catches this year.
The OSU defense allowed an average of just 2.6 yards per play, giving up just 1.1 yards per rush. For the second-straight week, the Buckeyes allowed only a field goal to the opposition.
Meyer said his team is playing at such a high level due to the high stakes of late season college football, and realizes the task ahead with two games remaining.
“November’s here and we have a big one coming one week from today,” he said.
OSU is scheduled to travel next Saturday to East Lansing, Michigan, to face the Michigan State Spartans, who are fresh off a 49-0 win over Rutgers. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.