Barrett, defensive line step up in Maryland win

Colin Gay, Staff Writer
Buckeye Grove

COLUMBUS, Ohio- No. 10 Ohio State earned its fifth win of the season, defeating Maryland 62-14 on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

With 583 total yards, the Buckeyes were pretty equally balanced approach offensively, with 303 yards passing and 281 yards on the ground. Quarterback J.T. Barrett had very similar numbers to what he did last week against Rutgers, throwing for 261 yards with three passing touchdowns. He also added a touchdown on the ground, rushing for 59 yards on eight carries.

Barrett said that the success that he has had over the past three weeks has been due to the confidence he has had in the relationships with other members of the offense.

"I think, just kind of improving each and every day, understanding myself," Barrett said. "Not be timid, but be confident in our guys and let it rip."

While Ohio State was generating offense, the defense was stopping Maryland. The Buckeyes allowed only 66 total yards of offense, with the Terrapins averaging 1.2 yards per rush with 16 yards passing.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said that the defense, on plays like the Bosa fumble, picked up offensive slack at times.

"Defense was just a great effort," Meyer said. "If you can screw up on offense like that, those two or three series we had and have the defense save the day, that's part of playing great defense."

With the ball first to start the game, Ohio State got off to a quick start offensively. Barrett completed four passes on five attempts for 59 yards on a seven-play-drive to set up a one-yard quarterback sneak for the Buckeyes first score of the game.

The Buckeye defense played off the offensive energy in its first shot at the Maryland offense. On the third play of the Terrapins’ first drive, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa forced a fumble on a sack of Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager. Linebacker Jerome Baker picked up the ball and returned it for 20 yards for the second touchdown of the day for Ohio State.

"I had man coverage on the running back," Baker said. "Just doing my job and out of nowhere, I saw Nick Bosa do what Nick Bosa do and see the ball, scooped it up and ran as fast as I can."

However, Maryland answered the 14-0 Ohio State lead with a touchdown of its own. After returning the first kick of the day for 30 yards, running back Ty Johnson returned the kick 100 yards for the first Terrapin score of the day.

With a seven-point lead, Barrett continued his success with passing game, completing two passes for 61 yards, connecting with wide receiver Binjimen Victor for an eight-yard touchdown. Victor ended the day with a career-high four receptions for 55 yards, bringing in a touchdown reception for his third straight game.

With the momentum going in favor of the Buckeyes, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, near the end of the first quarter, was ejected from the game for a targeting call after a hit on Terrapins wide receiver Tavion Jacobs.

Other members of the Ohio State defense, including defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle, thought differently about the hit than the referees on the field did.

"That was a great hit," Sprinkle said. "I don't think it was targeting, but it is not up to me to be the judge. I think it was a great hit though."

Things did not get much better for Ohio State on the next drive. In the middle of the last offensive drive in the first quarter, right guard Branden Bowen went down and was carted off with an injury. Not returning in the game, the right guard had suffered a fractured tibia and fibula and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

"Keep Branden Bowen in your prayers," Meyer said. "I think he's going to have surgery tomorrow, broken leg. Clean break, and so just got to get him healthy and get him back."

The Ohio State offense did not have much success in the second quarter, with the first two offensive drives ending with a J.K. Dobbins fumble and a 22-yard punt by Drue Chrisman. However, with two touchdowns near the end of the quarter, a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Baugh and a 24-yard end around touchdown run by wide receiver Parris Campbell, Ohio State left the field at halftime with a 41-7 lead.

Coming out of halftime with only 17 yards rushing on six carries, Mike Weber led Ohio State to its first touchdown of the second half. Weber had seven carries for 48 yards, ending with a four-yard touchdown run to give Ohio State the 48-7 lead.

Defensive end Chase Young continued the defensive success at the end of the third quarter, forcing the second fumble of the game and giving the Ohio State offense the ball at the Maryland 27-yard line.

Four plays later, Dobbins gave Ohio State the 55-7 lead on the fourth rushing touchdown of the day. Averaging 7.4 yards per rush, Dobbins ended the day as Ohio State’s leading rusher, finishing with 96 yards with a touchdown on 13 carries.

With 10:01 to go in the game, running back Antonio Williams became the fifth different Buckeye rusher to score a touchdown against Maryland, scoring on an eight-yard run to give Ohio State the 62-7 lead.

Maryland scored its first offensive touchdown of the day with 4:11 to go in the game. After Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins fumbled and gave the Terrapins the ball at the Buckeyes 27 yard line, Maryland running back Javon Leake scored on a 20-yard rush.

Ohio State will go for its fifth straight win next week when the Buckeyes take on Nebraska in Lincoln on Saturday, October 14th at 7:30 pm ET.

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