It’s time for the next step of the journey for the Ohio State football team and it’s one back at home against the Maryland Terrapins. The Buckeyes looked like a team searching for answers across multiple fronts through the first three games, but the last two contests have shown a lot of improvement.
Each week we stretch things a little and try to reach for some bold predictions going into the game. We’ve been surprisingly right when stepping out on a limb a few times this year, but we’ve also been not so right. After all, they are bold predictions and not the garden variety that anyone can easily shake a stick at.
Time to look into the crystal ball, get the tarot cards out, and consult the magic eight ball for five things that might (but probably won’t) happen for Ohio State against the Maryland Terrapins.
The Ohio State defense will force four turnovers
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (9) points to teammate Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (92) after Garrett blocked a point-after-touchdown attempt for Rutgers during the first quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The Ohio State defense has been playing much more aggressively lately rather than sitting back and reacting. It’s been great for a young unit that is still figuring things out. We saw Iowa force Maryland into seven turnovers last week, so look for some similar pressure to get to, and rattle, Terps’ quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. The Buckeye defense will take advantage and reap the rewards of four turnovers.
TreVeyon Henderson will rush for over 200 yards
Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) stands in the end zone after running the ball in for a touchdown during the game against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 25. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Come to think of it, this may not even be that bold with what we’ve seen from TreVeyon Henderson this year, but getting over 200 yards on the ground is always a noteworthy stretch. The true freshman is averaging almost 10 yards per carry, so if he can get 15-20 opportunities, he might eclipse a two-bill again.
Gee Scott, Jr. will catch his first touchdown pass
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Gee Scott Jr. (13) makes a catch in a drill during practice at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 3, 2020. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Ruckert is the clear No. 1 option at tight end, but we’ve started to see Gee Scott, Jr. get some more reps as games have gotten out of hand the last couple of weeks. The former wide receiver is still developing as a tight end, but he’ll get more time this week after Ohio State stretches the score out. And, the coaches will dial up a play for him to get into the endzone for his first touchdown in the scarlet and gray.
C.J. Stroud will rush for over 50 yards
Sep 18, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
We haven’t seen quarterback C.J. Stroud take to the ground too often, but remember, a lot of that had to do with a bum shoulder. He now appears to be much more healthy after taking some time off and that means the coaches are more comfortable with him running the ball as needed. Maryland will want to take away the passing game and drop a lot of guys into the secondary, and as a result, there will be running room for Stroud. He’ll get over 50 yards through designed runs and when plays break down Saturday.
J.T. Tuimoloau will record two sacks
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau (44) brings down Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Cole Snyder (15) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Freshman defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau has exceeded expectations already this year for someone that just got on campus this fall. As each passing game goes by, you can also see the improvement in his effectiveness and ability to get off the edge. In this one, he’ll continue that development and break free for at least two sacks against the Maryland offensive line. And all of Buckeye Nation will go bonkers in anticipation for the future of what he can become.