Maryland Recap (2022)
#2 Ohio State had a bad day yesterday, needing a last-second defensive score to secure a shaky 43-30 victory against an unranked Maryland team that was trying to recover from blow out losses in its two previous games (23-10 to Wisconsin; 30-0 to Penn State). Now for some perspective....
So a 13-point victory on the road against a motivated opponent in a trap game before Rivalry Week wasn't such a bad result after all.
- #1 Georgia looked offensively challenged in a 16-6 win over unranked Kentucky (6-5 overall, 3-5 in conference, same as Maryland).
- #3 scUM needed a last-second field goal to beat unranked Illinois, 19-17, and also lost Heisman hopeful Blake Corum to an injury.
- #4 TCU needed a last-second field goal to beat unranked Baylor, 29-28.
- #5 Tennessee got blown out by unranked South Carolina, 63-38, and also lost Heisman hopeful Hendon Hooker to an injury.
- #13 North Carolina lost to unranked Georgia Tech, 21-17; Heisman pretender Drake Maye was awful and choked on the potential game-winning drive.
- #14 Ole Miss lost to unranked Arkansas, 42-27.
- #20 UCF (LOL at that ranking) lost to unranked Navy, 17-14.
- #22 Oklahoma State (another LOL) lost to unranked Oklahoma, 28-13.
- #24 NC State lost to unranked Louisville, 25-10.
- Miami is still not back after getting blown out by Clemson, 40-10, and falling below .500 on the season (5-6 overall, 3-4 in conference).
- And finally, Virginia cancelled its game because three of their players were murdered by a former teammate.
1. Not such a bad result, but still pretty damned ugly to watch at times. And much of that ugliness emanated from quarterback C.J. Stroud, who did nothing to promote his Heisman chances except to avoid getting injured. Stroud was 18/30 (.600) for 241 yards, a TD, and no INTs, but was clearly outplayed by his counterpart, Taulia Tagovailoa (26/36, 293 yards, 2 TDs, no INTs). It is becoming apparent that Stroud gets rattled easily, both by pressure from opposing defenses and from November weather (and also maybe from Heisman hype and playoff talk).
2. In addition, Stroud is simply not a dynamic player. Watch Caleb Williams or Spencer Rattler (or remember Troy Smith) if you want to see for yourself what I'm talking about.
3. Running back TreVeyon Henderson had a great start to the game, scoring on a 31-yard swing pass on the opening drive. Henderson apparently re-injured his foot during that play (or maybe during the ensuing touchdown celebration) and after a few ineffective series was replaced by Dallan Hayden, who had 27 carries for 146 yards (5.4 average) and 3 touchdowns.
4. The Silver Bullets are not back. The Buckeye defense surrendered 28 points (the special teams gave up the other 2) and 402 total yards to a Terrapin squad that had managed just 10 points and 323 total yards in their two previous games COMBINED; the Terps averaged 5.9 yards per play, which was more than double their average from their two prior games (2.6 combined; Penn State held them to 2.2 per play); they had 22 first downs after a combined 20 in their two previous games; they had long gains of 25, 25, 26, 27, 34, 36, and 49 yards against the Buckeyes after managing only two plays of 20+ yards in their previous two games (they had a 21-yard play in each game); and finally, they were 7/15 (.467) on 3rd and 4th down after going 10/38 (.263) against Wisconsin and Penn State. Maryland used fakes and misdirection on nearly every play and as a result the Buckeye defense was generally a step too slow or out of position.
5. Although the defense generally played poorly, a few individuals had excellent performances. Defensive end Zach Harrison had back-to-back sacks on Maryland's "final" drive (for some reason the Terps did run one play with 5 seconds left on the clock, down 13 points, and with their starting QB out injured), the second of which resulted in a fumble that was scooped and scored by Steele Chambers. Tommy Eichenberg quietly had 13 tackles (10 solo, one TFL). After having issues earlier in the season, Cameron Brown displayed textbook coverage on a deep route and almost came up with an interception (he was credited with a PBU).
6. For the second week in a row, Lathan Ransom (also 7 tackles, TFL, PBU) blocked a punt that was recovered by Xavier Johnson (also a key 46-yard kick return) and turned into a touchdown by the offense two plays later. Place kicker Noah Ruggles connected on all three field goal attempts, including two long ones (45 and 47 yards), but had an extra point blocked and returned by Maryland for a defensive two-point conversion.
7. Yesterday's game was one of the most highly penalized in recent memory, with Ohio State incurring 11 infractions for 97 yards, and Maryland racking up 10 for 97 yards.
8. The teams nearly split the time of possession, with Ohio State holding a narrow 30:15 to 29:45 advantage.
9. Time to turn the page because it's Xichigan Week.
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