1. Yesterday's win over Maryland reminded me a lot of last year's win over Cincinnati. The scores were almost identical (50-28 over UC; 49-28 over UM); the offenses performed almost flawlessly; and the defenses were generally solid but had egregious lapses of execution. If you remember, Cincinnati WR Chris Moore burned Ohio State's defense for three long touchdown receptions of 60, 78, and 83 yards. Yesterday, it was Maryland QB Perry Hills who unexpectedly had a huge game, with 25 rushes for 170 yards and 2 TDs with a long run of 75 yards; he also had a 52-yard TD pass to D.J. Moore (no relation to Chris). In each game, the defense broke down at critical moments and allowed game-changing plays. Eliminate those few errors, and each game is a 40-point blow out.
2. Ezekiel Elliott had a good but not great game yesterday: 21 carries for 106 yards (5.05 ypc) and 2 TDs. It was Zeke's 11th straight game with 100+ yards rushing. Zeke also had 6 receptions for 47 yards.
3. On the season, Elliott now has 121 carries for 835 yards (139.2 ypg; 6.90 ypc) and 10 TDs.
4. For his career, Elliott now has 2,975 yards rushing, good for 10th place in Buckeye history. Yesterday, he passed Anotnio Pittman (2,945 yards) and Michael Wiley (2,951 yards) on the list of career rushing leaders.
5. Michael Thomas had 7 receptions for 107 yards, both career highs (he also had 7 receptions against Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl). For his career, Thomas now has 1,230 yards, which is good for 25th place in Buckeye history.
6. Cardale Jones had a big game, completing 21 of 28 passes for 291 yards and 2 TDs. More importantly, Jones did not throw an interception and was sacked only once. In fact, his biggest "mistake" was a 33-yard completion to Braxton Miller, where Miller made an acrobatic catch of an overthrown ball. If Jones's pass is on the mark, Braxton catches it in stride and goes 52-yards for a touchdown.
7. For his career, Jones now has 2,021 yards passing, which puts him in 21st place on Ohio State's list of passing leaders.
8. J.T. Barrett emerged as Ohio State's red zone quarterback, and he responded with 12 rushes for 62 yards and 3 TDs; he also completed both of his pass attempts for 26 yards.
9. Speaking of the red zone.... Ohio State entered the game 108th in FBS in red zone efficiency, with 6 TDs and 6 FGs in 16 trips inside the 20-yard line. Yesterday, the Buckeyes made six trips into the red zone and came away with six touchdowns. The Buckeyes' highly-efficient day vaulted them all the way up to 82nd place.
10. Prior to the Maryland game, the Buckeye offense had relied upon big plays (20+ yards, defense, special teams) in order to score touchdowns. In the first five games, an unbelievable 16 of Ohio State's 22 TDs (72.7%) came via the big play. Yesterday, only one of the team's seven TDs was a big play, a 48-yard touchdown pass from Cardale Jones to Jalin Marshall. The updated season numbers: 17 of 29 TDs (58.6%) have been big plays.
11. Braxton Miller had a 19-yard TD reception, giving him 87 total touchdowns for his career, a Buckeye record.
12. Last season, the Buckeyes averaged 3.2 punts per game. Entering yesterday's contest, the team had been averaging 5.0 punts per game in 2015. Against Maryland, the Buckeyes punted only three times. Cameron Johnston averaged 54.7 yards per punt, with a net of 46.3 yards. Johnston had 2 punts of 50+ yards, and 2 punts inside the 20-yard line.
13. The rest of the special teams were not very special. Jack Willoughby was 0/1 on FG attempts, with his miss coming from 44 yards out. On the season, Willoughby is just 6/9 with a long of only 31 yards. Willoughby also had a kick-off go out of bounds. Jalin Marshall had one punt return for 28 yards, but almost muffed a punt. Dontre Wilson was his usual average self with 3 kick-off returns for 68 yards.
14. On the other hand, a walk-on special teamer once again had the tackle of the day. Last week, it was Joe Burger who single-handedly sniffed out and snuffed out a fake punt attempt. This week it was his roommate, Craig Fada, who made the big hit. Fada cut down Maryland's dangerous return man, William Likely, at the 12-yard line on a kick-off. The Terps were never able to dig out of that deep hole, and they eventually punted from their own 23-yard line.
15. Freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard had his first career interception. Hubbard probably has better coverage skill than your average defensive end, as he played safety in high school.
16. Joey Bosa was in the Terrapins' backfield all afternoon long. He finished with only one TFL (a sack), but had 4 QB hurries. For his career, Bosa now has 40.5 TFLs, which is 11th best at Ohio State; and 22.5 sacks, which is tied with Vernon Gholston for 5th best at Ohio State.
17. Tyquan Lewis is having an excellent season so far. Yesterday, he had 2.0 sacks, which gives him a team-leading 5.5 sacks on the season. The single-season record is 14.0 sacks, set by Vernon Gholston in 2007.
18. One Buckeye defender who is not having such an excellent season is Darron Lee. Darron had only three tackles (no sacks, no TFLs) against Maryland. Lee's season stats are not bad - 26 tackles, 5.0 TFL's, 2.5 sacks - but outside of his pick six against Northern Illinois he has not had many impactful plays on the year. Lee needs to pick up his game if he wants to live up to his considerable pre-season hype.
19. Joshua Perry and Raekwon McMillan keep racking up a ton of tackles (52 and 62, respectively, on the season), but opponents keep finding a soft spot in the middle of the Buckeye defense.
20. Gareon Conley has had a very quiet year so far ... which is exactly what you want from a cornerback.
21. Maryland began the game converting its first three third downs. The rest of the way they converted only 2/11 to finish 5/14 on the day (35.7%).
22. Ohio State converted 5/11 third downs (45.4%), which isn't exactly great, but certainly much better than their season average entering the game (34.8%).
23. Ohio State had 6 penalties for 45 yards, which again is not great. However, it was still an improvement over past performance. The Buckeyes entered the game 101st in FBS with 8.0 penalties per game, and 99th with 70.4 penalty yards per game.
24. The Buckeyes had zero turnovers on offense, and the defense picked off two passes, which improved the team's turnover margin to -2 on the season.
25. Maryland QB Perry Hills had a great game all around but he threw a pair of interceptions, giving the Terps an FBS-worst 17 picks on the season.
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