After thrashing a 10th ranked Nebraska team, Ohio State continued its momentum on the road Saturday, easily winning over Maryland for another Big Ten win. The win sets up another big road game against Michigan State before hosting Michigan for the final regular season game.
A sort of odd start on its first drive (and a near interception), Ohio State would eventually regain its composure and find itself in the redzone before Curtis Samuel would waltz into the endzone for an early touchdown. The Buckeyes shut down the following Maryland possession and proceeded to rush past the Terrapins defense with a tag-team effort of Mike Weber and Samuel runs. J.T. Barrett would put the finishing touches on the drive and rush for a score, putting Ohio State up 14-0 early on.
The two teams would trade possessions before Maryland would string together a handful of key first downs, including a fourth down conversion, and use the momentum to secure a field goal and cut the lead to 14-3. Ohio State wouldn’t take long to answer as J.T. Barrett would make a 36-yard touchdown throw to Curtis Samuel to pile on to end the first quarter 21-3 in the Buckeyes favor.
After a highlight hurdle by the tight end Marcus Baugh, Barrett would find the endzone on a quarterback keeper for his second touchdown of the day, putting Ohio State up 28-3 early in the second quarter. After trading a couple of possessions, Marshon Lattimore would come up with a timely interception, setting the Buckeyes up with great field position. Ohio State would take advantage driving into the redzone on the back of Mike Weber before running a Curtis Samuel reverse for another touchdown. The score upped the lead to 35-3 in the Buckeyes’ favor.
Ohio State wasn’t done in the first half. After forcing another Maryland punt, Barrett would find Dontre Wilson on back to back throws for another Buckeyes touchdown. When it rains, it pours, and by the end of the half, Tyler Durbin had added a field goal to the lead and Urban Meyer’s squad controlled a comfortable lead 45-3.
The Buckeyes got an easy defensive stop to start the second half and after J.T. Barrett found Demario McCall for 32 yards, Tyler Durbin would drive in another field goal from 34 yards out for a 48-3 Ohio State lead. After another stop, and a fun reverse to Parris Campbell, the Buckeyes were again in the redzon where Joe Burrow would hand it to Demario McCall for a touchdown, putting Ohio State up 55-3.
To add insult to injury, Joe Burrow found true freshman receiver Binjimen Victor in the endzone for the youngster’s first career touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 62-3 edge.
Here are three things we learned from Ohio State's 62-3 win.
3 things we learned:
1. When Curtis Samuel has the ball in his hands, he can’t be stopped. He won’t win the Heisman Trophy and he likely won’t even be a finalist for the award, but make no mistake: Curtis Samuel is playing like a Heisman winner for Ohio State. The H-back in the first half alone had three touchdowns, one coming from the air and two from on the ground. Samuel had four rushes for 38 yards while catching five passes for 74 yards in addition to his touchdowns. The Buckeyes best playmaker made his presence felt early and often against Maryland, providing instant offense any time he had the ball in his hands.
After the past few weeks in this offensive scheme, it’s nice to see Samuel getting the ball much more after the coaching staff preached about needing to get him more involved. The need was obviously intensified after the loss to Penn State, but lately (read: since the Nebraska game) the Buckeyes have relied on Samuel to provide a lot of the offense, which is really how it should be. As a result, Ohio State blew out Nebraska at Ohio Stadium and rolled to an easy win over Maryland on the road.
If the Buckeyes keep feeding No. 4 the ball against Michigan State and Michigan, good things will likely happen and certainly give Ohio State the best chance to win those games.
2. J.T. Barrett is still on a roll. Barrett’s last two weeks have been superb from a statistical standpoint and from a victory standpoint. First, he lead the Buckeyes to a steamroll of a 10th ranked Nebraska team, and on Saturday, helped propel Ohio State to a blowout win against Maryland. The Terrapins didn’t really have an answer for the Buckeyes quarterback, who in the first half threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-17 passing. He also added 38 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in the first half.
But perhaps one of the nicest things seen from Barrett on Saturday was his accuracy on downfield passing against Maryland. Finding Curtis Samuel for a touchdown in the first half on a 36-yard throw, and a couple of nice deeper passes to other receivers including Dontre Wilson.
In all, it seems like Barrett is finding his stride at the absolute best time for Ohio State. After a rough stretch the past few weeks, with Michigan State and Michigan next up for the Buckeyes, it’s incredibly important that Barrett be at his best when they take the field these next two games.
3. The backups were able to gain valuable experience. With Ohio State solidifying a monstrous first half lead, it wasn’t long until the backups trotted out to the field for the Buckeyes. Running back Demario McCall was one of the first backups to see the field, taking a few handoffs near the end of the first half, but as Urban Meyer knows, it’s important to have those snaps for experience.
The Buckeyes were ready when Braxton Miller went down in 2014, and then replaced J.T. Barrett when he went down with an injury in the final game of the regular season with Cardale Jones. So backups are extremely important for any team, as Ohio State knows well enough.
The receivers were the next set of backups to come in, with Binjimen Victor notching a reception in the middle of the third quarter. K.J. Hill would follow with a few receptions of his own. Eventually, Joe Burrow would replace J.T. Barrett in the second half as he closed out the rest of the game for the Buckeyes. Corey Smith also got into the game towards the end, getting a carry for himself.