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Ohio State hasn’t struck fear into opponents all season

Opposing teams aren’t backing down from the Buckeyes and it’s showing.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“This is a program that has been an NFL factory, one that features a head coach with three national championship rings and a quarterback who was a Heisman Trophy contender in the first half of the season. But when opponents scout the Buckeyes right now, they have to think ...

We can handle that.”

- Doug Lesmerises,

This season, Ohio State has been a bit different than in previous years. One of the main concerns is how the team has seemed to regress quite a bit from the start of the season, a game in which they surrendered 31 points to Oregon State. No matter what you point to as being the reason, the fact that they are still here signifies a problem. And fans aren’t the only ones noticing, either. Opponents of the Buckeyes seem to have no fear when playing against Ohio State. There’s very little respect being shown, and it’s obvious on Saturdays.

A defense that has had trouble stopping any offense, and the offense started hot but has been slowed down as teams have adjusted to its style have all played a part. It’s ugly, but even still, the Buckeyes are 9-1 with two regular season games remaining against Maryland and Michigan. Win those, and Ohio State has a chance to turn the season around and compete for a Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes could also make their case for a spot in the College Football Playoff, though unless vast improvements are made, it’s hard to want that scenario to play out.

Kasim Hill has been sidelined the rest of the season after tearing his ACL during Saturday’s loss to Indiana, head coach Matt Canada announced on Tuesday.”

- Kevin Harrish, Eleven Warriors

Unfortunately for Maryland fans, the Terrapins will be without starting quarterback Kasim Hill after he tore his ACL against Indiana on Saturday. Hill has been solid for Maryland, throwing for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns on 84-of-170 passing. A name that Buckeye fans should be familiar with, Tyrrell Pigrome, will replace Hill. Ohio State faced Pigrome in 2016 as a freshman, where he split snaps with Caleb Rowe. Pigrome is a talented runner, and the defense will have to be on its toes.

Maryland will also be without its starting running back, Ty Johnson, who has rushed for just over 500 yards on 66 carries this season.

“Probably no [changes] right now. I think we can play a little bit better. That was a rugged day now. It’s not exactly where we need to be. But I think I am satisfied with where we’re at. The next guy in would be Wyatt Davis.”

- Urban Meyer via Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

While the running game showed it still has life against Nebraska, the offensive line struggles reared its head against Michigan State last Saturday yet again. With only two games remaining, it’s hard to imagine Ohio State getting all of its problems fixed. But perhaps a little shifting of the line wouldn’t hurt. That would start with Wyatt Davis entering the fold at guard. But it could also mean shifting more of the linemen in spots that they are more comfortable in.

As of now, Michael Jordan is still playing at center but it might make more sense to move him back into familiar territory at guard, which is what he’s used to playing. But if a move is going to be made, you’d have to think that it would come against Maryland in what is the final game before going against a top four-ranked Michigan team.