Every day for the entirety of the Ohio State football season, we will be asking and answering questions about the team, college football, and anything else on our collective minds of varying degrees of importance. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can tweet us @LandGrant33 or if you need more than 280 characters, send an email HERE.
Here we are, it is the week of Ohio State’s final road game of the season. The No. 2 Buckeyes will travel to College Park, Md. this weekend to take on the Terrapins. As it often is leading up to the penultimate game of the regular season, many in Buckeye Nation are hoping to get through this game as quickly and painlessly as possible so that they can devote all of their attention to The Game coming up on Saturday, Nov. 26.
So, we wanted to ask you a few, loyal Buckeye fans, a few questions about where your head is at as we approach the end of the regular season.
Question 1: Where is your focus heading into Saturday?
There are some people in Buckeye Nation (and our Twitter mentions) who get angry anytime anyone mentions a game more than a week away, or — heaven forbid — postseason possibilities, but those people are dumb.
Sure, you can hark on players and coaches looking ahead, but how much a fan thinks about a future contest has absolutely no impact on what actually happens on the field. So, this is a safe space; you can feel free to share your true, authentic thoughts with us. We are family; one great, big dysfunctional Buckeye family.
Question 2: Who has been the Buckeyes’ MVP this season?
Who would have imagined a year ago that when putting together a list of six potential MVPs for the 2022 season that four of them would be on the defensive side of the ball? Now, I realize that some of these might be a stretch, but all six of these players have had unbelievable impacts on the season, and I think if you drill down a little bit, the answer might not be as obvious as one might think.
Obviously, the default answer is always the quarterback, and I 100% believe that through 10 games, C.J. Stroud should win the Heisman Trophy. But, the Heisman isn’t the same as the MVP. Stroud is great, and potentially the best QB in program history, but his value might be undermined by the depth of talent behind him in the quarterback room and — even more so — in the wide receiver room.
If Stroud was injured on the first play of the season against Notre Dame and never came back, there would obviously be a regression in quarterback play, but would it have theoretically been enough to cost them a game? To keep them out of the College Football Playoff race? I don’t know, but it is something to think about.
Some of these other guys, especially on defense, might just be more valuable because the Buckeyes wouldn’t have as much talent to turn to in their stead. Without Tommy Eichenberg, is the Buckeye defense as stout against the run? Without Lathan Ransom, is the secondary as strong as it has been thus far?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do think that they are worth asking in this totally meaningless debate that has no bearing on anything in the real world.
Question 3: Ohio State is favored by 25 over Maryland; what will the margin be?
This should be an interesting game. I would be shocked if Miyan Williams plays, and while TreVeyon Henderson will probably be back in the running back rotation, I would venture to guess that his snaps will be fairly limited. So, this will give us an excellent opportunity to see what Dallan Hayden, Chip Trayanum (assuming he’s back), and Xavier Johnson can do coming out of the backfield.
I will also be paying attention to how long Ryan Day keeps Stroud and the starting wideouts on the field should the game get out of hand in the second half. With TTUN waiting to come to Columbus the following week, I do wonder if the head coach might be extra cautious when it comes to putting his marquee players in a position to potentially get dinged up.
On the other side of the ball, Taulia Tagovailoa has not looking like himself the last few weeks, so the once promising Maryland passing attack has been underwhelming since the QB came back from injury. But, should he be healthy enough to look anywhere near as dynamic as he did earlier in the season, the Turtles could present an interesting challenge to the Buckeye cornerbacks who seem to have made some strides recently, albeit against sub-par passing teams.
Have your voice heard and share your thoughts on the Buckeyes here: