|Matchup Preview | October 4, 2014|
|Ohio State Buckeyes|
| Maryland Terrapins|
Five Fast Facts About Maryland
1. Linebacker Cole Farrand became the second Terp in as many weeks to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors last week vs. Indiana. The senior linebacker won defensive player of the week honors after totaling 19 tackles, the most by a Big Ten player in a single game this season and tied for the second most in the FBS.
2. The Terps are on pace to have the highest-scoring offense in school history.
3. Maryland assistants include former Illinois OC/New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley (offensive coordinator), one-time rumored potential OSU assistant Greg Studrawa (offensive line), former NFL wideout Keenan McCardell (wide receivers), and Lyndon Johnson, who is not related to the former president (outside linebackers).
4. Chardon High School alum Andrew Gray, a freshman tight end, is the only Terp who hails from Ohio. OSU has no Maryland natives on the roster, though committed recruit Tyler Green is a senior at Hyattsville DeMatha Catholic.
5. Running back Brandon Ross’ 90-yard touchdown reception against Syracuse on Sept. 20 is the sixth-longest catch in the nation this season and the longest by a running back. In school history, it is the longest reception for a running back since 1949 when Ed Bolton took a pass 92 yards for a score against South Carolina.
OHIO STATE RUSH OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND RUSH DEFENSE
The Terps have been up and down when it comes to stopping opposing teams, holding West Virginia’s rushing attack in check before Syracuse was able to run for 370 yards in the teams’ Sept. 20 game. Indiana’s powerful attack was able to get on track some in the Big Ten opener, with Tevin Coleman topping the 100-yard mark, but he was still held well below his average. The Terps have done a good job of getting in opposing backfields, making an average of 7.0 tackles for loss per game. Ohio State has started to show signs of replicating last year’s rushing attack, going for nearly 400 yards vs. Cincinnati, but this looks like it’ll be a step up. EDGE: OHIO STATE
MARYLAND RUSH OFFENSE vs. OHIO STATE RUSH DEFENSE
The Terps do try to establish a running game but much of it has come from quarterback C.J. Brown, who won’t be confused for Braxton Miller anytime soon. Brown is mobile enough for his size (6-3, 218) and ripped off a 75-yard run vs. West Virginia, though his status is in doubt for the OSU game because of a wrist injury. Brown leads the team in rushes, yards and rushing scores, so he must be watched closely if he does play. Ohio State has allowed 2.9 yards per carry in the last three games, and without much punch coming from the Maryland ground attack in general, that success should continue. EDGE: OHIO STATE
OHIO STATE PASS OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND PASS DEFENSE
This will be a step up as far as the test for OSU’s passing offense, which had little trouble against the last two in-state foes. Barrett has been excellent in two straight starts but Maryland has allowed opponents to complete only 51.1 percent of their passes for four touchdowns and six interceptions, placing the Terps 18th in the nation in passing efficiency defense. Cornerback William Likely is a ball hawk with three picks in five games, but the good news for OSU might be that the pass rush isn’t that fierce. EDGE: EVEN
MARYLAND PASS OFFENSE vs. OHIO STATE PASS DEFENSE
Maryland has been billed as one of the most explosive passing offenses in the league and it’s hard to argue that even with the season-long suspension to Levern Jacobs, who led the team in receiving last year. He did so largely because Stefon Diggs and Deon Long were hurt, and Diggs has come back to tie for second in the Big Ten with 29 catches. Four different players – Diggs, Long, Marcus Leak and running back Brandon Ross – have a catch of at least 40 yards, so Maryland’s receivers can get behind a defense, a concerning trait for the OSU defense. Both Brown and his backup, Caleb Rowe, are noted for their abilities to make the big play. EDGE: MARYLAND
To this point Maryland has the most efficient kicker in the league as Brad Craddock has made all 10 of his tries with a long of 49. Punter Nathan Renfro has averaged an impressive 42.9 yards per kick, but the Terps’ net punt sits 106th in the FBS thanks to some big returns. Likely and Diggs are excellent return men for Maryland, and Terps have two scores on punt returns this season. EDGE: EVEN
Maryland has in some ways been pointing to this game for almost two years, as it will be the school’s first-ever home tilt in Big Ten play and an electric crowd is expected. The stadium should be slightly more intimidating than when Ohio State tripped to nearby Baltimore to take on Navy to open the season, though it would be fair to expect a fair amount of scarlet and gray among the 54,000 fans. Both teams have proved to be battlers this season, coming back from adverse situations throughout their early-season games. EDGE: MARYLAND
The Buckeyes’ first true road test of the season comes at Big Ten newbie Maryland, and it will be interesting to see how the young Buckeyes respond away from home, as things were hit-and-miss at the neutral site in Charm City. The Buckeyes are showing signs of rounding into form, though Maryland will be a solid test. Ohio State is one win away from getting to open week No. 2 with momentum on its side, and the Buckeyes will do just that. Yards and points won’t be as easy to come by as they were vs. Kent State and Cincinnati, but Ohio State will get more than enough of each to pull away. OHIO STATE 38-24
The staff pick is an average of predictions by staffers Kane Anderson, Ryan Ginn, Matthew Hager, Mark Rea, Jeff Svoboda and Blake Williams