OVERVIEW: After a month of some inconsistent football offensively, Ohio State put it all together last Saturday night at home in a destruction of Nebraska. This week Ohio State travels to Maryland, a game that realistically should not be a problem for the Buckeyes. The best the Terps can hope for is an Ohio State team that is looking ahead to playing Michigan State in a revenge game next week, and that is a possibility. Even looking ahead, it's hard to see Maryland hanging with the Buckeyes for more than a half. If Ohio State comes out focused and loaded for bear, this one is going to be ugly.
KEY FOR BOTH TEAMS: Maryland cannot stop the run, and when looking at analyzing Ohio State games, that particular trait gets you beat every time. That's the first place to look, and in this area Maryland is automatically eliminated. To beat the Buckeyes, you need to keep it close and win a defensive battle in the fourth quarter. This cannot happen when you cannot stop the Ohio State run game, and the Terps are awful at the point of attack. Once Mike Weber is established inside, it opens up J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel on the edges for huge gains. It also makes it so much easier to throw the football, so Barrett is going to put up big numbers in this game and the Buckeyes are going to score big. So much for the upset chance.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OSU DEFENSIVELY: I do like Maryland quarterback Perry Hills and he's questionable for tomorrow's game, although I'm hearing he will try to give it a go. If he plays, he can make plays, both with his arm and his feet. I think Maryland might be able to put 14-17 on the board Saturday, but probably not much more than that. They do run the football pretty well, but do not throw it all that well. With Hills, they are a much better team. This should be an easy test for the Buckeye defense, and shutting down this run game will be Job-One. I really don't think this is an offense that can hurt Ohio State much at all.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OSU OFFENSIVELY: As mentioned earlier, Maryland cannot stop the run at all so they're in deep trouble right from the start. With the way Barrett threw the football last week, I would think Ohio State would want to build off that performance. The Maryland defense should allow Ohio State to do pretty much what they want, so I'm seeing points on the board. This will be a good game for the Buckeye O-line to knock people around, and the football should be spread around to a lot of different skill guys. All in all, it should be a fun day at the old ballyard.
THE VEGAS LINE: We got back in the win column last week with the "over" in the Nebraska game, and it was never in doubt. For this game, the line is Ohio State -30, and that is a bucket load of points to give on the road. Gun to my head, I'm guessing Ohio State might cover that number, but it's too rich for my blood. The total of 57 is appealing to me however, and I'm going back to the well with the "over" once again. I can't see Ohio State scoring less than 45, and then all I need is a little help from the Terps. A defensive score from the Buckeye defense would aid the cause greatly as well.
THE SCORE: OHIO STATE 48 Maryland 17.