Friday, October 9, 2015

#Buckeyes Preview 10.9.15: #Maryland Terrapins @ Ohio State

By @jddisantis

After escaping Indiana with an ugly win last weekend the Buckeyes return home to Columbus this Saturday as they continue Big Ten play and host the 2-3 Maryland Terrapins.  The Buckeyes moved to 5-0 (1-0 in the Big Ten) after another unimpressive performance against the Hoosiers.  Maryland is coming off of two losses in a row, which they lost by a combined 73-6.

Ohio State turned in another disappointing performance last week against Indiana.  The Buckeyes committed three turnovers and in four trips to the red zone came away with two field goals.  The bright spot for Ohio State was Ezekiel Elliot's three touchdown runs of 55, 65, and 75 yards in the second half.  Elliot has 274 yards on 23 carries for an 11.9 average and once again showed the combination of power and breakaway speed that made him a Heisman contender coming into this season.

Cardale Jones played better Saturday but still missed important throws and left points on the field.  Jones missed Michael Thomas for a touchdown and threw an interception deep in Indiana territory.  The Buckeyes have only converted six of 16 red zone trips to touchdowns this season.  Last season Ohio State converted red zone visits to touchdowns 71.6 percent of the time.  Don't be surprised if you see J.T. Barrett come in the game in red zone situations.  Urban Meyer said earlier this week "We've thought about it. We've had that conversation.  At this time we haven't made any decisions on that."

Compared to Maryland, Ohio States quarterback problems look minuscule.  The Terrapins have used three quarterbacks this year and are still having a competition to see who will start.  Caleb Rowe (428 yards, 44% completion, 4/12 td/int), Perry Hills (306 yards, 52.9%, 4/2) and Daxx Garman (115 yards, 33.3%, 1/1) have all been terrible this year, and head coach Randy Edsall has yet to name a starter against the Buckeyes.

With Maryland giving up 32 points a game and only producing 18, the Buckeyes will have another opportunity to put together a complete game of dynamic offense and dominating defense this Saturday.  The Buckeyes have been 1-4 overall against the spread (ATS) and 0-3 at home.  Ohio State is a 33 point favorite against Maryland this weekend and should cover, but that's all going to depend on if the Buckeyes can finally get their offense firing like the high-powered finely tuned machine the nation has been waiting to see.

What:  Ohio State vs. Maryland
When:  Saturday Oct. 10 at 12:00 PM ET
Where:  Ohio Stadium, Columbus Ohio
Watch:  Big Ten Network

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