Friday, November 11, 2016

Buckeyes Preview 11.11.16: Ohio State @ Maryland

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

After dismantling the #10 Nebraska Cornhuskers the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) will travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten) this Saturday night.

While the Buckeyes improved to 4-1 over their last five games the Terrapins are on the other side at 1-4 and coming off of their worst loss of the season, a 59-3 drubbing by Michigan.  Maryland has given up over 30 points in each of those four losses and is giving up 27 points a game on the year.  Former Urban Meyer assistant and current Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin will have to get his team to quickly forget about last week and get them to focus on the team in front of them.

"We're going to get back to work and figure out what to do with the next team and how to bounce back," Durkin said.  "We've had some ups and downs for the season, but the good thing is, we've bounced back every time.  I don't know if it's been as quick as we'd have like, but we've bounced back.  We'll do it again."  

The Terrapins are going to have a tough time bouncing back against Ohio State if the Buckeyes can continue their offensive chemistry from a week ago.

"Everything was clicking, the run game, the pass game," Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett said.  "It was good for us to go out there and show we could throw the ball downfield."  

Barrett easily had his best game of late, throwing for 290 yards and four touchdowns.  The Buckeyes as a whole tallied up 590 yards of total offense.  Two of Barrett's touchdowns, including one of 75 yards went to dynamic H-back Curtis Samuel.  Samuel and the rest of the Buckeyes offense knows they have been struggling of late to find that spark they had earlier in the season.

"We really didn't do anything different,"  Samuel said.  It's about execution."

And with Dontre Wilson struggling returning punts fans might be seeing a little more of the already do-it-all player for the Buckeyes as coach Urban Meyer said on his radio show that Samuel will have a chance to take over the punt return duties on Saturday.

The Buckeye offense wasn't the only group getting in on the scoring.  Ohio State had two interceptions returned for touchdowns including a score from safety Damon Webb on the first series of the game.  The young Buckeye defense knows how big those scores can be throughout the course of a game.

"A defensive score gives momentum to the offense and that's what we try to do every time." Buckeye cornerback Marshon Lattimore said.  "If we get our hands on the ball, we try to score so we can put points up on the board."

The end of the regular season is nearing as the Buckeyes get closer to a shot at the Big Ten title and a playoff birth.  Ohio State has two more games before a highly anticipated showdown with current #3 and rival, Michigan.  Will the Buckeyes get caught looking ahead and not focus on the Terrapins this Saturday?

"There's no chance," said Meyer.

What:  Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins
When:  Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 3:30 ET
Where:  Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, Maryland
Watch:  ESPN
Line:  Ohio State -29, O/U 58

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