2022 Ohio State University
The final road trip of the season did not go as planned for Ohio State as they travelled out to the coast to take on Maryland. The Buckeyes got things rolling on their first drive but couldn't do anything else after that. Taulia Tagovailoa was perfect in the first half and that went a long way to giving Maryland the lead going into the second half. This game will be looked at as a bad game, yet after all the problems of the first half, the Buckeye were only trailing by three points.
Once again this season the game came down to halftime adjustments. Ryan Day is arguably the best second half coach in the nation, and whatever was said at halftime needs to be said before the game, as the Buckeyes came out of the break and scored three times in the third quarter and the defense allowed just 28 yards on three drives. They also held Maryland to -8 yards on one of their drives. Jim Knowles' defense was looking lost going into the break, but they decided to start blitzing like crazy and this stalled out the Maryland attack. If Ohio State comes out at the beginning of the game playing like they did in the third quarter, the Buckeyes would be without a doubt the best team in the nation.
Despite a dominant third quarter, the fourth quarter was a war. Up until this point in the season, Ohio State had beaten every team they had played by double digits. Maryland was giving the Buckeyes everything they could handle all the way to the final whistle. The Terrapins outscored the Bucks in the final quarter, but thanks to another standout performance by true freshman Dallan Hayden and a great defensive effort, the Buckeyes were able to hang on to win on the road.
TreVeyon Henderson left the game after the first half and was in a walking boot on the sideline. C.J. Stroud also suffered a leg-injury that left him limping in the fourth quarter, but he remained in the game. Starting right guard Matt Jones tweaked a foot injury in the fourth quarter, and he was assisted off the field.
This game must have had bettors scratching their head because neither team could score the football in that first half, and it was a defensive war. For a game that normally features over 80-combined points between teams, this game was out of the ordinary. Ohio State's third quarter points explosion was a welcome sight to see and gave a shred of hope that the 26-point spread may be met after all.
However, Taulia led a touchdown drive to open the fourth quarter to once again shutdown the hopes of anyone that took Ohio State to cover the spread. Those that picked Maryland to cover the spread should have been jumping for joy at this point. Historical data was completely off on what to expect in this game, and the oddsmakers may have been on to something with their smaller spread and an over/under of just 62.5.
The back-and-forth second half of this game kept the bettors who took either side of that over/under on the edge of their seats. With 13 minutes to go, the two teams had totaled 48 points, and it was finally looking like both offenses were kicking into high gear to finish out the evening. Just two minutes later, that total jumped to 56 after a touchdown and a blocked PAT turned 2-point defensive scoop-and-score. Then with 10 minutes to go, the over was reached as Taulia found Jeshaun Jones in the end zone to finally hit the over with 63 combined points.
Ohio State put themselves in a great position early on. They were making it look easy, as they put in a touchdown on their first drive of the game. However, it was all downhill from their in the first quarter. Penalties were absolutely brutal for Ohio State, and they forced the Buckeyes to operate from behind the chains on their next two drives. Defensively, the Bucks let Maryland do whatever they wanted on two of their three first quarter drives, as each time the Terps drove into the red zone they were forced to kick a field goal. Thanks to strong red zone defense, Ohio State held the lead after the first quarter 7-6.
The second quarter was all Terrapins, as they outscored the Buckeyes 7-3. Tagovailoa was having the game of a lifetime with just two incompletions in the first half, throwing for over 150 yards and a touchdown. Ohio State's defense just did not show up ready to play, and the offense kept getting in their own way with penalties. The Buckeyes just couldn't find a way to execute on either side of the football. They trailed going into the half 13-10.
Ohio State finally arrived in College Park after a lackluster first half. The defense came out of the tunnel with their helmets on fire. They forced a six play, nine-yard drive and then Lathan Ransom would block a punt for the second straight week. With the offense setup inside the Maryland red zone, Hayden would get back-to-back carries for 14 yards and a touchdown. Noah Ruggles on the next drive would add on a field goal.
Day would begin to let Dallan Hayden take over the offense. The Buckeyes started driving the football right between the tackles, and the true freshman was getting about whatever he wanted late in the third quarter. With the run game established, Stroud turned to the playaction pass and set up the offense inside of the five. Once more, Hayden would take the ball and wind up in the end zone to end out the third quarter with Ohio State holding a 27-13 lead.
Tagovailoa would open up the fourth quarter with a touchdown and a two-point conversion that made it a six point game. Ohio State's defense left their aggressiveness in the third quarter, as their play returned to what we saw in the first half. Hayden would continue to put on a show, notching his third rushing touchdown of the game, popping out of a bundle oftacklers to find the end zone, but the ensuing point-after attempt was blocked and returned for two points, and Maryland would make it a 10 point game.
Maryland would again drive inside of the Buckeye red zone, and on fourth down Tagovailoa found Jeshaun Jones in the end zone for a touchdown to make it a one-score game with under 10 minutes to go. The defenses of both teams decided to rejoin the battle, as they each forced a punt.
Hayden continued on as the main storyline in the fourth quarter for Ohio State's offense, as the Buckeyes were determined to run the clock out with the true freshman. He did as much as he could, forcing Maryland to burn all three timeouts and drove the Buckeyes into field goal range. Noah Ruggles added on three more points, and Ohio State left Tagovailoa just 36 seconds to pull the upset. Zach Harrison would jump in and grab back-to-back sacks, including a strip sack that was caught by Steele Chambers, who returned the ball for a game sealing touchdown.
Player of the Game: Dallan Hayden
He put a struggling offense on his back in the second half with three rushing touchdowns. He seemingly found every hole that was their and bounced right through it. The Buckeyes were leaning on him all throughout the second half, and on the final drive, they trusted him to run the clock down. He went for over 140 yards in just one half of football. He has taken advantage of his well deserved carries that came as a result of injuries to the three running backs in front of him on the depth chart, and he has jumped into the spotlight for Ohio State.
C.J. Stroud: 18/30, 241 yds, 1 TD,
Dallan Hayden: 27 car, 146 yds, 3 TDs
TreVeyon Henderson: 1 Rec, 31 Yds, 1 Rec TD, 11 car, 19 yds
Emeka Egbuka: 6 rec, 82 yds
Marvin Harrison Jr.: 5 rec, 68 yds
11/26: vs TTUN, Noon, FOX
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