2022 Ohio State University
There are two weeks left in the regular season for Ohio State, and everyone is beginning to talk about championships; everyone except for the men wearing Scarlet and Gray. Ryan Day and Jim Knowles have emphasized how important this weeks game is to the season. The let-down has ruined past seasons for the Buckeyes, but Day has avoided these so far in his tenure. He has never lost to a team outside of the Top 25. He puts that record on the line this weekend, as his Buckeyes hit the road for the final time of the regular season out to the east coast, as they will take on Maryland Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.
This will be the eighth meeting all time between the two schools, and the Buckeyes have won every matchup. The annual Big Ten East matchup has only been close once since the two first met in 2014. That came in a 52-51 near upset in which Maryland missed the game winning 2-point conversion the last time these two teams met in College Park in 2018.
Ohio State comes in undefeated and boasts the No. 2 scoring offense and the No. 7 scoring defense in all of college football this season. They also stayed at No. 2 in the College Football Playoff Rankings released Tuesday night. Maryland's record sits at 6-4, with all four losses coming in Big Ten play. They have the No. 52 ranked defense and the No. 70 ranked offense behind the arm of Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of Miami Dolphins signal caller Tua Tagovailoa.
The Buckeyes are in control of the most dynamic offense in the entire nation at the moment. They have more weapons across the board than every other team and are full of future NFL Draft picks. This game screams blowout. Maryland's defense is fine, but Ohio State has ripped apart the best of the best, and fine isn't going to be able to stop the Buckeyes. Not even Mother Nature has completely stopped Ohio State this season. Injuries have not stopped the Buckeyes. A fine Maryland team will not stop the Buckeyes.
Ryan Day said he expects to have TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams ready to go for Saturday, but there is no update on Jaxon Smith-Njigba. With a healthy running back room, no wind and a gametime temperature of around 43 degrees, this game should be an easy, yet challenging tune-up game for November 26th.
After a quarter of play, I expect Ohio State to lead 28-7. Ohio State is going to dominate on offense and do about whatever they want early on. They will also get lots of help from the defense, who I expect to grab an interception off of Tagovailoa, who has a touchdown to interception ratio of 2:1 this season. With so many possessions for the Buckeyes early, the defense is going to be a little tired early, and this will allow a talented player like Tagovailoa to get the ball downfield to find an early touchdown.
Maryland will not be able to keep pace with the Buckeyes like they did in 2018, and they will continue to allow the Bucks to run up the score. Going into the half, Ohio State's offense will have burned the Terps defense into ashes, leading somewhere around 49-21. Maryland has a fine team, and I think this will be the best quarter of the game, as it also seems to be Ohio State's worst all season.
There are few teams better in the third quarter than Ohio State this season, and Maryland will not put a stop to that this weekend. Ohio State is going to drop another 28 points and really stifle any chance of a Terps upset. With a 77-21 lead over Maryland, Ryan Day will call off the dogs and bring in the reserves for the final quarter. The backups haven't done much but burn time this season, and I don't expect that to change here.
Score Prediction: OSU wins 77-21
Betting Line: Ohio State (-27.5), Over/Under (63)
Ohio State has averaged 59 points per game and 21 points against per game when taking on the Terps. However, they have scored over 60 points more often than they haven't against Maryland. Everyone who has watched Ohio State these last few weeks knows the team isn't playing their best football, but this is the game before "The Game", and Ohio State needs to get everything working with no "easy" games left after this week.
The Bucks narrowly covered the 40-point spread against Indiana last week and now going against a much better team, they are only favored by about 28, but history says this game is all Buckeyes. They win by an average of 38 points, and that hits the spread. They also average a combined score of 81 points, which also hits the over.
The oddsmakers are leaving a lot on the table this weekend. With all this being said, the over is nearly a guarantee in this game. The spread is the only question mark. Maryland has talented weapons on their offense ,and if they get it going, could give the Bucks another scare, but with the great defense Ohio State has bolstered this season, I just don't see that happening. I'd take OSU to cover.
How to Watch & Listen:
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC & WatchESPN
- Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Greg McElroy (color), Katie George (sideline)
Radio: 97.1 (The Fan) FM/1460 AM
- Paul Keels (play-by-play), Jim Lachey (analysis), Matt Andrews (sideline)
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