Buckeyes Beat Maryland Terrapins 37-17: Game Recap 10/7/23

October 7, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Live Recap


3 Things About Buckeyes Victory Over Terrapins

1 – Fake Punt 

The game started weirdly, with Ohio State going for a fake punt on the Buckeye 33-yard line and getting stuffed, losing the ball on the downs.    Maryland took four plays to take an early 7-0 lead.  That lead set the tone for the first quarter and gave the Terps momentum.  Maryland would eventually have a 10-0 early in the 2nd quarter. 

Ohio State seemed flat for most of the first half. 

2 – Interception and End of Half

The Buckeye’s defense led the turnaround in this game, and it started with a pick-six by Josh Proctor, getting the score 10-7.  Ohio State would later tie it at 10-10, with Maryland threatening to take the lead heading to half, but the Buckeyes stopped the Terps inside the red zone with a tackle in bounds, allowing the clock to run out as Maryland was out of timeouts.    

3 – Ohio State Passing

In the second half, QB Kyle McCord got into a better rhythm and WR Marvin Harrison went off for multiple big pass plays, including a touchdown in the 4th quarter.  

Harrison ended up with eight receptions for 163 yards for a touchdown and McCord was 19 for 29, 320 yards, and two touchdowns.

Overall

Ohio State came out very flat to start the game, and the offense never got into a flow until the second half, keeping the game close.   The Procter interception helped get the team some energy and in the second half, the passing attack put the Terps away for good.

One note: the Buckeyes running game was nonexistent for most of the day.  They did not have RB TreVeyon Henderson but it was alarming as the Bucks only ran for 62 yards on the day. 


Game Summary

In a crucial matchup on Saturday, Ohio State’s fourth-ranked football team managed to stave off a potential midseason upset by Maryland, securing a resounding 37-17 victory on their home turf. The Terrapins initially had the Buckeyes on their heels early in the third quarter, holding a 17-10 lead following an impressive touchdown drive to start the second half. However, Ohio State’s exceptional depth ultimately took control of the game.

Facing a one-touchdown deficit, the Buckeyes launched a remarkable 27-0 scoring spree. Quarterback Kyle McCord, who struggled in the first half with seven incompletions, 126 passing yards, and no touchdowns, suddenly came to life in the final 30 minutes. He skillfully distributed the ball to wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and tight end Cade Stover, who collectively amassed 229 receiving yards and accounted for both of Ohio State’s receiving touchdowns.

Despite the significant point differential, it’s Ohio State’s defense that truly deserves the lion’s share of the credit. With the exception of one subpar drive, which allowed Maryland to march 75 yards for a touchdown at the outset of the second half, the Buckeyes’ defensive unit displayed dominance throughout the contest.

Excluding drives that originated within Ohio State territory, Maryland managed to penetrate the Buckeyes’ half of the field only once in the second half and a mere four times throughout the entire game. Notably, defensive back Josh Proctor bolstered Ohio State’s efforts with a first-half touchdown, intercepting Taulia Tagovailoa’s pass and returning it for a pick-six. Furthermore, Ohio State effectively thwarted Maryland’s offensive plans, limiting them to 8 out of 19 successful third-down conversions and denying their sole fourth-down attempt. Maryland struggled to gain traction, averaging just over 4 yards per play in the second half, ultimately falling short in their attempt to orchestrate an upset.

Post Game Reflections

Here are some postgame reflections on the performance of the No. 4 Buckeyes, who remain undefeated at 5-0 this season:

  • Marvin Harrison Jr. exhibited a nearly unstoppable performance, reminding everyone of his exceptional talent despite nursing an injured ankle. The wide receiver surpassed the century mark before halftime and concluded the day with 163 yards, one touchdown, and the lion’s share of targets as the primary option on nearly every passing play. His most impressive play might have come in the third quarter when he executed a stunning over-the-shoulder catch, albeit somewhat marred by his head coach’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Kyle McCord, a former high school teammate and current quarterback for the Buckeyes, consistently fed his top target, finishing the game with 320 yards and two touchdowns. However, it took him some time to find his rhythm during the game. The first half felt like a struggle to establish a successful passing game, but he eventually made significant throws downfield as his offensive line improved its protection after allowing three sacks in the first half.
  • Ohio State’s rushing attack still requires improvement, as they averaged less than 2 yards per carry for a substantial portion of the game. Chip Trayanum did his best, managing 61 yards and a touchdown, despite facing resistance nearly every time he touched the ball. It remains to be seen if the team can enhance its rushing game as the schedule becomes more challenging, particularly with a matchup against Penn State looming in two weeks.
  • Taulia Tagovailoa started the game strongly for Maryland but ended with a lackluster 21-of-41 passing, one touchdown, and two costly interceptions. One interception resulted in a pick-six, and the other set up a score in the second half during a failed scramble play. While Tagovailoa is still considered a top-tier quarterback in the Big Ten, his overall performance left much to be desired against a formidable opponent.
  • Maryland’s coach, Mike Locksley, had his team well-prepared, but there were critical moments when it seemed he handed the victory to Ohio State. He opted to go for it on fourth down and came up short during the second drive while in field goal range. Additionally, he settled for a short-field goal on the subsequent possession in the first quarter when there was an opportunity to seize momentum. Locksley’s questionable decisions extended to a botched ending to the first half, where the Terps failed to score, and a late-game decision to go for it, leaving room for improvement in game management.

Up Next

The Buckeyes play Purdue at 12 PM Saturday, October 14th

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