COLUMBUS — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and his players spent a lot of time talking about overcoming adversity in their 73-14 win over Maryland on Saturday,
But the game was only a few minutes old when it became apparent Maryland was a cure for any adversity.
No. 1 Ohio State (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) wasn’t distracted at all by the absence of Chase Young and his loan problems.
OSU was up 21-0 after the first quarter and it was 42-0 at halftime, which allowed Day to rest key players like quarterback Justin Fields, running back J.K. Dobbins and others the entire second half.
The Buckeyes rolled up 705 yards in a total domination of Maryland (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten).
Even if OSU’s entire roster had come down with food poisoning Friday night, that wouldn’t have been enough adversity to give Maryland a chance.
Quarterback Justin Fields completed 16 of 25 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns for OSU. He also ran for a touchdown.
Master Teague was Ohio State’s leading rusher with 111 yards on 18 carries and Dobbins gained 90 yards on 12 carries and scored two touchdowns. Chris Olave had five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Wilson had four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, OSU had seven sacks, led by Davon Hamilton and Tyreke Smith with two each.
“I think when this team faces a little bit of adversity we have an edge and want to come after you and be aggressive,” Day said. “I think the guys really embraced that this week.”
“Our guys did not flinch,” he said.
Maybe the biggest example of Ohio State being aggressive early was pulling off an unusual on-side kick after its second touchdown.
Blake Haubeil kicked the ball in the air down the right sideline and Olave caught it in mid-air at Maryland’s 42-yard line.
Maryland has lost seven of its last eight games.
Maryland coach Mike Locksley said, “This was a team loss. All three phases, coaches, players, all included. I didn’t like the way we showed up and played today.”
Ohio State scored first on a 12-yard pass from Fields to Olave. It followed that with a 4-yard touchdown run by Fields and a 4-yard scoring pass from Fields to K.J. Hill for a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Fields connected with Olave for a 2-yard touchdown and Dobbins scored two rushing touchdowns on runs of seven yards and 20 yards.
That brought on the second-team players at the start of the second half, which is a little earlier than Day usually takes out the starters.
“We haven’t played a lot of football (with the starters) this year when you really think about it. We had a long talk about it. But it’s November. We still have a lot of football ahead of us. We thought that was the best move,” Day said.