Ohio State grade card: A lot to like in Buckeyes’ big win


A grade card on Ohio State’s 73-14 win over Maryland, which apparently was so devastating it led one of the Terrapins’ recruits to decommit on Twitter during the game.

OFFENSE: A

Ohio State wanted to work on throwing the ball down the field so Justin Fields took more deep shots than in some other games.

Fields was 16 of 25 for 200 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score, all in the first half. He had completions of 35 yards to Garrett Wilson, 33 yards to K.J. Hill and 23 yards to tight end Jeremy Ruckert.

J.K. Dobbins was on his way to his seventh 100-yard rushing game this season with 90 yards on 12 carries in the first half, but like most of OSU’s top players, he spent the second half as a spectator after the Buckeyes built a 42-0 halftime lead.

His back-up, Master Teague, gained 111 yards, which was his second game over 100 yards this season. OSU scored the first six times it had the football. It had 192 yards of total offense in the first quarter and Maryland had one yard.

DEFENSE: A-

A long suspension for defensive end Chase Young over a loan he took to get his girlfriend to the Rose Bowl, which he later repaid, would be a big blow to Ohio State’s national championship hopes. But his absence was barely noticeable against a team of Maryland’s talent level.

Davon Hamilton’s sack of Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson on the Terrapins’ second offensive play sent a message that OSU’s defense would be aggressive even without its star. Tyreke Smith and Hamilton both had two sacks.

Ohio State had seven sacks on a day when both of its starting defensive ends, Jonathon Cooper and Young, were out. Cooper’s absence was the sixth time this season he couldn’t play because of an injury. OSU allowed Maryland 139 yards overall.

An excessive number of penalties lowered the grade slightly for the defense, though. The Buckeyes were flagged 13 times, including three 15-yard penalties on Maryland’s first scoring drive late in the third quarter. Eight of the 13 penalties were on the defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

The on-side kick on which Blake Haubeil perfectly placed a kickoff so only Chris Olave could get it and Olave caught the ball in mid-air was an A+ play. The only question was why did Ohio State use it against Maryland instead of saving it until a closer game.

OSU’s kickoff coverage could have been better on a 70-yard return by Javon Leake, but it was already 59-7 and even the special teams starters were probably out of the game at that point. On the plus side, Demario McCall had a 38-yard kickoff return.

Haubeil hit his only field goal attempts, 23-yarder, and punter Drue Chrisman was called on only twice.

OVERALL: A

Ohio State did exactly what it was supposed to do against a team that has lost seven of its last eight games.

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