Ohio State vs. Maryland: 5 things to know about unbeaten Terrapins

Ohio State football is set to play host to Maryland in a battle of unbeaten teams Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

While the Buckeyes had the last weekend of September off, the Terrapins improved to 5-0 by dominating Indiana on Saturday, a game head coach Mike Locksley’s called his team’s most complete of the season.

Here are five things to know about Maryland and the series between the two teams:

1. The Terrapins are 5-0 this season with every win coming by at least 18 points.

They opened the season with a 38-6 win over Towson, stopped Charlotte 38-20 then hammered former ACC partner Virginia 42-14.

Maryland opened Big Ten play with a 31-9 victory at Michigan State then wiped the floor with Indiana 44-17 last week.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa accounted for six touchdowns against the Hoosiers en route to earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week recognition.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” Locksley told reporters after the game. “This is a really close-knit group that just plays. At the same time, this is still just the beginning. We still have some work to do. We’ve got a tremendous challenge coming up this week, which I know our guys are excited for. I thought today was probably the most complete game we played in all three phases. We started fast and finished strong. We played to our standard and if you play to your standard, you usually end up with the win.”

2. Ohio State has never lost to Maryland.

The Buckeyes and Terrapins first squared off in 2014, a 52-24 win in College Park.

They have played every season since Maryland joined the Big Ten, but the games in Columbus have not been very competitive.

The closest matchup at Ohio Stadium was the first, a 49-28 win for the Buckeyes in 2015. Since then, Ohio State has outscored Maryland 199-45 in three meetings at the Horseshoe.

3. The series has been a bit strange.

That continued last season when Ohio State did not put the game away until Zach Harrison stripped Tagovailoa, and Steele Chambers returned the fumble one yard for a touchdown in the final minute of what turned out to be a 43-30 final in College Park.

That marked the second time the Terrapins nearly knocked off Ohio State one week before the Buckeyes were to face Michigan. In 2018, they were an incomplete pass on a two-point conversion away from winning 52-51 in overtime.

4. The Terps present a big challenge for the Ohio State defense.

While Notre Dame, Ohio State’s Week 4 opponent, has a formidable attack, the Fighting Irish are methodical, run-first outfit that can go to the air.

Maryland is a spread passing team led by one of the nation’s top quarterbacks.

Tagovailoa, a 5-foot-11, 208-pound senior from Hawaii, leads the Big Ten in passing yards (1,464), touchdown passes (13), yards per completion 13.2) and points responsible for (19.6 per game).

He has spread the ball around this season with no Terp having caught more than 17 passes, but Corey Dyches, Kaden Prather and Jeshaun Jones all have between 198 and 209 yards receiving.

Roman Hemby and Colby McDonald also present a formidable running back duo (459 rushing yards combined) with each averaging over five years per carry.

Maryland was the first team to dent the Ohio State defense last season before the Buckeyes were torn to shreds by Michigan and Georgia in their last two games.

5. The defense is far from a pushover.

While Locksley is known as an offensive coach, his defense also has solid numbers so far this season.

The Terrapins are 16th in the nation in scoring defense at 13.2 points per game, and they rank 22nd in defensive SP+, an advanced metric published by ESPN that focuses on efficiency.

They are 38th in the nation in total defense (328.2 yards per game), including 12th against the run (116.2 ypg.) and tied for 48th against the pass (211.8).

Maryland is third in the country in turnovers gained (12) and fifth in turnovers lost (three), giving them the No. 2 turnover margin in the country behind Penn State.


Maryland at Ohio State, Noon, Fox, 1410

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