In what could have been Randy Edsall's last game as head coach, Maryland played surprisingly well in a 49-28 loss to Ohio State Saturday. Still, the Terps stand at 2-4 on the season and are winless in the Big Ten. Here's a non-exhaustive list of who's up and who's down after the loss:
Perry Hills, quarterback. He only went 10-for-27 from the air, but the redshirt junior had 170 yards on the ground, outgaining the Buckeyes' Heisman candidate Ezekiel Elliott. He threw a ball probably as far as he can on his 52-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Moore, and had a 75-yard run to keep Maryland in the game in the second quarter. His designed runs and scrambles turned into the main source of offense for the Terps, and while he absorbed several big hits from Ohio State's defense in the process, he always got right back up. Hills has bought himself some job security with this performance, and will almost certainly be under center when Maryland takes on Penn State in two weeks.
Watch @umterps QB Perry Hills get it done with his legs on this 75-YD run & score. Brought to you by @GrubHub. http://t.co/FtPCpML1x6— Maryland on BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) October 10, 2015
The coaching staff. After reports surfaced this week that Randy Edsall would be fired after Saturday's game, Edsall coached like a man who had nothing to lose. He ran triple options, went for it on fourth down, and even put Will Likely in on offense. After the game, he defelcted questions about his job security, saying, "those are things I don't control." Who knows if Edsall will be around come Monday, but he and the rest of his staff deserve some credit for the team's performance against one of the top squads in the country.
D.J. Moore, wide receiver. The Terps' passing game was bottled up for the majority of the night, but Moore was a bright spot. The freshman broke free for a 52-yard touchdown on Maryland's first drive of the game to give the team a 7-0 lead. In a receiving corps that looked promising even after the loss of several key contributors, Moore is now one of only two wideouts with multiple touchdowns. He led the Terps in receiving yards Saturday with 64, and has the team's only two receiving touchdowns in its last three games. Look for him to get more touches in the coming weeks as Maryland takes on some competition that isn't ranked in country's top five.
The @UMTerps strike first on a 52-YD TD bomb from Hills to Moore. Brought to you by @GrubHub. http://t.co/ZhYxY4IJ1G— Maryland on BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) October 10, 2015
Nicolas Pritchard, punter. The freshman punter was up and down Saturday, but if he can become more consistent, his stock could be rising soon. After putting up a few shaky performances in the Terps first five games and averaging 38.6 yards per punt, he averaged 44 yards per punt on Saturday and a had longs of 54 and 55. However, he shanked a 23-yarder in the third quarter that put the Terps in a bind as Ohio State started to pull away.
Maryland's pass protection. While the Terps carved out a solid running game, the Buckeyes were able to get pressure on Hills all night, registering four sacks and seven quarterback hits. Joey Bosa and Ohio State's vaunted front seven harrassed Hills all day, chasing him from the pocket or collapsing it around him, which contributed to his poor passing day.
Maryland's pass defense. Cardale Jones performed better than his season average in almost every category against the Terrapins, and the Buckeyes surpassed their season average in passing yards by over 100. Jones had struggled before yesterday's matchup, but was comfortable in the pocket against Maryland's defense, only getting knocked down once, and he and J.T. Barret combined to throw six completions of over 15 yards. The Terps did get their hands on three of Jones's passes, but they were unable to capture a critical interception that would have given them a chance down the stretch.