In its first game against a ranked opponent in 2016, the Maryland football team was obliterated by No. 3 Michigan. The Wolverines were in control from the start and sent the Terps back to College Park with a 59-3 loss.
Ohio State comes to Maryland Stadium this weekend, and there’s a chance things could get just as bad. The Buckeyes hammered then-No. 10 Nebraska 62-3 in Columbus on Saturday, and even though Huskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong left that game with a scary injury in the second quarter, that contest was lopsided by any measure.
Maryland is still one win away from clinching bowl eligibility. That win will probably not come against a Buckeyes team with still-legitimate College Football Playoff hopes. Let’s just say basketball season is coming at a convenient time.
Maryland vs. Michigan - what we saw
1. Michigan did what it wanted, when it wanted. The Wolverines passed for 387 yards and ran for 273. The 660-yard total eclipsed Indiana’s 650 last week, which means Maryland has given up at least 650 yards in consecutive games. That’s, um, not good. Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight played his best game of the season, but given how many Wolverines got wide open for him, the Terps definitely helped him out.
2. The Terps offense was held at bay. Believe it or not, Maryland was actually decent at moving the ball. The 367 total yards is the second-most anyone has recorded on the Wolverines this season (Michigan State had 401 the week prior). The Terps had 19 first downs, crossed midfield eight times and entered the red zone twice. But three points in a football game is three points in a football game, and it’s not enough.
3. More injuries. Perry Hills, whose 4-of-4, 73-yard passing performance was a bright spot, went down in the second quarter, while Ty Johnson left the game in the fourth. That’s Maryland’s starting quarterback and most explosive playmaker on offense. If either one has to miss any time, it’s about to get even more miserable.
Maryland vs. Ohio State - what we’re expecting
1. J.T. Barrett will be all over the place. Ohio State’s junior quarterback is an amalgam of everything that Maryland has struggled to contain. He can hit open receivers and sling the ball through tight windows. He’s also the most proficient running quarterback the Terps have seen, and considering how much Trace McSorley, Zander Diamont and others have torched Maryland this fall, Barrett could be in line for an absolute field day.
2. Curtis Samuel, too. He’s the team’s leading receiver by a lot: Samuel’s 52 catches and 676 yards both double up any other Buckeye’s totals. He also has nearly 600 rushing yards, second on the squad behind tailback Mike Weber. The junior should give Maryland fits for as long as he’s in the game.
3. Life won’t get much easier for Maryland’s offense. The Buckeye defense isn’t quite on Michigan’s level, but it’s still one of the nation’s best. Ohio State hasn’t given up more than 24 points in any game this season. Safety Malik Hooker and corner Marshon Lattimore will give fits to whichever quarterback the Terps roll out. The run defense is susceptible to the occasional explosive play, but Maryland will need a ton of those in order to have a puncher’s chance.