December 9, 2019

Maryland Football: Be afraid as the Terps travel to #1 ranked Ohio State


Fans consistently complained about C.J. Brown‘s performance last year, but anyone would take last season’s seven regular season wins over this year’s catastrophe. The Terps are currently in one of their worst stretches in recent history after a blowout loss to West Virginia and then a solid thumping on their home turf to Michigan. Things get a whole lot worse when Maryland has to travel to the #1 ranked team in the country, The Ohio State University in possibly Randy Edsall‘s last coaching stint at Maryland.

Ohio State and Maryland are polar opposites at the most important position in football. The Buckeyes came into the season with three NFL prospects being viable options at quarterback. Braxton Miller took the high road and did what was best for the team by converting to a H-back playmaker role. Cardale Jones is still the starter after being benched in game previously in favor of J.T. Barrett, who lit up the Terps last year.

Maryland on the other hand, has no idea or feasible option to replace C.J. Brown. Perry Hills was demoted all the way to third string after starting the first two games of the season. Caleb Rowe leads the FBS with 12 interceptions in just 13 quarters of play. Graduate transfer Daxx Garman, probably wishing he did not transfer here right about now, has had limited opportunities to showcase his skills but does not look like the final answer either. Currently, the Terps are listing all quarterbacks as tied on the two deep depth chart as Randy Edsall has foreshadowed not reveling his decision until the winner takes the first offensive snap of the game, similar to what Urban Meyer pulled to start the season.

It was clear last year and will be the same this year that the Buckeyes are just more physically imposing on the Terps. Last year OSU dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage on their way to a national championship, and there is little reason to believe that will not happen again.

Whoever the quarterback is, the Terps are likely to try and put them in good positions by setting up third and manageable scenarios. How do you do that? A heavy dose of Brandon Ross who has been one of the lone bright spots on Maryland’s offense. The problem is if the team gets behind too much too early, the running game can be completely abandoned and in the case of Rowe the problem is compounded with careless interceptions.

Defensively, Maryland is actually fairly go. The amount of points given up against Bowling Green, West Virginia, and Michigan might make you think differently, but they are light years ahead of the team’s offense. In all three games where an absurd number of points were given up, the defense was hung out to dry because of the short field they were given to protect largely due to turnovers. The Terps stonewalled the Michigan Wolverines for the first two thirds of the game before their exhaustion caught up with them. If it is not just having a short field defend, it is the offense not giving them any time to rest leading to worn down bodies at the end of games when things tend to get ugly.

Maryland opened up as 28.5 point underdogs for Saturday’s face off against Ohio State. That generous margin is widening to 32.5 by midweek and can still get worse. If that is any indication, Terps fans should save four hours of their lives. On the bright side, Magic Maryland Madness is next week on October 17th during the football team’s bye week (the same time Randy Edsall is reportedly getting fired)!

Prediction: Maryland 6, Ohio State 37

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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