What a game. The lead changes, the offense, the overtime. It truly did have it all—unless you were looking for a defensive, low-scoring game. With so much offense, it was Big 12-esque, which are the most entertaining games, honestly. Luckily, for the Ohio State Buckeyes’ sake, a game has two halves.
Although the Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot multiple times whether it was fumbles or something else, much like they have in many games so far this season, they were able to come away with a 52-51 over Maryland in overtime Saturday afternoon.
The game began in what was a strange sequence of events. Maryland running back Anthony McFarland ran for an 81-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. Then on the ensuing kickoff, the scarlet and gray failed to recover the ball, which allowed the Terrapins to recover it at Ohio State’s 21-yard line. On the first play following that turnover, Maryland fumbled it, which was recovered by the Buckeyes. While ugly, that sequence was just the beginning of what was an incredible, ugly, and outstanding game…all mixed into one.
A Maryland native, it was quite a homecoming for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. When the Buckeyes needed him the most, he used both his arm and his legs to make plays. The gunslinger completed 28-of-38 pass attempts for 405 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception, breaking Ohio State single-season passing yards and passing touchdowns record along the way. It was what he did with his legs that were most surprising though. The quarterback totaled 59 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground in 15 carries, which was tied for the most rushing touchdowns by any Buckeyes quarterback since at least 2000.1
Terry McLaurin (four receptions, 118 yards, one touchdown) and Johnnie Dixon (six catches, 102 yards) both made the most of Haskins’ impressive throwing performance. The quarterback completed a pass to nine different receivers.
J.K. Dobbins also had quite the game. With Mike Weber not playing due to a quad strain, which head coach Urban Meyer admitted to following the game, the running back had 37 rushing attempts for 203 yards and one touchdown. While it was obvious that he needed some oxygen and a break at times, the sophomore did all he could to help Ohio State come away with a win. His 37 rushing attempts were the most by any Buckeye since Chris “Beanie” Wells totaled 39 attempts on November 17, 2007.
Those were the bright spots, but Ohio State’s defense struggled, much like they have for much of the season. Many thought that they might have turned it around after their performance in East Lansing last week, but this game was a huge step back. They allowed McFarland to run for 298 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 carries, including both an 81- and 75-yard touchdown runs in the first six minutes of the game. The defense made some much-needed adjustments in the second half, but what Maryland’s offense was able to do was quite alarming.
With all that said, a win is a win. The Buckeyes are 10-1. Now, it’s Michigan week.