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Ohio State blows out Maryland in Terps' first Big Ten home game

"Wish we could have done a few more things today to give ourselves a better opportunity," said Maryland head coach Randy Edsall. "What we found out today, it that Ohio State is a very good football team." (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

COLLEGE PARK — Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman said during the week that the Buckeyes were going to show Maryland "what Big Ten football is."

They did, beating the Terps 52-24 on Saturday in Maryland's first conference home game as a member of the Big Ten.

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The Terps (4-2, 1-1) were dominated along the offensive line, overmatched by the Buckeyes' offense and simply outplayed in pretty much every facet of the game.

Playing before an announced sellout crowd of 51,802, this was a chance for Maryland to show that it could compete with the better teams in the Big Ten conference.

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Instead, this was a clear step back after the Terps' win at Indiana last week.

"We're close," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "But what we've got to do is continue to build the program. We've got to get facilities. We've got to continue to recruit at the level we've been recruiting at.

"And our guys know now, here is the league that we're in and what's between them and some of the other teams in our division. This is a standard bearer. If we want to win the Eastern division or the Big Ten, we're going to have to go through some of these other places."

Ohio State (4-1, 1-0) is consistently one of the better teams in the country and had beaten its previous two opponents by a combined 116-28. But these are the games the Terps will have to win or at least be competitive in to be viewed as a legitimate threat in the Big Ten.

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And it was clear that Maryland was going to struggle with the Buckeyes from the Terps' first series on each side of the ball.

Ohio State drove 75 yards in eight plays for a touchdown on its first series and needed to throw only one pass as it picked up 67 yards on seven rushes.

The Buckeyes then stopped Maryland's offense after the Terps picked up one first down. Ohio State scored a touchdown to go up 14-0 just more than four minutes later. The Terps never trailed by fewer than 11 the rest of the game.

The Buckeyes led 31-10 at halftime after taking advantage of an interception thrown by C.J. Brown near the end of the half. They then extended their lead to 38-10 early in the third quarter and led by 28 for most of the fourth quarter.

"We didn't execute the way we should," said Terps backup quarterback Caleb Rowe, who played the entire second half in place of Brown.

Brown had been a game-time decision because of a sprained left wrist but ended up starting.

The only real bright spots for Maryland were a school-record 57-yard field goal by kicker Brad Craddock, eight tackles for a loss on defense and a few big passing plays from Rowe.

Ohio State outgained Maryland 533-310 and forced four turnovers.

Buckeyes redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett was 18 of 23 for 267 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Ohio State also got 139 yards on 24 carries from sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott, including 45 yards on the Buckeyes' first drive.

Six of Ohio State's first 11 possessions ended with touchdowns.

"If you can get the run established, it opens up a lot of other things," Terps cornerback Jeremiah Johnson said. "So obviously those first two drives they were able to establish the run, and it caught us off guard and on our heels. And once we got settled and [adjusted] to the run, they began to pass the ball, and they were able to have a balanced attack the rest of the game."

Maryland got somewhat of a spark when Rowe entered for Brown. However, Rowe threw an interception to end his second drive and later had two passes deflect off the hands of Terps players to Ohio State defenders for interceptions.

In all, Maryland quarterbacks finished with just one touchdown — a late scoring pass from Rowe to wide receiver Stefon Diggs — compared to four interceptions.

The Terps also averaged just 2.8 yards per carry, and the offensive line allowed three sacks and several other pressures.

Maryland has a bye week coming up and will look to regroup before hosting Iowa on Oct. 18.

"The bye comes at a really good time for us," Edsall said. "We've got some guys that are banged-up. … We're looking forward to getting healthy. We're looking forward to taking a deep breath and looking forward to evaluating ourselves and [seeing] where we go from here after six games."

mzenitz@tribune.com
twitter.com/mzenitz

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