Preview: Five Things To Watch vs. Ohio State

Maryland (6-4, 3-4 B1G) vs. No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 B1G)
When: Sat., Nov. 19 | 3:36 p.m. EST
Where: SECU Stadium
Watch: ABC –  Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, Katie George
Listen: 105.7 FM (Balt) / 980 AM (DC) – Johnny Holliday, Steve Suter

  • Start hot: When you are playing the number two team in the country the best thing to do is get on the board first. Maryland scored on their first drives in the first seven games of the season. Getting off to a quick start is part of the reason why they started the season 5-2. If the Terps hope to give Ohio State a game on Saturday the goal has to be to start the scoring early. Terps fans will remember the 51-52 overtime heart break game against OSU back in 2018 came from early and explosive runs from Anthony McFarland that got the Terps up early.
  • Get the ball into your playmaker’s hands: Offensively, Maryland has spread the ball around to several players. Against Ohio State that is not going to work. Maryland has to let their best players on offense make as many plays as they can to make this a game. Roman Hemby needs to have enough space to give him a shot to break a long run. Rakim Jarrett and Corey Dyches need to be targeted early and often. Jacob Copeland and Dontay Demus should take advantage of opportunities that will come their way. Jeshaun Jones and CJ Dippre could also be counted on at some point in the game. In a game like this, a team’s best players are expected to show up and perform when given a chance. Also look for the offensive coaching staff to rebound with fresh play calling to generate explosion from players like Hemby and Jarrett early on by opening up the full bag of tricks to find a way to win Saturday.
  • Double Cover Marvin Harrison Jr.: Harrison ranks third in catches, second in receiving yards, and first in touchdowns in the Big Ten this year. He has been the go-to guy for Ohio State since week one with injuries to preseason All American Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Maryland must make sure there isn’t a one-on-one situation with him, or else a big play is all but guaranteed. Emeka Egbuka is also someone that Maryland needs to pay attention to, Julian Fleming has had his moments as well, and don’t forget about the tight end, Cade Stover. However, Harrison has consistently been the best receiver in the Big Ten all year.
  • Take advantage of Ohio State’s injured backfield: Ohio State’s top three backs are all going into this week hurt. TreVeyon Henderson missed the last two games with a  foot injury. Miyan Williams was carted off the field in the second quarter last week against Indiana with an ankle injury, and Chip Trayanum also missed last week due to an injury. Ryan Day stated that he would be shocked if all three were not available for this week’s game. Even if they are limited by their injuries Ohio State still has weapons in the backfield. Wide receiver Xavier Johnson took his only carry last week 71 yards for a touchdown. Dallas Hayden had 102 yards on 19 carries after taking over for Williams. Injuries do catch up to teams and Maryland has to make the Buckeyes feel the effect that injuries can bring to a team. The defense cannot allow Ohio State to gain easy yards at any point of the game. “They do have a room full of talented running backs and both the top two guys have been nicked up, banged up. But I expect that their goal is to get those guys healthy, get them back. I would imagine most of their attention is finding a way to get into this game, play well, and get out healthy to prepare for next week’s game,” said Locksley. This will be especially interesting to watch as OSU May elect to rest players who may be game time decisions based on the potential game of the year in the B10 coming next week in OSU vs. Michigan.
  • Win the turnover battle: In the 2018 game against Ohio State, Maryland started the second half with a pick-six that put them up by 17. On Saturday, they must steal some possessions to make the game close. Turnovers have been hard to come by for the Terps, as they only have seven interceptions on the year. However, if they can have another game like their three turnover performances against Purdue and Indiana that will help. Maryland will lean heavily on its pair of safety’s to lead the team in getting potential turnovers to sway the game’s tide in the Terps’ favor.

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