Maryland football is trudging through the middle of a rough few weeks.
Still looking for their sixth win to secure bowl eligibility, the Terrapins' three-week November stretch consists of Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska before ending the season with a home matchup against Rutgers.
Last week, Jim Harbaugh and the No. 2 Wolverines manhandled the Terps, 59-3. And a home-field advantage might be the only thing going for them against the No. 6 Buckeyes on Saturday. That and their newly unveiled "RedOps" uniforms.
In Maryland’s 3-9 season last year, the team suffered a brutal 49-28 loss to Urban Meyer and his team at the Horseshoe, but as the Terps enter Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. matchup on a two-game losing streak, they might be hungry enough to keep it interesting.
“Our guys have a great attitude about [losing to Michigan],” Maryland coach DJ Durkin said this week. “We’ve bounced back from tough things already this season, and we’ll do it again. We’re looking forward to a great environment at home this weekend.”
MARYLAND TERRAPINS VS. NO. 6 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES HOW TO WATCH
When: Saturday, November 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium in College Park, Maryland
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN 980 (Washington, D.C.), WJZ 105.7 FM (Baltimore)
A LOOK BACK
Terrapins: Last weekend, Maryland coach DJ Durkin returned to the Big House to face his former team, the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines. And it didn’t end well. Not only did the Terps not score a touchdown, but they also gave up 660 total yards — a season high for their opponents. The Terps’ ground game — which is typically pretty strong — was limited to just 78 total yards, not breaking the triple-digit mark for the first time this season. To make matters worse and shake up the offense, senior quarterback Perry Hills left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, and senior Caleb Rowe took over, finishing 12-for-23 on 203 yards. The silver lining: Maryland’s 367 yards of total offense is the most against Michigan this season.
BUCKEYES: Going into last week’s games, the Big Ten had four teams ranked in the top 10. But Ohio State proved the Nebraska Cornhuskers didn’t quite deserve their ranking in a 62-3 beatdown. Per usual, Urban Meyer’s quarterback JT Barrett was unstoppable, throwing 26-for-38 with 290 yards and four touchdowns while adding 39 yards on the ground. After an unexpected loss to Penn State in October, the Buckeyes are spending the rest of their season proving they’re worthy of a College Football Playoff spot. They can’t just win; they have to demolish — which doesn’t bode well for the Terps, whose defense is better than only Rutgers and Purdue in the Big Ten.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Terrapins: Maryland football doesn’t have a ton of veterans on the team, but it’s pass rushers include some of the more experienced players, and it’s time for them to step up. Led by senior defensive end Roman Braglio and junior linebacker Jermaine Carter, the Terps need to find a way to contain Buckeye quarterback JT Barrett, who can run, boasts a 64.5 completion percentage and spread the ball to 10 different receivers last weekend.
“You can tell how comfortable he is in their scheme,” Durkin said of Barrett. “He has great command of their offense. He’s a great leader. He can beat you throwing the ball or running the ball. Any quarterback who can run and pass presents issues for the defense. He’s one of the best there is in the country.”
Buckeyes: Although the Terps’ quarterback consistency has been shaky at best this season, their ground game has greatly improved. DJ Durkin has emphasized the importance of wide receivers blocking around the perimeter, and it’s mostly worked out and led to long runs from running backs sophomore Ty Johnson and freshman Lorenzo Harrison. However, the Buckeyes’ defense is second in the Big Ten and their rush defense is fourth, and they held the Cornhuskers to 204 yards last weekend — just 78 on the ground. But if the Terps can find an occasional hole, a couple big runs could lead to a momentum swing or even a likely much-needed score.
OUT – DB/punt returner Will Likely (ACL), DB Denzel Conyers (ACL), RB Trey Edmunds (foot).
QUESTIONABLE – QB Perry Hills left the game last weekend with a shoulder injury that’s been bothering him all season. Hills is on the depth chart as the starter, but Durkin said he is day-to-day. RB Ty Johnson also exited the Michigan game, but he remains listed as one of the Terps’ potential five starting backs. Senior offensive lineman Mike Dunn didn’t play against Michigan, but he’s also listed as starting this week.
Ohio State Buckeyes:
QUESTIONABLE – RB Mike Weber (shoulder) but he’s on the team’s depth chart.
ODDS AND BETTING LINES
Line: Ohio State -29.5. It opened at 28 and has only slightly shifted against the Terps.
Against the spread: The Buckeyes are 0-2 ATS on the road in the Big Ten and 1-2 in their last three games.
Prediction: Ohio State 50, Maryland 20
MORE MARYLAND FOOTBALL: DJ Durkin explains Big Ten road loss