COLUMBUS, Ohio -- If this is the final game that Randy Edsall coaches at the University of Maryland, it will go down as, in many ways, the opposite of the types of games that over a period of years added to the displeasure felt within the program’s fan base.
Against the nation’s No. 1 team, Maryland showed up and competed for nearly four entire quarters despite a crowd of 107,869 almost unanimously against them at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
But the strength and talent of the Buckeyes eventually overcame Maryland after it held its ground for as long as it could in a 49-28 Ohio State victory.
Here are five things you need to know.
1) Perry Hills start at QB and makes a splash early
Maryland opened the playbook to begin Saturday’s game. Off a play-action pass in the first quarter, Hills found wide receiver D.J. Moore for a 52-yard strike to make it 7-0 Maryland.
With Hills under center, Maryland experimented much more with rollouts and bootlegs -- something they couldn’t do with Caleb Rowe over the past three weeks.
He finished 10-of-27 for 133 yards with one touchdown and two late interceptions.
2) Keeping it competitive before the half
With the score at 21-7 -- and with the game looking like it would go into the half as such -- Hills ripped off a 75-yard run up the gut that gashed the Ohio State defense. He would score thereafter to make it 21-14.
That scoring drive came right after a missed Ohio State field goal that could have made it 24-7. Instead, the momentum was skewed toward the Terrapins, which set up the drive coming out of the half.
3) Tied up
Down a touchdown coming out of the half, Hills led another touchdown drive to begin the third quarter, aided by a personal foul penalty on Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa.
The drive included a reverse and a run by cornerback Will Likely. Yes, cornerback Will Likely. The game was tied, 21-21.
4) The tide turns
After Maryland tied it up, Ohio State began to dig deeper into the playbook, with the running game not really aiding the Buckeye offense.
Cardale Jones found Jalin Marshall for a 48-yard touchdown to make it 28-21. On a subsequent drive, they involved running back Ezekiel Elliott in the passing game and chipped away in 10-yard chunks for another touchdown to make it 35-21.
5) On Ohio State: Ezekiel Elliott continues his mastery, despite “slow” game
Maryland, by and large, kept Ohio State’s star running back in check. That, in comparison to the 274 yards he put up last week against Indiana, which included three touchdown runs of 55 yards or more.
On Saturday, Elliott reached the 100-yard mark for the 11th straight game but averaged only close to five yards in getting there.