Grading the Buckeyes: Total domination, Part II


A grade card on Ohio State’s 62-3 win over Maryland on Saturday, which looked a lot like its 62-3 win over Nebraska a week earlier.

OFFENSE: A

The 124 points Ohio State has scored in its last two games is the most an OSU team has put on the scoreboard in back to back games since the 2013 team beat California 52-34 and Florida A&M 76-0 in back to back games. Maryland won the coin toss, but that was about the last match-up the Terrapins won.

Ohio State’s offensive line picked up where it left off against Nebraska, allowing only one sack and helping the running backs average almost six yards a carry. Ohio State rolled up 581 yards of total offense even though Urban Meyer began substituting for the starters in the third quarter.

J.T. Barrett was 18 of 27 for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Curtis Samuel, as usual, was the go-to guy when OSU wanted a big play and scored two rushing touchdowns and had a touchdown catch. The performances of two young receivers, K.J. Hill (5 catches, 62 yards) and Binjimen Victor (2 catches, 36 yards, 1 touchdown), might be a sign that Ohio State has developed some much-needed depth in its receivers group.

DEFENSE: A

Even though Maryland was playing with an injured starting quarterback and had suspended its second-leading rusher before the game, Ohio State’s defensive effort was impressive.

The defensive line dominated the Terrapins. Ohio State had five sacks and allowed an average of 1.1 yards per rushing play. Safety Malik Hooker said the defensive linemen “were playing out of their minds.” The linebackers were pretty good, too. Raekwon McMillan had 10 tackles, a sack and two tackles for losses and forced a fumble. Jerome Baker had seven tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss.

On one of the rare occasions when Ohio State’s offense didn’t have its way with Maryland and came up short on a fourth-down play, the defense got the ball right back on an interception by Marshon Lattimore on the first Maryland play after its defense had gotten a big stop.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

The punt returner’s job apparently belongs to Curtis Samuel after Dontre Wilson struggled in that role. Samuel had one return for 11 yards. He caught the ball cleanly and showed some nice moves on that return, but some people might question putting a player so important to the offense into that role.

Cameron Johnston didn’t break a sweat for the second week in a row. He punted three times after not punting at all against Nebraska. Tyler Durbin continues his amazing unknown walk-on to one of the best kickers in the Big Ten story. The first-year starter is 15 of 16 on field goals after making two more, including a 45-yarder, on Saturday.

OVERALL: A

Everything Ohio State controlled on Saturday went about as well as it could have hoped for. But Michigan’s loss on Saturday night means OSU has to win its next two games and hope Penn State loses to either Rutgers or Michigan State to get to the Big Ten championship game.

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