By this time a year ago, the Ohio State defense was racking up touchdowns that made even the offense envious, well on its way to seven for the season. On Saturday, in a 62-14 win over Maryland, the 2017 defense got its first.

“It’s a good one,” linebacker Jerome Baker said of the feeling after returning a fumble 20 yards for the touchdown that gave OSU a 13-0 early lead. “There definitely was a lot of screaming and good energy, so it’s definitely fun to score some points.”

As he pointed out, it was teamwork that made it happen. Defensive end Nick Bosa, who had another hyperactive game rushing the quarterback, hit Maryland’s Max Bortenschlager as he was about to pass from the Terrapins' 32-yard line.

The ball squirted out to the side and backward. Baker picked it up and acquired a convoy that included Jalyn Holmes and others on his race to the corner of the end zone.

“I saw Nick Bosa do what Nick Bosa does, and I scooped it up and ran as fast as I can,” said Baker, who returned an interception for a TD in the win at Oklahoma last year.

The play by Bosa and Baker on Saturday set the tone for the defense, which until late in the fourth quarter had not given up a touchdown; the Terps only other TD came on a 100-yard return by Ty Johnson of the kickoff right after the Baker score.

Meanwhile, the defense held Maryland to 66 total yards on just 55 plays. The Terps were just one of 15 on third-down conversion attempts — they gained six first downs total.


Lineman lost for season

Ohio State’s offensive linemen have been remarkably durable during Urban Meyer’s tenure.

No Buckeye lineman has been lost to a significant injury. That ended on Saturday when right guard Branden Bowen broke both the tibia and fibula in his left leg in the first quarter. His mother tweeted the nature of the injury. The redshirt sophomore reportedly was undergoing surgery Saturday night.

Bowen was injured when his leg got caught when a Maryland pass rusher was blocked into him.

Bowen won the starting position at right guard in training camp despite entering as a long shot. Matt Burrell took over for Bowen on Saturday.

“It’s very difficult,” center Billy Price said of losing Bowen. “That’s our brother. You’re losing one of the key cogs on the offensive line with Bowen going down. But we’re going to bounce back and be fine.”


Two ejected

What looked like a hard-but-clean hit that might have ended up as a second Ohio State touchdown resulted in Denzel Ward being ejected for targeting.

Ward decleated Taivon Jacobs as the Maryland receiver appeared to catch a pass in the first quarter. The ball came free and the Buckeyes were in position to recover it and return it for a score. Instead, Ward was assessed a penalty and ejected, which was upheld on review.

“I actually just watched it,” defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle said. “That was a great hit. I don’t think it was targeting, but it’s not up to me to be the judge.”

Meyer said he hadn’t seen a replay, so he didn’t offer an opinion.

He was upset by the more-blatant targeting call on cornerback Damon Arnette in the second half. Arnette must sit out the first half against Nebraska as a result.

“It’s 55-(7), and I'm so angry about that,” Meyer said. “And he'll probably have to sit for the first half. Not very bright.”

Targeting perturbs Durkin

Maryland coach DJ Durkin went on a rant about the officials when asked about the health of quarterback Max Bortenschlager. Bortenschlager was sliding to give himself up on a play when he was hit by Damon Arnette.

“I’m not really certain anymore what we’re even trying to do (with targeting),’’ Durkin said. “You talk about player safety and I’ve got a quarterback sliding and he gets hit in the head and they don’t flag it. I’m at a loss. Somebody tell me how to coach that. There is nothing more clear than a quarterback when he’s sliding. He’s giving himself up on the play. You are not allowed to touch him. It wasn’t called on the field. I know it got corrected upstairs.’’

Running back Ty Johnson felt for Bortenschlager, who is the third Maryland starting quarterback of the season. Tyrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill have suffered knee injuries.

“He was just playing his heart out and trying to get extra yards,’’ Johnson said.



Woods: Just get better

Terrapins senior safety Josh Woods said this isn’t the time for the team to feel sorry for itself with seven games remaining.

“You learn from this and get better,’’ he said. “You have so many more games.’’

Woods had a ready answer when asked if he was disappointed.

“Disappointed? No, I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed in my guys,’’ he said. “Adversity like this brings us closer. There is no time to be disappointed. The game already happened. It’s on to the next one. There were plays left on the field to make. When they had a chance to execute those 50-50 plays, they executed and we didn’t.’’