Ohio State-Maryland | Ray Stein’s Bottom Line
At 4:06 p.m. EST Saturday, Hate Week officially began. The venom, the vitriol, the loathing. And, hey, as a bonus, Michigan comes to town next week. Even without the Wolverines serving as objects of derision, it figures to be an angry seven days after Ohio State’s ignominious showing in Maryland. Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis. — Ray Stein
There was a lot to love — J.K. Dobbins doing mule duty, with the occasional gallop; Dwayne Haskins Jr. showing moxie putting the R in RPOs; and of course his work with that magic right arm. But each of them lost a fumble, and Haskins’ lone passing mistake went the other way for six. OSU needed every one of its 688 yards.
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The Buckeyes won the third quarter by holding Maryland to 19 yards, but that was less glass-half-full and more a respite in the waterboarding administered by the Terrapins. Either by being out of position or missing tackles, the back seven was exposed time and again — and still OSU had 11 tackles for a loss. Hide the children.
Special teams (2)
A used-car salesman would tout the family truckster by pointing to Demario McCall’s robust kickoff return and a field-flipping punt by Drue Chrisman. But those who can spot a lemon from a distance will recall Maryland’s fake punt (yes, but were they coached up?) and a pooch kickoff that the Terps were allowed to recover.
The Buckeyes started as if they had gorged themselves with an early Thanksgiving dinner, such was their tryptophan stupor. Or maybe OSU was looking ahead to Michigan, which is a cardinal sin, or should be. The sharpest arrows, though, must be aimed at this abominable defense, which seemingly fights fires with a gas can.
Taken for what it was — a major college football game — this one had a little bit of everything, and then some. If it had been a Big 12 or Pac-12 game, Buckeye Nation would have watched without emotional attachment and enjoyed the show. That’s not how it works, though. Who among you was left breathing into a paper bag?
Maryland RB Anthony McFarland showed early that he could handle a 75- or 80-yard dash. Turns out he could also get yards after contact — Biakabutuka is the word. After such a dispiriting, tragic, poorly handled season, the Terrapins deserved better. They had the winning play drawn up, but the QB delivered a wild pitch.
No merit badges, no postgame popsicles for Mark Kluczynski and his crew, which seemed a step behind and unable to negotiate even the simplest of calls — “false start, everyone but the center.” Uncatchable passes were another cause for trip-ups, to say nothing of the uncalled, two-fisted holding on the Terps’ fake punt.