The No. 2 Ohio State soccer crew possible didn’t journey to School Park, Maryland, anticipating its hardest take a look at of the season. However behind 33 second half factors, together with 16 within the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes overcame a halftime deficit to enhance to 11-0 on the season.
First-year operating again Dallan Hayden posted a career-best 146 speeding yards and three touchdowns, carrying the Buckeyes’ offense within the second half. Redshirt junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw two touchdowns and saved the Terrapins within the recreation till its last moments.
The win units up a heavyweight matchup with No. 3 Michigan Saturday between two 11-0 packages — with School Soccer Playoff implications on the road. Regardless of Ohio State successful by solely 13 factors, it was the very best margin of victory for a top-five crew over the weekend.
Listed here are the 5 takeaways from Saturday’s recreation.
Stroud duels with Tagovailoa
Third-year quarterback CJ Stroud entered Saturday’s matchup among the many Heisman Trophy favorites, but for the primary time this season, he was arguably outplayed by the opposing quarterback for almost all of the sport. Stroud completed with 241 yards passing together with a landing, whereas the Terrapins signal-caller threw for 293 yards, two touchdowns and added a speeding rating for 3 whole touchdowns on the day.
Stroud relied closely on his two essential targets this season in second-year huge receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, the duo combining for 11 of Stroud’s 18 completions. Tagovailoa discovered 9 totally different receivers, highlighted by wideouts senior Dontay Demus Jr. and junior Rakim Jarrett, who caught 67 and 65 yards, respectively.
Whereas Stroud stays tied for first within the Soccer Bowl Subdivision with 35 passing touchdowns, he was handed by the Southern California sophomore signal-caller Caleb Williams for Heisman Trophy favourite, based on FanDuel Sportsbooks.
Whereas Stroud’s efficiency wasn’t poor, the sport definitely offered a number of “wow” moments and a few flaws in Stroud’s recreation. Merely put, these flaws could also be analyzed below a microscope going into the matchup with Michigan.
Working again depth continues to repay
Whereas Hayden acquired the vast majority of carries within the second half, he didn’t begin the sport. Second-year operating again TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 19 yards on 11 carries, all largely within the first half.
Head coach Ryan Day made the choice to have Hayden, who scored two profession touchdowns previous to the showdown with the Terrapins, carry the load after Henderson’s first recreation again from damage. Hayden responded by carrying the ball 27 instances, a season-high for any Ohio State operating again.
The Memphis, Tennessee, native rushed for all three of his touchdowns within the second half, averaging 5.4 yards per carry when the Buckeyes wanted him probably the most. With the rating 33-30 with below 10 minutes to go, Day referred to as Hayden’s quantity and confirmed the embarrassment of riches Ohio State’s operating again room possessions.
Run protection stepped up
On the flip aspect of the road of scrimmage, the Ohio State run protection held its personal. Led by fourth-year defensive lineman Zach Harrison’s 5 whole tackles and two sacks, Ohio State held Maryland to 2.7 yards per keep on 31 makes an attempt.
Fourth-year linebacker Tommy Eichenberg additionally performed an enormous half in the course of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles’s gameplan, main all gamers with 13 whole tackles. Redshirt freshman operating again Roman Hemby led the Terrapins with 39 yards on 11 carries.
Ohio State is within the prime 15 within the FBS with 107.9 speeding yards given up per recreation, and Saturday’s recreation confirmed the defensive entrance is able to stepping up when the crew wants it to.
Defensive backs taking part in off the road
Then again, Ohio State’s defensive backs notably performed far off the road of scrimmage when in one-on-one man protection. Tagovailoa averaged 8.1 yards per move try and took benefit of the protection, particularly within the fourth quarter.
The Ewa Seashore, Hawaii, native threw 5 passes of at the least 20 yards and saved the Terrapins aggressive up till the ultimate minutes of the sport. Tagovailoa grew to become Maryland’s all-time profession passing chief within the fourth quarter, surpassing 7,302 yards.
This got here every week after Maryland was shut out by No. 11 Penn State 30-0.
Like many instances this season, this didn’t value the Buckeyes the sport, and so they head into their matchup with No. 3 Michigan 11-0. However heading into their last common season recreation, these are errors that will value them a spot within the CFP, particularly in opposition to foes just like the Wolverines.
All eyes on Saturday
Talking of the Wolverines, the time for “The Recreation” is coming quickly. Michigan survived a scare of its personal Saturday, defeating Illinois 19-17 on a game-winning discipline objective within the last seconds of the fourth quarter.
Each victories arrange the primary time “The Recreation” has been performed in Columbus since 2018. The Wolverines submit the nation’s No. 1 whole protection with 241.3 opponent yards allowed per recreation, whereas the Buckeyes common 46.5 factors per recreation, good for second within the FBS.
Whereas revenge is on the thoughts of Day’s crew, revenge is finest served by means of outcomes. And if the Buckeyes cannot produce outcomes in opposition to the Wolverines, extra questions will linger over Ohio State’s functionality to win a nationwide championship.