Ohio State Football: QB By Committee Helps Buckeyes Roll Maryland

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Oct 10, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Braxton Miller (1) and quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) celebrate after Barrett

Another slow start made Ohio State football fans nervous, but a familiar face came to the rescue and gave the Buckeye offense a much needed jolt against Maryland. Factory of Sadness has everything you need to know about Ohio State’s 49-28 win, including highlights, important number’s and key contributors from Columbus.

There were grumblings around Columbus that there would be more changes to the offense this week against Maryland. Most notably it looked like there could be a quarterback change when the Buckeyes were in the red zone. Well, there certainly were some serious changes on that front, as Cardale Jones saw only one snap inside the 20’s during the entire first half. Instead, Urban Meyer called on J.T. Barrett to run the  attack.

After Maryland struck early on a 52-yard Perry Hills pass to D.J. Moore, Ohio State marched down the field in response. But it was Barrett that sparked the offense and produced the score. After drilling Michael Thomas to convert on 3rd-and-long, Barrett punched in a 3-yard run to tie the game, 7-7.

It was the same story on a drive that ended the first quarter for Ohio State. Cardale Jones connected with Braxton Miller for a 14-yard gain, which had an additional 15-yard tacked on for a facemask penalty to get the Buckeyes to the Maryland 13. Again, Cardale Jones trotted to the sideline, first giving way to Miller in the Wildcat formation, and then Barrett once the ball was on the 5-yard line. It was Barrett under center when Ezekiel Elliot broke through at the 2-yard line on just the second play of the second quarter to put Ohio State up 14-7.

Jones did get his chance toward the end of the second quarter to show he can perform in the red zone. Jones completed two big passes to Braxton Miller. The first 33 yards with Miller running down the seam wide open. Jones barely misfired, but Miller dove for a great catch to get the Buckeyes to the Maryland 19. When Jones dropped back on his first possession of the day in the scoring zone, he nailed Miller in the corner of the end zone to push the lead up 21-7.

Maryland, however, would not just roll over. The big play has hurt Ohio State all season, and Maryland took advantage to close out the first half. Perry Hills busted through the heart of the Buckeye defense and ran 75 yards down the field before being tripped up by Vonn Bell. Last week, it was Zander Diamont going for a 79 yard score for Indinia. Before that, it was a Daniel Braverman 55 yard touchdown catch. Hills would run it in for a touchdown on the next play to make it a one score game heading into half time, 21-14.

Maryland would not let up at the onset of the 3rd quarter. Hills led a 9 play, 69 yard drive to start the second half, culminating in a 4 yard rushing touchdown by the Terrapins quarterback. The drive was kept alive by a Joey Bosa rough the passer penalty that was reviewed as a targeting penalty. Luckily for the Buckeyes, the targeting was waved off, but the roughing call still allowed the Terrapins and Hills to keep the scoring drive alive.

But Ohio State would respond in a big way. After forcing a three and out and a shanked 22 yard punt, Cardale Jones hooked up with Jalin Marshall for a 48 yard score on the very first play of the drive to get the Buckeyes ahead 28-21. Another three and out for the Buckeyes defense, highlighted by a 8 yard sack from Josh Perry, gave the Ohio State offense another chance to assert themselves. Ezekiel Elliot totaled 46 yards n a 9 play, 64 yard drive ending with J.T. Barrett’s second rushing touchdown of the afternoon.

Ohio State’s next possession sealed the deal and saw Ezekiel Elliot continue his run on 100 yard rushing performances. A 16-yard score gave Elliot his 11th straight game over the century mark and his second touchdown of the day. J.T. Barrett, who at this point has replaced Cardale Jones with the game in hand, set up the Elliot score with a 25 yard run of his own.

But it was the defense on the series before that really made the difference. Maryland had put together a 13 play drive which saw Hills convert a 4th and 8. But the last two plays showed that Joey Bosa has rounded into form, forcing a scramble for no gain and then a sack to turn the ball over on down on Maryland’s final two plays of that series.

Barrett would add a third rushing score to put Ohio State up 49-21 after Perry Hills was picked off by Tyvus Powell on a terrible throw right down the middle of the field in desperation. Sam Hubbard would also add an interception late in the 4th when the second defense unit was subbed into the game, the first of his career.

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