1. The Buckeyes’ defense pitching a shutout last weekend does not bode well for the Terrapins.
The offense isn’t the only place where the Bucks have improved. Defensively, the Bucks have struggled for much of this season but it seems the holes have been getting sealed sooner than later. This is a welcome development as there was some real concern surrounding whether the secondary could pull it together.
Last weekend was a statement from the defense stating that they had something to prove. The Bucks shutout Rutgers 56-0. This included holding the Scarlet Knights under 100 passing yards and just 117 rushing yards. Pure dominance is almost an understatement to describe their performance.
This Buckeye defense had let up the sixth most passing yards in the entire country after the first two games of the season. They are now giving up just 200 yards a game which is up to 35th in the nation. This vast improvement may not speak volumes considering that their competition recently has been far from top notch but it at least provides some confidence that it’s going in the right direction.
Though Maryland may be a better overall team than the last few opponents the Buckeyes have faced, their offense isn’t much better. As noted earlier, Maryland is playing with their third string quarterback in an offense that is not extremely explosive through the air in the first place. Their passing offense ranks 102nd in the nation. Considering how the first two games went for the Bucks’ defense, winning the battle through passing the ball would be the only way the Terrapins would stand a real chance.
The Terrapins have a running game that is the real deal but that is not going to cut it against this Bucks defense. The Bucks will be able to contain running back Ty Johnson as the Terrapins don’t pose as a tremendous threat through the air. Yes, they have a quality receiver in D.J. Moore but one receiver won’t be enough to make the difference. This is also considering that Bortenschlager can get him the ball effectively in the first place.
The Bucks’ defense is starting to come together at just the right time when the real competition in the conference comes up on the schedule. Maryland will be next in line to take a crack at getting through this defense but their skill players will be in over their heads in this one. Expect the Bucks to keep the Terrapins’ play makers under control.