Recap: Maryland vs. Ohio State
College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - J.T. Barrett threw four touchdown passes and ran for a score, as 20th-ranked Ohio State spoiled Maryland's first home game in the Big Ten with a 52-24 victory on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
Barrett completed 18-of-23 passes for 267 yards and ran for 71 yards on 16 carries for the Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who played their conference opener and have now won 17 consecutive regular-season Big Ten games.
Ezekiel Elliott added 139 yards on the ground for Ohio State, which racked up 269 rushing yards and 533 yards of total offense. The Buckeyes have won three straight in convincing fashion, cracking the 50-point barrier in each game, since a stunning 35-21 home loss to Virginia Tech in early September.
Caleb Rowe threw for 173 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions for Maryland (4-2, 1-1), which won its Big Ten opener last week at Indiana. Rowe played the second half for the Terrapins after starter C.J. Brown threw for just 71 yards with an interception in the opening 30 minutes.
"I felt that we needed to be able to throw the football a little bit more in the second half if we were going to have an opportunity to win. So that's why I ended up making the decision I made to go with Caleb," said Maryland coach Randy Edsall.
"C.J. is our quarterback, but I felt that we just needed to do that and that's why I made the decision that I made."
Ohio State scored on its first two possessions. The Buckeyes ran seven times on an eight-play series to start the game, finishing the 75-yard drive with a Rod Smith 1-yard touchdown run, then went to the air on the next set. Barrett completed four of his five passes on the eight-play march and hit Jalin Marshall from nine yards away for a 14-0 lead.
"(Having a fast start) was critical and I knew that coming in. It's not just Maryland, it's any time you go on the road," said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. "I had never been to this stadium; it's a very nice stadium with the students and fans right on you. But it worked out that we started on the other end to get some momentum going.
"I've had teams before with a noon kickoff that have a dull look coming out of the locker room and that wasn't the case. I could tell they were ready to go when they got up this morning."
The Terrapins countered the second score with a school-record 57-yard field goal from Brad Craddock, and Sean Nuernberger missed from 48 yards away in the first minute of the second quarter on Ohio State's ensuing touch.
After a Maryland punt, Ohio State needed just three plays to again find the end zone. Barrett ran twice for 31 yards and threw a 25-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas for a 21-3 edge.
Nuernberger added 28-yard field goal for the Buckeyes before Maryland embarked on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a Wes Brown 2-yard touchdown run.
Ohio State was forced to punt for the first time on its next possession and pinned the Terps at their own 7. Darron Lee then picked off C.J. Brown on the next play to set up Barrett's 1-yard TD pass to Nick Vannett in the final minute of the half, giving the Buckeyes a 31-10 margin at the intermission.
The Buckeyes took their first possession of the second half right down the field, but Barrett was dropped for a loss on 4th-and-goal at 3-yard line. Eli Apple then picked off Rowe in the end zone to stop a Maryland threat and Ohio State went 80 yards the other way in just four plays to counter. Elliott twice ran for 11 yards and Barrett threw a 28-yard pass to Jeff Heuerman before finding Devin Smith with a 30-yard TD toss to make it 38-10.
Maryland followed with another 75-yard drive for a score, ending on a 2-yard Brandon Ross run, but Barrett scored on a 9-yard scamper on the first play of the fourth quarter to extend the cushion to 45-17.
The Terps answered in just 82 seconds, as Rowe and Jacquille Veii hooked up for a 60-yard connection to set up a 4-yard TD pass to Stefon Diggs. Maryland got the ball back after an Ohio State punt, but Raekwon McMillan picked off Rowe's next throw and returned the interception 19 yards to the end zone.
Rowe was again intercepted on the next Maryland possession, but Ohio State backup quarterback Cardale Jones couldn't cash in when he was stopped on fourth down at the Maryland 1.Game Notes
Ohio State improved to 11-0 on the road under Meyer ... Maryland has lost 13
of its last 14 games against ranked teams ... Ohio State is closing in on the
record of 20 consecutive Big Ten wins, a mark the Buckeyes set from 2005-07
... The Buckeyes play their Big Ten home opener next Saturday against another
conference newcomer in Rutgers ... Maryland has next Saturday off and hosts
Iowa on Oct. 18.