Terps-OSU matchup likely different this time around
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — One year ago, Maryland took Ohio State into overtime before a failed 2-point conversion resulted in a 52-51 defeat.
In the rematch Saturday, the Terrapins are a 43-point underdog — for several reasons.
No. 3 Ohio State is playing at home, unbeaten and riding a defense that has allowed a total of 42 points in the last seven games.
Maryland, on the other hand, has yielded 164 points during a four-game losing streak.
“We are a work in pro-gress as a program,” first-year coach Michael Locksley conceded Tuesday.
Still, 43 points is one heck of a point spread — the largest in the Football Bowl Subdivision this week, according to odds posted by pregame.com.
“Oh wow. That’s a lot. I didn’t see that,” Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson said. “I don’t pay much attention to it.”
Locksley knows the Terrapins (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) must play flawlessly to pull off a major upset. But that almost happened last season, so who’s to say it’s impossible?
“The good thing is, a lot of guys in our locker room were part of the game last year,” said Locksley, who was then Alabama’s offensive coordinator. “I would hope that will give us confidence that, when we play the type of football we’re capable of playing, things like last year” can happen.
Though memory of that game might drive the Terps, studying game film would be almost useless. Urban Meyer has been replaced as head coach at Ohio State by Ryan Day, Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins is in the NFL and junior defensive end Chase Young has become a disruptive force.
“Obviously a lot has changed for both teams since last year, but the confidence of knowing they played toe-to-toe with one of the top programs in the country is something I hope to build upon with our guys,” Locksley said.
Maryland running back Anthony McFarland Jr. enjoyed the finest day of his career in that duel with the then-No.9 Buckeyes. He ran for 298 yards, including touchdown runs of 71 and 80 yards in the first quarter.
It’s been a rough season for McFarland. He has missed two games with a high ankle sprain and is still not 100%. The sophomore has only 459 yards rushing compared to 1,034 in 2018.
Injuries have played a major role for Maryland. Jackson has also been hindered by a high ankle sprain and the offensive line has been patched together on a weekly basis.
Locksley said senior right guard Terrance Davis could sit out the rest of the season and take a redshirt if his injured knee does not improve.