COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State star defensive end Chase Young is out for this game while the school investigates a possible NCAA rules violation related to a loan the player says he took from a family friend.
But Young’s absence isn’t expected to make much difference in a meeting of Big Ten teams heading in opposite directions.
The Buckeyes are 42-point favorites against Maryland and will be heavily favored next week against Rutgers whether Young plays or not. Their final two games, however, will have Big Ten and national championship implications: at home against No. 5 Penn State and on the road against archrival No. 14 Michigan.
The Buckeyes haven’t seriously been challenged in their eight wins and need to sustain momentum before facing Penn State and Michigan to finish the regular season.
Maryland has won just once in the last seven games, losing last week to Michigan 38-7.
Maryland gave Ohio State a scare late last season but likely isn’t in position to play that well against the charging Buckeyes this time.
Last season vs. then-No. 9 Ohio State, Maryland RB Anthony McFarland Jr. rushed for 298 yards, the second-most in program history, as Ohio State won 52-51 in overtime.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields vs. Maryland’s defense.
Fields has been able to complete passes almost at will and make things happen with his feet when necessary.
Maryland has the worst pass defense in the Big Ten, so expect the sophomore Georgia transfer to have a huge day.
Fields is completing nearly 69% of his passes and has thrown 24 for touchdowns.
Players to Watch
Maryland: LB Keandre Jones, a transfer from Ohio State, is one of the Terps’ best defensive players. He has 45 tackles, including six of Maryland’s 18 sacks.
Ohio State: RB J.K. Dobbins. One of the best ball-carriers in the nation is having a tremendous season, averaging 154 yards per game. He’s the perfect complement to Fields, who clears space for him with a deadly efficient passing game. Dobbins could be pushing 2,000 yards for the season by the time it’s all over.