Rapid reaction: Stroud continues to roll as Buckeyes smash Maryland
It’s a small sample to work with, but it appears that CJ Stroud likes Big Ten play. He showed it by continuing to tweak the OSU record book as the Buckeyes bested Maryland 66-17.
A week after throwing 5 touchdowns, which approached OSU’s single game record (of 6), Stroud threw 5 more, and also enjoyed just the 8th 400-yard passing performance in OSU history — and his 2nd in 5 games played. In 3 games of Big Ten play, Stroud has now passed for over 1,000 yards with 14 touchdowns against a single interception. The Ohio State offense took its cue from Stroud, breaking 50 points in the third quarter and rolling all over Maryland.
Maryland took the game’s opening kickoff and drove to the OSU 18 before a sack from Javontae John-Baptiste and Haskell Garrett pushed the Terps back, and into settling for a 48-yard Joseph Petrino field goal. The kick gave Maryland a 3-0 edge with 10:20 left in the opening quarter, but that would be the Terps’ final lead. OSU answered with a methodical 88-yard march that saw Stroud connect with 4 different receivers. The final play was a 2-yard scoring connection with Garrett Wilson on 4th-and-goal that gave OSU a 7-3 advantage with 4:03 to play in the opening quarter.
After a 3-and-out for Maryland, OSU went 74 yards in 5 plays, including a 30-yard catch for TreVeyon Henderson and a 29-yard grab for Wilson. Henderson ran the ball into the end zone from 4 yards out to cap the drive just before the end of the first quarter.
Another Maryland punt then yielded a 3-play, 62-yard drive for OSU, ending with Stroud hitting Chris Olave for a 36-yard scoring connection. Maryland pulled within 21-10 on a Taulia Tagovailoa 7-yard pass to Carlos Carriere with 7:37 left in the half. But after a 67-yard kick return from Emeka Egbuka, Stroud found Henderson for a 26-yard scoring pass. Seconds before halftime, OSU widened its lead to 35-10 on an 8-yard Master Teague scoring run.
After intermission, Stroud picked up where he left off, finishing a 7-play drive with a 26-yard touchdown to Wilson, his second of the game. The following OSU possession yielded a 30-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Olave, which was Stroud’s 5th score of the game. After a TreVeyon Henderson 14-yard touchdown run on the next drive made the talley 56-10, most of the Buckeye starters called it a day.
Olave and Wilson each had 2 touchdown grabs, with Olave and Jaxson Smith-Njigba each surpassing 100 receiving yards. TreVeyon Henderson started slow, but eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the game with his own trio of scores, 2 on the ground, 1 in the air.
The somewhat maligned OSU defense was solid early, although they did yield some yardage to Tagovailoa and the Terps in garbage time. Maryland was under 200 total yards until late in the third quarter, when mass substitutions began. The Buckeye pass rush continues to improve, with a trio of early sacks highlighting that status.
The Buckeyes did nothing to hamper their resurgence in the Big Ten, and at 5-1, they will next take on Indiana in Bloomington on Oct. 23. Maryland fell to 4-2 after a 4-0 start that was tempered by drubbings from Iowa and OSU in the last 2 weeks. The Terrapins will next play at Minnesota after their own bye week.