Surging Ohio State is meeting a Big Ten East rival that is going in the opposite direction. The Buckeyes haven’t seriously been challenged in their eight wins and need to sustain momentum before facing No. 5 Penn State and No. 14 Michigan to finish the regular season. Maryland has won just once in the last seven games, losing last week to Michigan 38-7 one week after a 42-point drubbing at the hands of Minnesota. 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.
Ohio State QB Justin Fields vs. Maryland’s defense. Fields can 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 competing nearly 69% of his passes and has thrown for 24 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: DE Chase Young. The All-American is having a tremendous season and has worked his way into the Heisman Trophy conversation. The Ohio State defensive front will shove around the Maryland offensive line, setting up Young to add to his nation-leading 13.5 sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ohio State has won 31 of its last 32 home games against Big Ten opponents since 2012 by an average margin of 23.3 points. ... Fields has accounted for 33 touchdowns (24 passing, nine rushing), second best in the nation. ... Maryland is one of only two power five teams — the other is UCLA — with a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns this season. ... 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.