ANALYSIS: 5 things to know about Ohio State’s win over Maryland

Ohio State survived another wacky Maryland game one week before facing Michigan.

Four years ago, it was a 52-51 overtime triumph for the Buckeyes.

ExplorePHOTOS: Ohio State outlasts Maryland

This time, they outlasted the Terrapins 43-30 to set up a clash of unbeatens next Saturday in Columbus.

“When you’re playing in November in the Big Ten, I mean these are these are challenges week in and week out and the No. 1 goal is to win and move on,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said.

Here are five things to know about the game:

1. It was closer than the final score.

Maryland outgained the visitors 402-401 and had a decided advantage through the air (318-241).

Both teams had nine explosives plays (passes of 15 yards or more and runs of 10 yards or more).

Maryland averaged 5.9 yards per play to Ohio State’s 5.5, and both teams scored on all five red zone trips.

2. A blocked punt changed the game.

For the second week in a row, Lathan Ransom blocked a punt. This time Xavier Henderson recovered at the Maryland 14 to set up Ohio State’s go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter.

With the help of that sequence, Ohio State dominated the third quarter after losing the first half. They outscored the hosts 17-0 and outgained them 125-45 in those 15 minutes to set up a wild fourth quarter that Maryland won 17-16 and had a 146-117 yardage advantage.

3. TreVeyon Henderson returned, but he was not as effective as Dallan Hayden.

Henderson, a sophomore expected to be one of the top backs in the nation this season, tried to play on an injured foot after missing three games.

He caught a 31-yard touchdown on a screen pass early but struggled to hit holes as the first half wore on and ended up with 19 yards on 11 carries.

Hayden picked up the slack and found the end zone three times in the second half, finding creases in the defense and exploiting them for more than five yards a pop.

“We we didn’t quite get the running game going there in the first half, and then made the change to Dallan, and he really got us into a rhythm,” Day said. “I thought he was hitting the holes hard. Right after the blocked punt there, two good hard runs, and that was good.”

4. Taulia Tagovailoa outplayed C.J. Stroud.

Maryland’s quarterback was nearly the player of the game as Tagovailoa completed 26 of 36 passes for 293 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for 39 yards, but 27 of those were erased on sacks. He lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown to end Maryland’s comeback hopes, but he did not have much of a chance on that play as Ohio State’s Zach Harrison stripped him from behind.

Stroud was not sharp early but ended up 18 for 30 for 241 yards and a touchdown without a turnover.

5. This all had a somewhat familiar feel.

Ohio State came within a failed two-point conversion of losing to the Terrapins on their last trip to College Park in 2018.

This one was not that close, but it had the same frenetic feel at times. And in both cases, Ohio State’s date with Michigan was looming over the whole thing.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines also had a tougher-than-expected day. They had to rally at home to beat Illinois 19-17 on a field goal in the final minute.

With both winning, the teams will meet as undefeated for the fourth time (1970, ‘73 and 2006).

Game ball

Hayden saved the day again. A week after running for over 100 yards against Indiana in relief of an injured Miyan Williams, Hayden ran for 146 yards in a much tighter game.

Stat of the game

Ohio State converted three of four short-yardage runs after struggling in that area the last four games. The Buckeyes did fail to convert a fourth-and-1 on which Day called a pass, though.

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