Ohio State Football vs. Maryland: Game Time Decisions for the Buckeyes vs. the Terrapins

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Ohio State football’s only job this week is to make sure a road win over Maryland doesn’t have the same dramatic ending as the last time it came at College Park.

The last thing this team needs before heading into a potential No. 2-No. 3 match-up with Michigan is another overtime game that, like in 2018, boils down to a failed 2-point conversion attempt. This week should be about getting rid of any issues that still exist while also gaining valuable in-game replays for some players when running back considering how good the space is.

Here are some questions that need to be answered in week 11:

Can the wide receivers get their groove back?

Ohio State needs more of its undisclosed wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr., as the sophomore was the only high-level option for much of the last three weeks. In victories over Penn State, Northwestern and Indiana, Harrison caught 22 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown, including two 100-yard days. This level of production cannot be said of other starters Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming. These two combined have 13 catches for 155 yards and one touchdown, and only one of them can say he’s had at least 50 yards in a game.

Harrison has already begun to draw the attention of opposing defensive coordinators and that will only increase in the coming week. It means he has to work a little harder to open up, but it should open things up for the other two as well.

“If they want to double me, that’s great,” Harrison said. “We can let the ball go because there are fewer people in the box. Or it gives other recipients one-on-one coverage (and) I know they’re sure to win. It’s my job to go out there and get two for the team. That’s all I can do.”

The Buckeyes used a 56-14 win over Indiana to help their quarterback find his passing groove. A win over Maryland should do the same for his other guns as they enter the part of the season where everyone has to be at their best.

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Will Jim Knowles keep things simple?

Ohio State Defense has been gradually adding new levels each week as more and more humans become a weapon. That could make for a big day against Maryland, but it also doesn’t have to clear the clip to win this game. At least it shouldn’t have to.

Both sides of the ball are undoubtedly saving things for November 26, which in turn could mean keeping things simple against the Terrapins. The defensive line has proven capable of allowing the Buckeyes to apply pressure often enough with a four that Knowles doesn’t have to do anything overly creative to succeed. That’s not to say we shouldn’t expect to see the occasional linebacker or safety strobes, just that there might not be a healthy dose of it.

Knowles stressed the need to let go of guys like Jack Sawyer, which gives him less to think about and allows him to play freely. That happened against Indiana and resulted in his best game of the season. Sawyer may not be the only player he applies this to on Saturday.

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What does QB1 think of his final vote?

CJ Stroud got his groove back against Indiana. He can continue to build on that momentum on Saturday by tearing Maryland apart. That should mean another day of floating about 300 yards and three to five touchdown passes.

If Ohio State takes care of business, Stroud should be a spectator in the fourth quarter and keep his attention on The Game. Last season this week he lost the Heisman Trophy. This season, that may be why he’s winning them.

“He’s had a really good week at work,” said the head coach ryan day told The Fan during his weekly radio show on 97.1. “His workout on Tuesday was as good as I’ve seen him do in a Tuesday workout.”

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