COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Dallan Hayden scored three touchdowns in the second half of No. 2 Ohio State’s 43-30 win over Maryland to create a monumental matchup between the Buckeyes and rival Michigan next weekend.
Just before Ohio State (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) and Maryland (6-5, 3-5) kicked off, third-placed Michigan beat Illinois with a late field goal. The Buckeyes then had many problems of their own against the Terrapins. Ohio State was 13-10 down at halftime and the Buckeyes were just 33-30 up when they turned the ball over at the Maryland 42 with 6-36 in the game.
However, Ohio State forced a three-and-out, and Hayden helped the Buckeyes lose most of the time remaining. Noah Ruggles kicked in a 45-yard field goal with 42 seconds left and Steele Chambers added a defensive touchdown with 9 seconds left.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who fiddled with that play, stayed down the field for a while before walking away very slowly.
Hayden finished with 146 yards on 27 carries.
TreVeyon Henderson returned after missing Ohio State’s last two games while injured. He caught an early 31-yard touchdown pass from CJ Stroud but only managed 19 yards on 11 carries.
Tagovailoa completed his first 11 passes, and although the Terps were content with a couple of field goals early on in the red zone, they went in 13-10 after a 1-yard TD catch from CJ Dippre with 3:52 left lead at halftime.
This was a far cry from the previous two Ohio State-Maryland encounters, which the Buckeyes won 73-14 and 66-17 — though it wasn’t quite as staggering for them as their 52-51 overtime win over the Terps in 2018. This game also took place the week before they faced Michigan.
The Buckeyes went down with three points in the third and regained the lead after Lathan Ransom blocked a punt, giving Ohio State the ball at the Maryland 14. An 8-yard touchdown run by Hayden gave the Buckeyes a 17-13 advantage.
Hayden hit on a 3-yard run with 16 seconds left in the third to make it 27-13, but Maryland responded with Tagovailoa’s 5-yard scoring run early in the fourth. A 2-point conversion cut the lead to six.
Hayden hit another 13-yard run, but Jakorian Bennett returned a blocked extra point for two points, making it 33-23.
Tagovailoa threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeshaun Jones on the fourth down after scrambling to the right to keep the game going. This shortened the lead to three with 9:49 to go.
THE TAKE AWAY
Ohio State: This was the second-highest scoring the Buckeyes have conceded this season, surpassed only in their 44-31 win over Penn State, but Ohio State escaped down the road and showed they have enough depth to run back, no matter how healthy Henderson is, it’s next weekend.
Maryland: The improvement in terps this year may not be reflected in their final balance sheet. They played hard in a 34-27 loss to Michigan in September and then also stayed within a point of Ohio State. It’s their two losses before this one – to Wisconsin and Penn State by a combined 53-10 – that will leave a sour taste.
Ohio State: It’s the game the Buckeyes and Wolverines have been waiting for – next Saturday at Ohio State.
Maryland: The Terrapins host Rutgers to end the regular season.
Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister
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