Ohio State marched up and down a field it had never seen before as if it owned the place, scoring on one quick drive after another as the No. 20 Buckeyes piled up 533 yards Saturday and spoiled Maryland’s Big Ten home debut with a 52-24 win.
J.T. Barrett completed 18 of 23 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns and also ran 16 times for 71 yards and a score. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries, and the defense had four interceptions to hush the first sellout crowd at College Park in nearly six years.
The 51,802 fans, at least those rooting for the home team, must’ve wondered what their great conference shift had wrought. Ohio State scored on drives lasting 3:01, 3:27, 1:18, 1:46 and 0:05 to take a 31-10 halftime lead. The Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0) have scored 168 points in three wins since losing to Virginia Tech. They won their 17th straight Big Ten regular-season game — as well as their 17th consecutive Big Ten opener.
The Terrapins (4-2, 1-1) had an impressive Big Ten debut win on the road the previous week at Indiana, but their major highlight in their first-ever meeting with the Buckeyes was a school-record 57-yard field goal by Brad Craddock.
C.J. Brown started for Maryland despite leaving the Indiana victory with a sprained left wrist. He played the first half and was ineffective and often under pressure, completing 11 of 18 passes for 71 yards with three sacks. He also threw an interception deep in Maryland territory late in the half.
Caleb Rowe replaced Brown in the second half and led a promising drive until his unwise heave was picked off by Eli Apple in the end zone.
The Buckeyes then went back to work making the Terrapins look like, well, terrapins. An 80-yard drive needed only four plays and 1:27 before Barrett hit Devin Smith was a 30-yard down-the-middle strike to make it a four-touchdown lead. Barrett later added a 9-yard scoring run to cap a 60-yard drive that sapped an entire 4:02 off the clock.
Rowe finished 13 for 22 for 173 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, including one returned 19 yards by Raekwon McMillan for a Buckeyes score.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was concerned about the big plays allowed by his defense — three touchdowns of 60-plus yards — in a 50-28 win over Cincinnati the previous week. The problem isn’t fully solved: Rowe hit Jacquille Veii for a 60-yard pass to set up a fourth-quarter score.
The Terrapins continued a streak of futility against Top 25 teams they brought with them from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Maryland has dropped 13 of its last 14 against ranked teams, and coach Randy Edsall is 0-9 in such games with the Terrapins and 1-25 overall.
Meyer improved, to 23-1 against unranked teams since arriving at Ohio State.
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