Terps host Buckeyes looking to clinch a bowl birth
WHEN: Saturday November 17th 2017
WHERE: Maryland Stadium in College Park Maryland
TIME: Kickoff is set for 12 noon
TV: ABC (check your local channel listings)
WEEK 12 OUTLOOK
After experiencing their first back to back loses of the season last weekend in Bloomington Indiana.
Maryland returns home to play host to an Ohio State team that has shown plenty of weaknesses this season.
The Terps may never get as good a shot to beat a top 10 rank OSU team as they’ll have come Saturday afternoon in College Park.
The buckeyes were beaten in lopsided fashion by a Purdue team that is still struggling to maintain a .500 winning record. The Buckeyes are simply not the same juggernaut they’ve been in recent years.
OSU will come into College Park sporting a very inconsistent defense and an offense that has been mostly one dimensional all season.
The Buckeyes have as good a passing offense as any team in the Nation but have struggled all season long to establish their running game.
Not for lack of talent however as the Buckeyes still have JK Dobbins and Mike Weber Jr, two of arguably the best running backs in the conference a season ago.
Dobbins is more of a home run threat while Weber is their short yardage back.
Both these guys may be struggling coming in but if Maryland doesn’t come up with a good game plan to continue to keep them quiet then that could be very costly to their chances of winning.
Maryland offense if they can complete some passes and stay in good downs and distances should be able to find some success getting their athletes in space.
When the Buckeyes have had issues, this season its directly due to their defense lack of tackling in space and their inability to open up running lanes for their quality backs.
TERPS LOOKING FOR THE UPSET
Since joining the Big ten conference in 2014 Maryland has been taking annual spanking in the hands of the Buckeyes yearly.
OSU’s history and prestige are something the Terps had always strive to attain thus beating a team like the Buckeyes at home to become bowl eligible would be truly magically for the program as a Whole especially after all the distractions this season.
Terps come into the game at .500 with a 5-5 overall record but a losing conference record at 2-4 after back to back conference loss to Michigan State and Indiana.
The Indiana loss last weekend was especially more painful as the Terps nearly out gained the Hoosiers 2 to 1 in total yardage but 4 very costly turnovers prove too much to overcome for the road victory.
That loss couple with their remaining schedule leave many to wonder if this year’s team would even make it to a bowl game this season after such a good start to their season at 4-2.
After the Buckeyes game the Terps will travel to a top 20 ranked Penn State team next weekend to close out their regular season.
Not an easy schedule by any means but this was what Maryland signed up for when they joined this gauntlet of historic football powers that is the Big ten conference east division.
Maryland will never duck neither of their next two opponents thus why not try and beat them.
The Terps defense is still ranked #4 in the conference in total defense but 1st in the conference and also in the Country in interceptions.
The Terps defense has quietly been outstanding all season if it wasn’t for the distractions and lack of passing attack in big games this team would’ve long had their 6th win by now and gain bowl eligibility.
The Buckeyes offensive line is a major concern for them thus if Maryland can have success keeping them one dimensional and force the Buckeyes to have to throw to beat them Maryland would have a good shot at pulling off the upset at home.
It will be Senior day for guys like Jesse Aniebonam, Darnell Savage Jr, Derwin James, & Damien Prince guys that have be instrumental in building the roster to where it is now where the Terps are perfectly set up for some major success in the near future with the right head coaching hire.
These guys loyalty to the school and program should be forever recommended as they never wavered in them believe in Maryland becoming a football school down the near future.
In a season that could’ve easily been a lost season and no one would’ve blamed these guys had this team went totally winless this season.
However, the leadership they brought each and every day allowed the younger guys to follow and nothing would be more suiting than seeing them becoming bowl eligible by beating a top 10 Buckeyes team to do so.
NO HOMETOWN LOVE FOR HASKINS
Ever since his very publicize decision to spun the home town school in Maryland for the divisional rivals in OSU Dwayne Haskins has long been a hated figure in the Maryland faithful circles.
Now a Junior starting quarterback for the Buckeyes all Haskins has done is gone on to become just the type of elite passer many Terps faithful believe he’ll be back then but only for their beloved Terrapins not the Buckeyes.
Haskins is now in the thick of the Heisman race and with the season he’s had passing (over 3,400 passing yards and 32+ touchdowns) and leading the Buckeyes right in the middle of the College Football playoffs race, one would expect him to possibly make the jump into the pros at season’s end.
Losing Haskins back then still hurt as the program still haven’t been able to find quality passers.
While Kasim Hill has the potential to be great Maryland still hasn’t even had a 2,000-yard passer since their very first year in the big ten when senior Cj Brown accomplished the feat.
One can only imagine how the Terps roster might have been like with Haskins behind the center taking snaps.
Back then Haskins was a very immature kid which got under the Terps faithful skin even more however the guy has clearly matured and grown into a fine student athlete.
The Terps players sure will not be forgiving though, since many of them still remember some of the talking Haskins was doing on social media after his decision to flip to OSU.
Look for the Terps defensive juniors and seniors to take this match up very personal with Haskins and that OSU entire offense.
Junior linebacker Keandre Jones is another local guy who spun the Terps late that same year along with Haskins for the Buckeyes.
Both guys will hear a lot of boos Saturday evening but Jones is still a backup linebacker who struggles to stay on the field but has been a good player for them on special teams.
Both of these guys would’ve made great Terps but things happen and now all I can hope for is for all to stay healthy and for the Terps to pull out the home win for their seniors.
KEY TO A WIN
- Feed McFarland and don’t go away from him at any point.
- Protect Piggy as the Buckeyes still have arguably the best defensive line in all of College Football.
- PROTECT the ball/ZERO turnovers
- Keep OSU off balance throw on 1st downs
- KEEP OSU one dimensional. Bring an extra man or two to load the box don’t allow them to run
- FORCE Haskins out of the pocket where he’s uncomfortable. Make it a very uncomfortable pocket
- BLIT Haskins as that OSU offensive line is pretty weak for a top 10 team. Get after them
- DON’T get beat Deep. OSU feed off deep bombs Keep every completion in front of you and come up and gang tackle
Terps defense create havoc for that much on the line OSU offensive line all day sacking Haskins 4 times and forcing Haskins into 4 turnovers 2 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles.
The Terps will be badly out gained in total yardage but the offense does just enough as they play a clean turnover less game and the defense plays with absolute desperation and lead them to a hard fought 24–21 victory with the Terps holding the Buckeyes scoreless the entire 4th quarter to secure the huge victory for our seniors.
This WILL be the biggest upset of the season thus far.