No. 2 Ohio State holds off Terps 43-30, Michigan next

Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – C.J. Stroud and Ohio State have waited a year for this.

Now it’s time to face Michigan – and after more struggles than usual this weekend, the Buckeyes and Wolverines will indeed be undefeated when they meet next weekend.

Dallan Hayden scored three touchdowns in the second half of No. 2 Ohio State’s 43-30 victory over Maryland on Saturday. The Buckeyes and No. 3 Michigan cleared their final hurdles, and now Ohio State will try to avenge last season’s loss to the Wolverines – its first in the series in a decade.

“We’ve been licking our wounds for 365 days, hearing all the laughing, everything that everybody’s been saying,” said Stroud, Ohio State’s star quarterback. “I definitely think that we’ve been preparing for it, not only on the field but in the weight room as well.”

Just before Ohio State (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) and Maryland (6-5, 3-5) kicked off, Michigan edged Illinois on a late field goal. The Buckeyes then had plenty of problems of their own against the Terrapins. Ohio State trailed 13-10 at halftime, and the Buckeyes were up just 33-30 when they turned the ball over on downs at the Maryland 42 with 6:36 remaining in the game.

Ohio State forced a three-and-out, however, and then the Buckeyes ran out most of the remaining time. Noah Ruggles kicked a 45-yard field goal with 42 seconds left, and Steele Chambers added a defensive touchdown with 9 seconds to play.

“We’re never satisfied with a loss, obviously, but what you saw today is us go blow for blow with a team I consider to be one of the best in the country,” Maryland coach Michael Locksley said.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, whose fumble Chambers scored on, was injured on that play and walked off very slowly.

Hayden finished with 146 yards on 27 carries.

TreVeyon Henderson returned after missing Ohio State’s previous two games while injured. He caught an early 31-yard touchdown pass from Stroud but managed only 19 yards on 11 carries.

“It got to the point where we just decided we weren’t going to put him in anymore,” coach Ryan Day said.

Day said Henderson had a great week of practice, and the team will keep evaluating him. Day is hopeful running back Miyan Williams will be back next week after leaving last weekend’s game with a leg injury.

Tagovailoa completed his first 11 passes, and although the Terps settled for a couple field goals in the red zone early on, they went ahead 13-10 on a 1-yard TD catch by CJ Dippre with 3:52 left in the half.

This was a far cry from the previous two Ohio State-Maryland meetings, which the Buckeyes won 73-14 and 66-17 – although it wasn’t quite as harrowing for them as their 52-51 overtime win over the Terps in 2018. That game also came the week before they faced Michigan.

A blocked punt set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Hayden and gave the Buckeyes a 17-13 advantage in the third.

“I love the way we competed tonight, even though it wasn’t pretty,” Stroud said. “I don’t think a lot of games today were pretty.”

Hayden’s second touchdown made it 27-13, but Maryland answered with Tagovailoa’s 5-yard scoring run, plus a 2-point conversion. After another TD run by Hayden, Jakorian Bennett returned a blocked extra point all the way for two points, making the score 33-23.

Tagovailoa threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeshaun Jones to trim the lead to three with 9:49 to go.

THE TAKEAWAY

Ohio State: This was the second-most points allowed by the Buckeyes this season, surpassed only in their 44-31 win over Penn State, but Ohio State escaped on the road and showed it has enough depth at running back no matter how healthy Henderson is next weekend.

Maryland: The Terps’ improvement this year might not be reflected in their final record. They played Michigan tough in a 34-27 loss in September and were within a field goal of Ohio State with a minute remaining. It’s their two losses prior to this one – to Wisconsin and Penn State by a combined 53-10 – that will leave a sour taste.

MILESTONE

Tagovailoa become Maryland’s career leader with 7,316 yards passing. He passed Scott Milanovich (7,301) to take over the top spot.

He didn’t sound too concerned about his late injury.

“My knee is good,” he said. “Obviously, it’s been bothering me the whole season but I think it just hit the ground real hard. I think it’s just a bad bruise.”

UP NEXT

Ohio State: The Buckeyes host Michigan next Saturday, with the winner advancing to the Big Ten title game.

Maryland: The Terrapins host Rutgers to end the regular season.

No. 14 Penn State defense shines in 30-0 rout of Maryland

Penn State v Maryland
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Nick Singleton scored two touchdowns and ran for 113 of his 122 yards in the first half and the defense of No. 14 Penn State smothered Maryland in a 30-0 win on Saturday.

Tight end Brenton Strange caught a touchdown pass and Jake Pinegar kicked three field goals for the Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP), who beat Maryland for the seventh time in nine games since the Terps (6-4, 3-4) joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Like the overall series, this one was all Nittany Lions thanks to Penn State’s pass rush.

Soggy conditions couldn’t slow Penn State’s front seven. Neither could Maryland’s reeling offensive line.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was hit hard as he threw incomplete on the Terps’ first play from scrimmage – an omen of things to come from a Nittany Lion defense that notched seven sacks, seven QB hurries, forced nine punts and three turnovers on down.

The Nittany Lions did most of their damage early. They sacked Tagovailoa five times and held Maryland to just 27 total yards before halftime.

By that point, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had put the game out of reach when he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Strange just 6:08 in. Meanwhile, Singleton lapped Maryland’s defense on a pair of fourth-and-inches runs that went for 45- and 27-yard touchdowns. Pinegar added field goals from 50 and 46 yards to put Penn State up 27-0 at halftime.

Pinegar added a 21-yarder midway through the third.

Tagovailoa finished 11 for 22 for 74 yards. Roman Hemby led the Terps with 68 rushing yards on 13 carries.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: It looks as if it could be another long November for the Terps. They’re just 2-9 in the month all-time under coach Mike Locksley and were beaten all over the field on Saturday. Their inability to run the ball and protect Tagovailoa doomed them from the start.

Penn State: Although the Nittany Lions don’t have a shot at a Big Ten championship, the future looks bright. The team’s most impactful players down the stretch are freshmen. Linebacker Abdul Carter had a team-best seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Singleton and fellow back Kaytron Allen appear to be Penn State’s best running back tandem since Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) on Saturday.

Penn State: Visits Rutgers (4-6, 1-6 Big Ten) on Saturday.

Maryland gets good news on Taulia Tagovailoa’s knee injury

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Taulia Tagovailoa appears to have avoided a major injury after he was carted off the field last weekend at Indiana.

Maryland coach Michael Locksley said the standout quarterback reaggravated a previous sprain in his knee and that an MRI last weekend showed no further structural damage from when he was initially injured last month.

“A huge sense of relief, obviously,” Locksley said. “I stood there and watched him, the way it played out, it looked very painful. We’re very thankful that he had the knee brace. He fights us. He didn’t want to play in the knee brace for the past two, three weeks. We forced him to do it.”

Locksley said Tagovailoa would be a game time decision this Saturday against Northwestern.

Tagovailoa, whose brother Tua has missed time in the NFL recently following a head injury, left Saturday’s game against Indiana early in the fourth quarter. Backup Billy Edwards Jr. came in and led the Terrapins (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) to a 38-33 victory.

Tagovailoa was injured against Michigan last month and returned for the next game. Locksley said Tuesday that Tagovailoa had a sprained MCL, which he aggravated against Indiana.

“He was able to make it back after the Michigan game with the same injury,” Locksley said. “It’s all about how his body feels and recovers, and we’ll continue to do the things necessary to keep his safety and health at the front of our decision.”

Tagovailoa has given Maryland some much-needed stability at quarterback the past couple seasons. He leads the Big Ten this year with 2,001 yards passing, and he has completed 72.5% of his throws.

“Just to know that he’s healthy and good enough to play – that’s just a great relief,” receiver Dontay Demus said. “He wants to go out there. He’s a great competitor. Whether he was good or not, I believe in him and Billy, but I feel like having Taulia just gives us all-around 100% confidence in him.”