Ohio State vs. Maryland score, foul: Dalan Haden powers Buckeyes’ No. 2 past upset Terps

No. 2 Ohio State survived a scare from Maryland, but still finished with a 43-30 victory to move to 11-0, setting up a monster matchup against No. 3 Michigan on Nov. 26. they used a 17-0 third-quarter run to pull ahead and a late fourth-quarter surge — despite a thorough effort by the Terrapins — to remain undefeated.

With the passing game rolling, Ohio State turned to freshman running back Dalan Haden. Haden rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns, fueling a crucial 88-yard scoring drive to give Ohio State control of the game. Quarterback CJ Stroud was inconsistent, completing just 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown. Two of OSU’s second-half touchdowns were fueled by a blocked punt and the long kickoff return.

The Terps got a masterful performance from quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns. Tagovailoa hit nine different passers with CJ Dippre and wide receiver Jeshaun Jones.

Maryland had one last drive to try to take the lead with less than a minute left, but allowed a pair of sacks with Tagovailoa stripping on the last one for a decisive return for a touchdown

The win ensures next week’s matchup with No. 3 Michigan will be a battle of 11-0 programs hoping to earn a trip to the Big Ten Championship, with the winner effectively punching their ticket to the College Football Playoff .

Here’s more from Saturday’s near upset.

The Buckeyes find another bell cow back

Treveon Henderson was expected to be an All-America candidate for the Buckeyes this year. But when he was hampered by injuries, Miyan Williams took the mantle with four 100-yard performances. But now with Williams on the sidelines, Hayden has taken over the bell cow responsibilities.

The freshman from Memphis, Tennessee, was incredible in relief, rushing for 102 yards and a score last week and exploding for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the win against Maryland. During a crucial 88-yard touchdown drive to put the Buckeyes up two scores, Hayden touched the ball on seven straight plays to start the drive to set up a 3-yard touchdown drive.

Ohio State has relied on its running game in almost every big moment. It’s a huge development that the Buckeyes have three different backs to step up.

Sudden shortages in Ohio crossing

Stroud remains the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but he turned in another average performance in a key spot. For just the fourth time in his career, but third time this season, the junior has finished under 250 yards and has completed just 53.6 percent of his passes over the past three games.

The Buckeyes have the most intimidating collection of receivers in college football, but the ball didn’t get in their hands as coach Ryan Day relied on the running game. During a key stretch, Day put the ball in Stroud’s hands on fourth-and-1, and an errant pass fell short to give Maryland another shot at taking the lead.

The Buckeyes’ defense stepped up down the stretch to keep the game from getting out of hand, but will that happen against Michigan? Or maybe Georgia on the line? Ohio State has not done a satisfactory job of answering this question.

Major implications for the game

Ohio State was able to pull away near the end of the game, but a loss would be a major blow for the Buckeyes as they try to make a case for the College Football Playoff. After losing their first two regular season games of the 2021 Ryan Day era, the Buckeyes have played with their food several times this season.

A win over Northwestern came by just 14 points, and Penn State’s game came to an end. A 21-10 win over Notre Dame doesn’t seem as important now as it did when the Irish were a top-five seed. It’s increasingly difficult to tell whether the close games were about Ohio State’s focus or ability. Fortunately for Ohio State, the Buckeyes went 11-0. All eyes will be on Columbus in Week 13 with a playoff spot on the line.

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