Ohio State improved to 7-0 against Maryland since it joined the Big Ten with a 66-17 win at Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Buckeyes were led offensive by quarterback C.J. Stroud, who threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns, including two apiece to wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.
The linebacking trio of Steele Chambers, Cody Simon and Tommy Eichenberg led the way on defense, meanwhile, recording seven tackles apiece, while safety Craig Young returned an interception for a touchdown to reach the final score.
With that said, local and national college football analysts shared some of their thoughts on the game, and BuckeyesNow has compiled some of the best reactions below:
Bill Landis, The Athletic
“The biggest development at quarterback for Ohio State in the last two weeks is that the Buckeyes built a big enough lead in both games for backups Kyle McCord and Jack Miller to get some snaps — and I didn’t feel the need to pay very much attention. The intrigue is gone.
“Credit to C.J. Stroud for wiping that away with back-to-back games in which he was efficient, confident, productive and perhaps most importantly, himself.
“I watched Stroud on the sidelines late in the third quarter and into the fourth as McCord and Miller got valuable reps in garbage time. Stroud moved from teammate to teammate, regardless of which side of the ball they played on. There was a quick chat with safety Craig Young and a side conversation with center Luke Wypler. There’s been a sense that Stroud had won over this team since the spring. That shows up most in the way that teammates rally around him on the field but also in those moments on the sideline when Stroud’s work is done and players just seem to gravitate toward him.
“Stroud’s understated confidence was always going to serve him well as he competed for the starting job. Now it’s starting to show up in games. You’re seeing an Ohio State offense that scored 56 points on 56 plays before the starters sat on Saturday that looks like it’s about to take off and re-write the program record books.”
Bill Bender, Sporting News
“The barstool arguments are going to get real in Ohio. Cincinnati might be the higher-ranked team, but the Buckeyes have the inside track on the CFP with what's to come on the Big Ten schedule. The Buckeyes have averaged 54.5 points per game since the loss to Oregon. C.J. Stroud threw five more TDs in a 66-17 blowout against Maryland.
“TreVeyon Henderson, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson scored two TDs each. When it's rolling, Ohio State has the best offense in the FBS. Ryan Day still has yet to lose a Big Ten game, and there is a bye week to get ready for Indiana on Oct. 23. Despite the loss to Oregon, the Buckeyes are in great position for another playoff run.”
Tom VanHaaren, ESPN
“Quarterback C.J. Stroud took the week off against Akron in Ohio State's fourth game of the season to nurse a shoulder injury. Since that week off, Stroud has looked more comfortable, throwing for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns in two games.
“Not only are the Buckeyes looking more controlled and consistent than they did at the beginning of the year, but they are also showing progress in some key areas. Stroud has the offense rolling, and the Ohio State defense has gone four straight games with a pick-six.
“The caliber of opponents should be factored in, but gaining confidence as the team gets into its games against Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan will go a long way.”
Barrett Sallee, CBS Sports
“Ho hum, just a 66-17 win over Maryland in which quarterback C.J. Stroud threw five touchdown passes. The hiccup against Oregon has left the Buckeyes a small margin for error, but Saturday's performance showed that they might be playing the best football in the conference.”
Casey Smith, The Lantern
After losing Dallas Gant and K’Vaughan Pope to the transfer portal within the last couple weeks, the linebacker unit was thin to say the least.
“Other than senior linebacker Teradja Mitchell, the unit struggle in the early goings, not setting the edge and surrendering over 200 rushing yards to Minnesota and Oregon. In the past four weeks, they have improved to allow an average of just 79 yards per game on the ground.
“For just the second time all season, a linebacker led the team in tackles – a statistic typically held by sophomore bullet safety Ronnie Hickman – with sophomores Steele Chambers, Cody Simon and Tommy Eichenberg all tied with seven.
“Numbers aside, the linebackers passed the eye test as well. Physically speaking, they were flying around to the ball, sealing gaps and setting the edge to keep Maryland’s offense in all sorts of inconsistency.
“With the bye week ahead, the Buckeyes linebackers will have time to rest up ahead of the remaining Big Ten schedule in which the top-three rushing offenses in the conference await.”
Phil Harrison, Buckeyes Wire
“After going through the (Jim) Tressel era of leaning heavily — OK, very heavily — on defense, ball-control offense and special teams, it’s wildly entertaining to watch a Ryan Day coached ball club. He’s ultra-aggressive, often shunning field goal opportunities and punting scenarios to put pressure on the opponent, and you have to love it.
“There’s a multitude of reasons kids want to play for Day at Ohio State, and his willingness to put on the proverbial leather jacket and let his hair down in crucial situations is one of them.”
Marcus Hartmann, Dayton Daily News
"I don't think Maryland or Rutgers should get their TV money until at least one of them holds Ohio State under 40."
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