Ohio State Routs Maryland Without Chase Young
Ohio State showed itself the playground bully once again, beating Maryland with one hand figuratively tied behind its back -- or literally, defensive end Chase Young sidelined -- in yet another display Saturday of the Buckeyes' balance and talent.
OSU (9-0) piled up a 192-1 edge in total offense in the first quarter, scored touchdowns on its first six possessions and sat most of its headliners the entire second half in a 73-14 rout of the woeful Terrapins, who have lost six of seven.
Of course, Young was inactive for the entire day after Ohio State put him in limbo on Friday morning as it works to resolve an eligibility issue.
"I don’t think we overthink it," OSU coach Ryan Day said of Young's uncertain status. "Chase is dealing with a situation. We’re all supporting him with. Once we get some clarity with what’s going ton, then we’ll deal with it. Until then, we’ll focus the team as best we can.
OSU spokesman Jerry Emig said afterward that an ESPN report that Ohio STate expects a four-game suspension for Young that it hopes to reduce to two games on appeal is, "incorrect."
"We don't have any expectation as to a number of games," Emig said. "The process is on-going."
Even without Young, Ohio State sacked Maryland quarterbacks seven times and allowed only 139 yards total offense.
Anthony McFarland, who rushed for 298 yards in OSU's 52-51 overtime win at Maryland, had seven yards on six carries.
Young Tweeted that it involves a loan from a "family friend" that he repaid before this season.
There's been no explanation regarding how OSU or the NCAA became aware of Young's finances.
Fox broadcasters Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt -- who spend Friday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center -- had this exchange late in the half when OSU coach Ryan Day called timeouts after Maryland first- and second-down plays left 38 seconds on the clock:
- Klatt: "Ryan Day pouring it on a little bit here."
- Johnson: "It's personal."
- Klatt: Yeah, this is interesting, partner, with what's going on this week."
- Johnson: "Remember, Chase Young is from that Washington D.C. area. (He) said he borrowed money from a family friend. Who would know about that."
- Klatt laughed and added, "This seems interesting. 42-0, take the timeouts..."
Day strongly denied that after being told f the broadcasters' comments.
"No," Day said. "Nothing like that at all. Nothing like that at all. Nope. That (end-of-half strategy) wasn't anything. We're always going to be aggressive in the first half. I feel like when you're playing the first half of any game, anything can happen in the second half. You do the best you can to be aggressive.
"...By no means would I ever try to run up the score at all. We're letting our guys play. That would be completely out of line."
Ohio State nearly blocked the ensuing Maryland punt after a third-down incompletion, but then took a knee to end the half.
Other than Young's absence and the Johnson-Klatt TV drama, this one unfolded just as it shaped up early in the week.
Quarterback Justin Fields scored his 10th rushing touchdown of the season and threw three touchdown passes by the break.
J.K. Dobbins added 90 yards on 12 carries and scored two TDs before he took the rest of the day off.
Those two and their fellow starters won't be stressed at all next week, either, as Ohio State plays at Rutgers (2-7) on Saturday in advance of closing the regular season at home Nov. 23 against Penn State and Nov. 30 at Michigan.
Penn State's 31-26 loss at Minnesota will knock the Lions out of their No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.
That defeat takes some of the luster off the matchup two weeks away in Columbus, but it really doesn't impact the Buckeyes' Playoff chances as long as they keep winning.
A loss to Penn State would give the Lions the head-to-head tiebreaker between the teams and thus the inside track to the Big Ten East championship and berth in the conference championship game Dec. 7.
In that scenario, Ohio State would be nervously waiting for the Playoff field's announcement the following day, hoping for a bid despite not winning its league or playing in the Big Ten title game.
OSU received a berth in that exact scenario in 2016 after a mid-season loss to Penn State, but the Lions were a two-loss team that season, not a one-loss team as they would be if they win the rest of their games.
For the latest on Ohio State follow Sports Illustrated Buckeye Maven and @BuckeyeMaven on Twitter.