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Buckeyes reveal players of game from thriller at Maryland
Ohio State’s 43-30 win at Maryland was closer than the score suggests. The Terrapins staked themselves to a 13-10 halftime advantage and, after losing the lead, pulled within a field goal of the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter. In order to quell Maryland’s upset bid, Ohio State needed some late-game heroics — it came via a mix of youth and experience.
True freshman running back Dallan Hayden racked up 143 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the second half. Meanwhile, fourth-year defensive end Zach Harrison sealed the victory with back-to-back sacks in the final minute of the game, the second of which resulted in a strip and a recovery to the house by linebacker Steele Chambers.
Harrison was recognized by the Buckeyes as their defensive player of the game. He finished with five total tackles. He had those two sacks — recording the first multi-sack game of his career — plus another half tackle for loss. Harrison is second on the team this season with 26 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
Meanwhile, safety Lathan Ransom was tabbed by the program as its special teams player of the game for the second week in a row. And fittingly so, because, for the second week in a row, Ransom blocked a punt, which was recovered yet again by wide receiver/running back Xavier Johnson. This time, Ransom accomplished the feat with a broken thumb — he said he suffered that injury on the first play of the game. Ransom’s blocked punt was the catalyst for 17 unanswered Buckeyes points in the second half.
Ohio State opens as single-digit favorite for first time this season against Michigan
Ohio State opened as an eight-point favorite over Michigan, according to Circa Sports. The over/under was set at 57.5 points. The Buckeyes are hosting the Wolverines for the first time since 2018. It’s the first time both Ohio State and Michigan enter The Game undefeated since 2006. The Big Ten East rivals are each 11-0 in 2022.
A trip to not only the Big Ten Championship but also the College Football Playoff is on the line.
While Maryland made Ohio State sweat out four quarters this weekend, Michigan didn’t get off easy either. In fact, the Wolverines needed a late field goal to squeak out a win over a defensive-minded Illinois team. Ohio State lost to Michigan last season, but the Buckeyes were riding an eight-game win streak over the maize and blue before that 42-27 defeat.
Buckeyes, rest of top four stayed put in latest AP Poll
As mentioned above, this past weekend was far from a cakewalk for both No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan. The same could be said for No. 1 Georgia, which scraped out a 16-6 win over an underperforming Kentucky team, and No. 4 TCU, which needed a field goal at the buzzer to get past Baylor. All four of the remaining FBS undefeated teams survived, though, so the top four stayed put in the latest AP Poll.
The most notable change to the top 10 was USC climbing to No. 5 — the Trojans haven’t found themselves that high in the rankings in five years. On the other hand, Tennessee dropped four places to No. 9 after its embarrassing loss to unranked South Carolina.
- Ohio State
What’s the weather looking like for The Game?
Low of 35º, high of 45º, mostly cloudy skies, 40% chance of rain, winds 10-15 mph
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 5 days
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