Monday began with Urban Meyer politicking for Ohio State, but the noise out of Columbus didn’t stop there.
Here’s Ohio State wide receiver Evan Spencer throwing out some bulletin board material — although it’s only bulletin board material if Ohio State actually gets to play in the BCS Championship:
Having confidence is fine, but maybe don’t say you’d “wipe the floor” with college football’s two best teams if you beat the only currently-ranked opponent on your schedule by seven.
Ohio State hasn’t lost a game since Urban Meyer took over in 2012. That’s a great accomplishment. And Ohio State’s win over Wisconsin is a very good one, since it should be the Badgers’ only loss of the season. By Bill Connelly’s S&P+ numbers, it’s the best win an undefeated team has all year.
On the other hand, both Alabama and FSU won extremely difficult road games (at Texas A&M, at Clemson) and picked up quality wins against solid teams at home (LSU, Miami). Sagarin rates Ohio State’s strength of schedule 81st, behind FSU (62) and Alabama (42). Baylor’s SOS is likely to jump from No. 96 with games against Texas and Oklahoma State left.
Anyways, back to the original point: Spencer may feel as if Ohio State would crush Alabama or FSU, but he and his Buckeyes will need some help to get that chance.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?