Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Buckeyes May Not Be Kind Homecoming Hosts For Maryland

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

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Maryland Terrapins (Game 6)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 8 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Derwin Gray, OL Damian Prince, WR Taivon Jacobs, RB Wes Brown, DL Adam McLean. Jacobs actually gave a verbal commitment to Ohio State back in 2013, but decided to sign with Maryland to be closer to his young daughter.

Game Date: October 10, 2015

Kickoff Time: 12pm EST. Telecast TBD.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: Last season, Ohio State traveled to play Maryland for the first time as a B1G conference opponent and won in quite convincing fashion, 52-24. Maryland could start off the non-conference portion of its 2015 schedule undefeated, with three winnable games at home (Richmond, Bowling Green, South Florida), as well as a road trip to West Virginia. Maryland gets Michigan at home before the Terrapins make their trip to Ohio Stadium. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Maryland is undefeated coming into Columbus.

Why the low ranking, then?

The aforementioned blowout win from last season, for starters. Ohio State was not truly pushed by Maryland last season, and that was when Maryland had Stefon Diggs that the Buckeyes had to account for defensively. Diggs is now gone, after declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft. Last season, Ohio State led Maryland 31-10 at the half; I am guessing it could be more of the same in Ohio Stadium on October 10th.

Prediction: Ohio State traditionally does not have a difficult time motivation-wise as it relates to homecoming games. The home crowd, plus Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer’s exceptional skills for motivation, lead me to believe that Ohio State will come out for this game fired up and ready to go. Maryland might be able to make it a game for maybe the first half, but I have difficulty seeing the Terrapins keeping pace with the Buckeyes for long.

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall is trying to position the Terrapins as one of the better teams within The B1G. Playing Ohio State tough as a homecoming opponent might be a step in that direction.

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