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Opinion: Terps make statement in loss to Ohio State

Photo by David Wolfe
Running back Anthony McFarland of the University of Maryland gets sandwiched between two Ohio State players. UMD vs OSU Football Photo Credit: David Wolfe

Maryland fell to 5-6 (3-5) over the weekend with a 52-51 loss to number 10. Ohio State on senior night. Although the terps lost and are yet to be bowl eligible, they showed drive, promise, and high hopes for the 2019-20 season.

Maryland has seen it all this season. The roller coaster of emotions they must have gone through this year is something nobody can relate to. With the administrative leave and reinstatement of DJ Durkin after the death of Jordan McNair has had the UMD players heads spinning since week 1.

Even with the loss, hope was shown over the weekend by this struggling Terps team.

The team was thrown around by multiple weak opponents this year including Iowa and Indiana as well has being crushed by powerhouse Michigan on the road. A 1-point defeat to the #10 ranked team in the country is by no means a loss in their books.

Maryland got started early taking a 17-3 lead over the Buckeyes in the first quarter. Their offense was back boned by the strong rushing of Anthony McFarland who finished the day with 298 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries.

McFarland is only a freshman and has proved himself as one of the best rushers in Maryland football history with this 298 yard performance coming one week after a 220 yard outburst against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Ohio State battled back into the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Terps 14-7 and bringing the game back within a touchdown. A late quarter drive by the buckeyes found them inside the Maryland 5 yard line with 30 seconds left in the half. To the nations surprise, J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State’s star running back was stripped, a fumble the Terps recovered.

In order to beat a team like Ohio State, the game can’t be kept close. What I mean by this is that a multiple touchdown lead must be held for as long as possible. A team as powerful as Ohio State can strike at any point, making a weaker team like Maryland vulnerable.

The Terps proved they weren’t ready to back down after a Pick six less than one minute into the second half. With this play, Maryland held a 31-17 lead and the entire nation on their back.

Ohio State has never been a favorite of mine personally due to the dark history and nature of their team and coaching staff. After incidents like Maurice Clarret and Woody Hayes, the buckeyes were already one of my bottom teams but what sealed the deal was the way Urban Meyer swept the Zach Smith domestic violence incident under the rug.

After Maryland’s defensive touchdown, the rest of the third quarter was very slow with a lone Ohio State touchdown halfway through the quarter.

The final quarter is where took a step up. Ohio State outscored the Terps 21-14, breaking the game even at the end of regulation. Maryland fans thought they had witnessed the upset of the year with the go-ahead touchdown with 4 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes then proceeded to tie up the game with under a minute to go, sending the game into overtime.

Ohio State got the ball first in the tie game, with ease, Dwayne Haskins scored his third rushing touchdown of the game, giving the buckeyes a 45-52 advantage.

Tyrell Pigrome was forced with the pressure of leading his offense down the field to match the buckeyes touchdown. This was a task only taking two plays after a 1-yard touchdown from Tayon Fleet-Davis.

Matt Canada signaled to his Quarterback to then stay on the field and attempt a 2-point-conversion to go for the win. Pigrome rolled to his right and overthrew a wide open target, letting the #10 Buckeyes keep their playoff hopes alive.

I was a fan of this call by Canada, Ohio State is a more talented team than Maryland and could outlast them in multiple overtimes, going for the win was a smart decision.

Pigrome seemed to make his lone mistake of the game at the worst possible time. Still, after a performance like that, hats off to this Maryland team.

While it’s easy to look at all of the negatives including the loss and not being bowl eligible, the Terps played like champions and gave fans a performance they all needed after such a heartbreaking season. Matt Canada has certainly ensured another year with the program and hopefully can lead this team to success in the coming years after the dark season they’ve all endured this year.

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About the Contributor
Jake Stafford
Jake Stafford, Newsroom managing editor
Jake Stafford is a senior at Middletown High School and in his sixth semester of journalism. He is the newsroom managing editor alongside Audrey Fisher. He is attending Lehigh University where he will study economics and get his bachelors. He swims year round for Monocacy Aquatic Club and intends on swimming at Lehigh as well. Jake’s goal is to work on Wall Street following the completion of his MBA. His hobbies include watching football with friends, watching Netflix, and playing video games.

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Opinion: Terps make statement in loss to Ohio State