After scoring a touchdown on its fourth-quarter opening possession against Maryland on Saturday, Ohio State originally planned to go for two. The Buckeyes ended up giving up two points to their opponent instead.
After a touchdown and two-point conversion by the Terrapins on their previous possession, Ohio State took a 12-point lead when Dallan Hayden finished the Buckeyes’ ensuing drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. The Buckeyes initially kept their attack on the field in an attempt to reduce their lead to 14 points, but instead sent their team extra points into the game after a late game penalty.
What should have been a routine play to give Ohio State a 13-point lead ended up cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to just 10 points, however, when Noah Ruggles’ kick was blocked by Deonte Banks and came back to the other end zone. on an 80-yard scoop-and-score by fellow Maryland cornerback Jakorian Bennett.
Day said after the game that the blocking happened because Ohio State was supposed to have another tackle on the right side of the line but didn’t, allowing Banks to don’t get stuck on the ball.
“It’s just that there was a mistake that we can’t let happen,” Ryan Day said after the game. “In this situation we want the tackle to come, we didn’t put the tackle on, so we had a little advantage, and that block cost us three points. So I was very upset after that. And when those things start happening, all of a sudden it could quickly turn into a bad situation, and it almost did. But I give our guys credit. They kept fighting and they refused to lose.
The block was Ohio State’s first unsuccessful extra-point attempt since 2019 and the first time a team has scored a two-point comeback against the Buckeyes since Illinois’ Kevin Mitchell scored on a failed attempt at extra points by Ohio State in 2005. And that could have had major ramifications on Saturday’s game.
Maryland scored a touchdown on its ensuing possession to cut Ohio State’s lead to three, and the Buckeyes did not score another offensive touchdown for the rest of the game. When Ohio State settled for a field goal from Ruggles to take just a six-point lead on their final possession of the game, Maryland won the ball with 42 seconds left and a chance to win, which he wouldn’t have had if the Buckeyes had made the aforementioned extra run instead of allowing the Terps to score two runs.
Zach Harrison snuffed out that threat when he returned Taulia Tagovailoa and Steele Chambers ripped the loose ball in the air for a sealed defensive touchdown. But the blocked extra point will certainly give the Buckeyes a reason to put extra emphasis on ensuring this doesn’t happen again on future field goal attempts and extra points.
Ruggles goes 3-3-3
Despite the error, Day showed his confidence in the Ohio State field team by sending Ruggles to throw a 45-yard field goal in the final minute of the game.
Facing 4th and 3rd at the 27-yard line, the Buckeyes could have chosen to go there to try to put the game aside and avoid the risk of something going wrong in the field goal attempt. But Day ruled Ohio State should go for the three-pointer to prevent Maryland from tying the game with a field goal if stopped on fourth down, and Ruggles put the ball through the uprights as he did so on all but two field goal attempts. this season.
“We had the one blocked earlier but that was because we didn’t have the tackle on it so I still felt confident we could protect. And I felt like at that point, if you make the basket, now they have to score a touchdown to beat you,” Day said. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do. Make the field goal, great execution, great moment; that’s Noah’s clutch to make that basket.
While Ohio State prefers not to have to rely on Ruggles to score field goals and often doesn’t need to, he’s always been up to the job when the Buckeyes have called him into situations. clutch, and Saturday was one of his greatest examples of doing so. . Ruggles also scored a 33-yard field goal on Ohio State’s opening possession in the second quarter, which gave the Buckeyes a four-point lead and a 47-yard field goal on the second drive. Buckeyes in the third quarter that gave them a seven-point lead.
In a game that would have ended in a score but for Chambers’ defensive touchdown just nine seconds from time, Ruggles’ reliability played a vital role in the Buckeyes’ escape from College Park with a victory.
Plagued by penalties
The game penalty delay that led to the blocked extra point was just one of 11 penalties against Ohio State at Maryland, marking the first time the Buckeyes have committed double-digit penalties in one game all season. The 11 penalties were the most in any Ohio State game since committing 13 penalties for 141 yards in a blowout 73-14 win over Maryland in 2019, while the 95 penalty yards was the most since the Buckeyes lost 95 yards on eight penalties against Akron in 2021.
While Ohio State struggled with penalties early in the season, committing 16 penalties for 160 yards in its first two games of the year against Notre Dame and Arkansas State, the Buckeyes had been much cleaner in that area since then. Between games 3 and 10 of the season, Ohio State’s worst penalty game came when it lost 50 yards on eight penalties to Penn State.
Against Maryland on Saturday, however, penalties were a big factor in why the Terrapins were able to keep the game close for four quarters. Those penalties included three delays of play, two false starts, an intentional grounding by CJ Stroud, a face mask grab by JT Tuimoloau that nullified a sack, a pair of pass interference penalties against Cameron Martinez and Lathan Ransom and a pair unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Taron Vincent and Chambers. Zach Harrison was also penalized for jumping offside on the final play of the first half, which would have given Maryland another play to try to score before halftime, but the Terrapins chose to disallow the penalty and take a three-point lead in the locker room. .
Day found the number of penalties the Buckeyes imposed on Saturday to be unacceptable, and he said they will all have extra conditioning work ahead of them on Sunday – including Day himself, who blamed himself for at least one match delays. penalties – accordingly.
“(Officials) were running (the clock) quickly coming off the touchline. And, you know, one of them, I gotta get in quicker. Another that I think CJ may have lost the clock. How many did we finally get, 11? Yeah, that’s too much. I don’t know if I have a good answer to that,” Day said. “We will have to find a solution and do some racing tomorrow. Coaches also run when there are penalties. So I’m going to have to do some running, I guess, exercise.