COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Dallan Hayden scored three touchdowns in the second half of No. 2 Ohio State’s 43-30 victory over Maryland to set up a monumental matchup of unbeatens next weekend between the Buckeyes and rival Michigan.
Just before Ohio State (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) and Maryland (6-5, 3-5) kicked off, third-ranked Michigan edged Illinois on a late field goal. The Buckeyes then had plenty of problems of their own against the Terrapins. Ohio State trailed 13-10 at halftime, and the Buckeyes were up just 33-30 when they turned the ball over on downs at the Maryland 42 with 6:36 remaining in the game.
Ohio State forced a three-and-out, however, and Hayden helped the Buckeyes run out most of the remaining time. Noah Ruggles kicked a 45-yard field goal with 42 seconds left, and Steele Chambers added a defensive touchdown with 9 seconds to play.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who fumbled on that play, remained down on the field for a while before walking off very slowly.
Hayden finished with 146 yards on 27 carries.
TreVeyon Henderson returned after missing Ohio State’s previous two games while injured. He caught an early 31-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Stroud but managed only 19 yards on 11 carries.
Tagovailoa completed his first 11 passes, and although the Terps settled for a couple field goals in the red zone early on, they went ahead 13-10 on a 1-yard TD catch by CJ Dippre with 3:52 left in the half.
This was a far cry from the previous two Ohio State-Maryland meetings, which the Buckeyes won 73-14 and 66-17 — although it wasn’t quite as harrowing for them as their 52-51 overtime win over the Terps in 2018. That game also came the week before they faced Michigan.
Down by three in the third, the Buckeyes took back the lead after Lathan Ransom blocked a punt, giving Ohio State the ball at the Maryland 14. An 8-yard touchdown run by Hayden gave the Buckeyes a 17-13 advantage.
Hayden scored on a 3-yard run with 16 seconds left in the third to make it 27-13, but Maryland answered with Tagovailoa’s 5-yard scoring run early in the fourth. A 2-point conversion cut the lead to six.
Hayden scored again on a 13-yard run, but Jakorian Bennett returned a blocked extra point all the way for two points, making the score 33-23.
Tagovailoa threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeshaun Jones on fourth down after scrambling to his right to keep the play going. That trimmed the lead to three with 9:49 to go.
Ohio State: This was the second-most points allowed by the Buckeyes this season, surpassed only in their 44-31 win over Penn State, but Ohio State escaped on the road and showed it has enough depth at running back no matter how healthy Henderson is next weekend.
Maryland: The Terps’ improvement this year might not be reflected in their final record. They played Michigan tough in a 34-27 loss in September and then stayed within one score of Ohio State as well. It’s their two losses prior to this one — to Wisconsin and Penn State by a combined 53-10 — that will leave a sour taste.
Ohio State: It’s the game the Buckeyes and Wolverines have been waiting for — next Saturday at Ohio State.
Maryland: The Terrapins host Rutgers to end the regular season.