Ohio State struggling, behind Maryland in the half 13-10: Doug Lesmerise’s halftime thoughts

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Thoughts from Ohio State-Maryland as the Buckeyes Trail 13-10.

* Ohio State’s running game is, guess what, still a problem. Miyan Williams is out injured and the Buckeyes got nothing with TreVeyon Henderson, who ran it 11 times for 19 yards. Missing holes, missing blocks, not fooling the defense with the calls – you hear that all season and it’s still happening in Week 11.

I think we’re seeing Ohio State getting closer to giving up the run at close range. They grabbed a third and one early in the half on a Henderson run. But late in the half, in third and second, the Buckeyes went with an empty backfield, and CJ Stroud and Emeka Egbuka couldn’t connect at an angle.

* Ryan Day expressed his frustration and gestured to himself a few times on the sidelines. Once came when Stroud climbed and threw a deep ball up to grab the sideline. The play was initially ruled an interception and then overturned after verification revealed the ball touched the ground. Another time, after Henderson jumped outside and was tackled for a loss, Day threw his hands to his side for a brief moment.

The Buckeyes were down for 30 minutes. Ohio State gained 159 yards in 31 games, averaging 5.1 yards per game. Maryland gained 211 yards in 36 games, a 5.9 average.

* Marching in defense of Ohio State, Maryland scored on three of its four drives. The first two times Ohio State got stops in the red zone to force field goals. Maryland hit a few 50-50 balls in the passing game, used OSU’s defensive aggression to rack up a few setbacks, and generally the Terps looked confident with the ball throughout the half.

This from a team that was banned from Penn State last week.

* This doesn’t feel to me like the OSU team is looking ahead. It’s an OSU team showcasing some of the issues it’s had throughout the year. These include the run game issues, the passing game that sometimes gets unbalanced, and a defense that hasn’t been tested by a bunch of great players. Dontay Demus has three catches for 58 yards for the terps. At his best, he’s a big physical receiver who plays mid-air.

* Stroud never got comfortable. He was 9 for 181 yards in the first half. He and Marvin Harrison Jr. narrowly missed a deep shot that was ruled a catch, but replay showed it touched the ground. But Stroud threatened at least two throws that could have been picked and generally the passing game wasn’t crisp.

It’s gotta be for the Buckeyes to win this game. As expected, they must throw to win.

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