It's anyone's guess what we'll be getting from this week's Ohio State at Maryland contest in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes, not surprisingly, come into the game undefeated at 3-0. But the Terrapins have also been playing well, sitting at 2-1 through three games.
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One thing we do expect is a high-scoring affair. The over/under has been set at an astounding 73.0, which, if you split almost exactly, would be a 37-36 contest. Many would argue it will be Ohio State doing much of the scoring. But Maryland has been extremely good offensively as well behind quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.
Yes, Tagovailoa, as in Tua's younger brother. The transfer from Alabama has 770 yards passing and six touchdowns through three games. He's been even better over the last two games, averaging 338 yards and three touchdowns in wins over Penn State and Minnesota.
Like his brother, the sophomore can run as well. He had 59 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Minnesota. But he is still a sophomore, so he doesn't have a lot of experience. Experience can play a big role in many college football predictions.
Northwestern was able to keep him in check in the opener. Tagovailoa finished with just 94 passing yards and three interceptions in the opening loss. Think the Ohio State defense isn't watching that film to pick up some tips?
Though the Terrapins like to air it out, they may need to keep it on the ground more against the Buckeyes. Not that that will be easy. Ohio State allows just 131.7 yards a game on the ground.
Senior Jake Funk leads the way for Maryland on the ground with 336 yards and two touchdowns. Keeping the Ohio State offense off the field for as long as possible should be a goal for the Terps.
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The Buckeyes have a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Justin Fields, who looks in midseason form. He has completed 86.7 percent of his passes this season for 908 yards and 11 scores.
The Ohio State offense has been humming, averaging 46.3 points and 511.3 yards a game. The Buckeyes can beat you through the air with Fields or on the ground. Master Teague III leads the rushing attack with 211 yards and four touchdowns. Trey Sermon has also been solid, rushing for 172 yards.
When he goes to the air, Fields has some dangerous weapons to target. His top three receivers are all averaging at least 14.3 yards per catch. Garrett Wilson leads the way with 24 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Olave is right behind him with 18 catches for 288 yards and four scores.
Defensively, Ohio State will need to get pressure on Tagovailoa to either get sacks or create turnovers. The Buckeyes have just one interception through three games, a surprisingly low total for this group. Look for them to try to get more picks in this one.
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Betting Odds and Picks
The Buckeyes are 24.5-point favorites on the road, a number they've covered just once this year. Maryland likely won't pull off the upset, but we can see the Terps staying close or at least making the final score less than a 24-point margin. As far as the over/under? Both teams can crank up the offense. The forecast for College Park, Md., on Saturday afternoon is mid-50s and sunny, so that won't be a problem.
If you believe in the Maryland offense, take a chance on the over.