Game #6 Terps biggest test of the 2023 season in Ohio!

The Maryland Terrapins take their 5-0 record on the road today to Columbus, Ohio to face the No.4 Ohio State Buckeyes in a nationally televised game of undefeateds. This is the first-time Maryland has started a season at 5-0 since 2001. The Buckeyes have aspirations of playing for a national championship, and the Terps just hope that they can win to get that national ranking and some respect.

At the very least, the Terps are playing for bowl eligibility. Generally, teams become eligible for Bowl Games by winning six or more games and having a winning percentage of at least . 500. What that means for the Terps in their 12-game schedule is that they need to win at least one more game to be bowl-eligible. After today, the Terps face Illinois, Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Rutgers. Here is the AP Top-25 NCAA rankings.

You will see in the national rankings that Michigan is at No. 2, Ohio State No. 4, and Penn State is at No. 6. Since they each play each other, there is only one possibility that one undefeated team emerges from the eastern division of the Big-Ten. The West and East divisions started in 2014 when Maryland and Rutgers joined. Next year that will go away after the Big-Ten announced their western expansion and added USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington for the 2024 season, as well as a new multi-billion-dollar media rights deal with Fox, CBS, NBC, and Peacock that will guarantee each school at least $50 million annually. The expansion to 18-schools makes this the most powerful football conference in the NCAA.

The conference has elected to continue the nine-conference-game format, through the Flex Protect Plus Model, which features “a combination of protected opponents and rotating opponents” to where each team will play “every other conference opponent at least twice — once home and away — in a four-year period,” the B1G announced in a press release in June. That will add a lot of nationwide exposure as the Big-Ten expands east coast to west coast.

The Terps have won each game this season by 18-plus points. Maryland is one of only two schools in the FBS to be 5-0 and win each game by 18-plus (#2 Michigan). Over the last 20 games played, dating back to 2021, Maryland is 15-5, good for the fourth-best record of any Big Ten school, trailing only three top-10 teams: #2 Michigan (18-2), #4 Ohio State (17-3) and #6 Penn State (16-4). This start also marks the first time in program history that Maryland has scored 31-plus points in the first five games of the season and the first time they’ve scored 31-plus in any five game stretch in the same season since 2002 where they did it in six straight. Maryland is one of only five FBS teams and the only Big Ten team that is 5-0 and have scored 31-plus in their first five games (#3 Texas, #7 Washington, #8 Oregon, #9 USC).

The Terps have won seven games in a row dating back to last season’s game vs. Rutgers (11/26), their longest winning streak since winning seven in a row 2003-04. The seven-game winning streak is currently the ninth-longest in all of the FBS and the second-longest in the Big Ten, only trailing (#1 Georgia – 22, #24 Fresno State – 14, #7 Washington – 12, #5 Florida State, 10, #6 Penn State – 10, Air Force – 9, Marshall – 9, James Madison – 8).

Maryland currently ranks first in the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 454.8 yards per game and second in scoring offense, averaging 38.6 points per game, passing offense, averaging 297.4 yards per game and third down percentage, converting at a 49.3-percent rate. The Terps also stand top-16 in the FBS both scoring offense (38.6 ppg) and scoring defense (13.2), one of only five FBS programs in the top-16 in both categories and the only in the Big Ten (#1 Georgia, #8 Oregon, #12 Oklahoma & #17 Miami). Dating back to last season, Maryland has won each of its last three Big Ten games by at least 20 points. It’s the longest such streak of conference games for Maryland since 2002. The Terrapins’ last four-game conference win streak with each win being by 20+ points was a streak that spanned the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Maryland’s current three game Big Ten winning streak is its longest since joining the league.

With a win this week the Terps will win four conference games in a row for the first time since winning five in a row in the ACC in 2006. REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS

The current Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, QB Taulia Tagovailoa has helped ascend the Terps’ passing game to new heights during his three-year career. The quarterback has set Maryland career records for passing yards (9,343), passing touchdowns (64), total touchdowns (75), completions (776), completion percentage (67.1), 300-yard passing games (14), passing efficiency (148.5) and total offense (9,232).

“That game last week against Indiana was about as complete game as we have played. Ohio State is up, going to Columbus on Friday. This is a great opportunity for the Terps football family. … I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere there. It is their homecoming.”

— Locksley said

The Maryland defense has been fantastic and has been one of the best teams in the nation at forcing turnovers through four games, currently standing second in the country in turnover margin (+9) and third in the country an first in the Big Ten in turnovers gained (13). Over the past three games alone, Maryland has forced 10 turnovers (four vs. Virginia, five at Michigan State, one vs. Indiana). The nine turnovers in the Virginia & Michigan State game were the Terps’ first time tallying four turnovers in back-to-back games since Oct. 8 and 20, 2005, when the Terps had three fumble recoveries and an interception at Temple and three interceptions and a fumble recovery vs. Virginia Tech.

Maryland’s record: 5-0, 2-0 Big Ten

Ohio State’s record: 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten

All-time series: Ohio State leads, 8-0

DraftKings Sportsbook line: Maryland +19.5, O/U 56.0

Kickoff: Saturday, October 7, Noon ET

Stadium: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

TV: FOX — Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst), Jenny Taft (sideline)

Streaming TV: FOX

Radio: Audacy Radio App / SiriusXM 136; 105.7 FM (Balt.) / 980 AM (D.C.) — Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Steve Suter (analyst)

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