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No. 7 Ohio State has started Big Ten play with a 2-0 record and the Buckeyes offense is rolling. Now, Maryland will pay a visit for Homecoming weekend in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday. Ohio State has a stark advantage since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten, going 6-0 in the series and averaging 58.3 points per game in those wins. 

Maryland enters the game after a very disappointing 51-14 Friday night loss to Iowa. While the top-five Hawkeyes handed the Terps just their first loss of the season, the final margin sets a markedly different tone heading into Saturday's division contest in Columbus. Maryland hopes this edition of the series is closer to the 52-51 double-overtime affair between these two teams back in 2018, and less like last week's opportunity against a similar Big Ten championship contender. 

Ryan Day is also putting his 17-0 Big Ten record on the line, as well as Ohio State's 20-game winning streak in conference play. The Buckeyes are 73-19-5 all-time in Homecoming games and the oddsmakers are favoring another Homecoming win with a three-touchdown spread for the betting line. 

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Ohio State vs. Maryland: Need to know

Buckeyes offense catching fire at the right time: Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud missed the Week 4 win against Akron and looked fantastic in his return to action in a 52-13 win at Rutgers last week. Stroud leads the Big Ten in passing touchdowns, passing yards per game and quarterback rating, and while the Buckeyes' offense got off to slow starts in the first two games of the season -- a win at Minnesota and the home loss to Oregon -- that group is rounding into form as one of the best in the country. Ohio State leads the nation in total offense with 555.6 yards per game and 8.57 yards per play. It ranks fourth nationally in scoring (45.0 points per game) and is tied for second in third down conversions (55.2). 

Maryland offense riding Tagovailoa, but down a key pass catcher: Just behind Stroud in those Big Ten passing yards rankings is Maryland's Taulia Tagovailoa, currently averaging 299.4 yards per game and on pace to set a school record for yards passing in a season. Only four Power Five quarterbacks have averaged more passing yards per game since Tagovailoa took over as Maryland's starter in 2020 -- Ole Miss' Matt Corral, North Carolina's Sam Howell, Pitt's Kenny Pickett and Virginia's Brennan Armstrong -- and he's lighting up the stat sheet at a high clip with a completion percentage (72.2) that ranks first in the Big Ten and sixth nationally.

Unfortunately for Tagovailoa, the offense suffered a huge loss this week with senior wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. being ruled out for the rest of the year with a knee injury. Demus still leads the Big Ten in receiving yards and his 101.4 yards per game average ranks in the top-15 nationally. While there are plenty of talented options at wide receiver for Maryland, this is a huge loss moving forward. 

Updating the coaching shuffle for Ohio State's defensive staff: One of the changes Ryan Day made after the 1-1 start was to give the play-calling duties to secondary coach Matt Barnes. Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs remains a key part of the staff, but now Barnes has more responsibility for the unit's performance. Interestingly enough, Barnes has never been a coordinator before, but he called plays when he was a linebackers coach at Maryland (2016-18). Ohio State's offense has seen better results since the change but the competition has also factored into that success. Maryland is the best offensive team Ohio State has faced since Barnes took the play-calling duties, so it will be a more fair grading opportunity for how the Buckeyes' defense has developed over the last month. 

How to watch Ohio State vs. Maryland live

Date: Saturday, Oct. 9 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium -- Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Ohio State vs. Maryland prediction, picks

Featured Game | Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins

A play on the total is my favorite betting angle because Maryland should be able to have some success through the passing game against the Buckeyes defense and lots of points will be scored on both sides. But ultimately many more points will be scored by the home favorites, who I think are set to put up 50 as this get-right tour continues for C.J. Stroud. Prediction: Ohio State (-21)

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