Maryland football huddles during its win over West Virginia (via Maryland Athletics)

Preview: Maryland football faces another tall task against No. 7 Ohio State

By Logan Hill

After dropping its first game of the season, Maryland football faces another tall task as they go on the road to face No. 7 Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday.

Following the loss of Dontay Demus Jr. after a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter against Iowa, Maryland will lean on the rest of their wide receiver room to make up the loss. Demus Jr. had gotten off to a career year, recording 28 catches for 507 yards and three touchdowns to lead the team. 

“Obviously very devastating for a player that I felt was playing at a very high level,” Head Coach Mike Locksley said. “I’m sure Dontay will do everything he can, as he said going up into the tunnel, to come back. Whether it’s here at Maryland or hopefully at the next level.”

Spearheading the attack will be sophomore Rakim Jarrett, who has combined with Demus Jr.

to form one of the top receiving duos in all of college football. Through five games, the pair had combined for 783 yards receiving. Now the lead horse of the group, Jarrett will fill a much larger role in the Maryland passing game.

Alongside Jarrett, Jeshaun Jones, Darryl Jones, and Brian Cobbs will try to make up the difference. 

“The next man [up] has to pick up some of the slack,” Locksley said.

On defense, Maryland will be tasked with stopping a potent Ohio State offense, led by freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud is fresh off earning Big Ten Freshman of the week after a 330-yard, five touchdown performance in the Buckeyes’ 52-13 rout of Rutgers a week ago. 

Around Stroud, Ohio State also boasts a handful of talented skill players. Wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have picked up where they left off a season ago, racking up 836 receiving yards along with nine touchdowns. Freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson will also test Maryland’s front seven, as he has already rushed for 514 yards and seven scores in his inaugural campaign as a Buckeye.

“Stroud is definitely the guy that makes it go,” Locksley said. “[He] makes pretty good decisions with the football, gets it out quickly. For a young player, I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen on tape.”

The road test for the Terps will be their second in a string of Big Ten matchups that will test Maryland on both sides of the ball. Maryland has never won at Ohio State, and Locksley’s team is looking to buck that trend. 

“Obviously another tremendous challenge,” Locksley said. “They’re one of the top teams in our conference year in and year out. I expect it to be a tough game for us.”

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