Maryland-OSU grades: Cardale, Braxton step up in Buckeyes win

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from Saturday's 49-28 Ohio State win over Maryland.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Maryland-OSU grades: Cardale, Braxton step up in Buckeyes win

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from Saturday’s 49-28 Ohio State win over Maryland:

Ohio State Buckeyes

–Quarterback Cardale Jones (+1.9) posted his first positive grade, both overall and as a passer, since Week 1, but what was interesting was how the Buckeyes made use of fellow QB J.T. Barrett (+0.8) and wide receiver Braxton Miller (+3.1). Barrett played 31 snaps, coming in to spark the running game, with 62 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Miller added 11 yards on three rushes, but it was his work as a receiver that stood out. He had five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, including forcing a missed tackle gave him his best outing since Week 1. He still has a negative overall grade for the season, but now has a positive grade as a receiver. That could increase in the coming weeks as he hits his stride in his new role in the offense.

–On the surface, star DE Joey Bosa (+0.9) didn’t have a great overall game, getting pushed around somewhat against the run and committing two penalties. He still shined as a pass-rusher, though, finishing the game with a sack, four hits and five hurries from 31 pass-rushing attempts. The struggles against the run aside, he still had a solid game.

–As they have done all year, Ohio State linebackers Raekwon McMillan (+3.3) and Darron Lee (+2.3) stood out with their work against the run. Lee missed just one tackle, while McMillan was perfect in that regard, and he really impressed with five of his seven tackles resulting in a defensive stop.

Top performers:

RB Ezekiel Elliott (+4.6)

LB Raekwon McMillan (+3.3)

WR Braxton Miller (+3.1)

LB Darron Lee (+2.3)

QB Cardale Jones (+1.9)

Maryland Terrapins

–It was a tale of two games for quarterback Perry Hills (-3.1). As a passer (-7.0) he struggled heavily, with several poor passes that either were intercepted or close to it. He gave the Buckeyes problems when he used his legs, though, leading the Terrapins with 170 yards and two touchdowns, including a long 75-yard run straight up the middle on a scramble to set up a three-yard touchdown run for himself right before halftime.

–Redshirt freshman right tackle Damian Price (-5.5) struggled, as many have before him, going up against Joey Bosa. He finished the game having allowed a sack, two hits and three hurries, and committed two false starts. It was his lowest-graded game of the season, which was probably to be expected given the competition, but the Terps need him to get back on track as soon as possible.

–Cornerback Jarrett Ross (-2.2) played just 14 snaps, and based on what we saw in that span, the low snap count might have been for the best. He allowed three catches for 56 yards, all to Buckeye’s receiver Michael Thomas, from 12 snaps in coverage, and also managed to miss a Maryland-worst three tackles.

Top performers:

DE Quinton Jefferson (+3.5)

LB Jermaine Carter Jr. (+2.5)

LB Cavon Walker (+2.2)

LB Avery Thompson (+1.8)

LB Chandler Burkett (+1.7)

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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