Special Teams – Confidence Level 9
For weeks now we have been talking about Ohio State’s punt and kickoff return drought. At some point, it’s going to happen and a Buckeye is going to break one. Obviously, when that happens, there is a very good chance that it will happen in a game where the outcome will not be determined by such an event. But in case it does, this week might not be a bad time for it to happen.
On several occasions, Xavier Johnson looked like he was one block and one more move away from finding the seam. Much like turnovers on the wrong side of the 50-yard line, a special teams touchdown is a backbreaker. Hopefully this week, Johnson can break a Terrapin’s back, or at least its shell.
As for kicking field goals this season, Maryland hasn’t exactly been perfect. Jack Howes is 5-10 with a long of 48 yards. Unless the Terps are inside the red zone, kicking has been an adventure, and the further back they are, the worse his percentage becomes.
Keeping that in mind, look for Maryland to go for it on fourth down a lot, especially if they are in Ohio State territory between the 25–45-yard line. My confidence level in Ohio State’s special teams is at a nine.