Who slows down the rushing attack?
Both Maryland and Ohio State rank in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten in terms of run defense.
The Terps are currently seventh and yield 131.8 yards-per-game and 3.8 yards-per-carry to their opponents. The Buckeyes are ninth and give up 134.6 yards-per-game and 3.3 yards-per-carry.
While that doesn’t seem overly impressive, Maryland is coming off a very inspiring performance against Minnesota last week. The Terps held the Golden Gophers’ rushing attack to just 80 yards on 31 carries, which is just a 2.6 yards-per-carry clip.
The combination of Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks did register a pair of touchdowns, but each one only came from a yard out respectively. The longest gain that they accumulated was a 10-yard carry courtesy of Brooks.
Ohio State also had a solid showing against Rutgers last week.
The Buckeyes held the Scarlet Knights to 117 rushing yards on 41 carries (2.9 yards-per-carry) in a 56-0 win. Gus Edwards was the most effective as he totaled 43 yards on 10 carries.
Even in a rout of that magnitude, both Edwards and Robert Martin ripped off gains of double-digit yards.
Saturday’s matchup could be decided by what team has a better afternoon defending the run.
Maryland may not have the amount of four and five-star athletes in their front seven that Ohio State does. However, the Terps have received inspired play from players like linebackers Jermaine Carter Jr. and Shane Cockerille.