Though the Ohio State football team should be the best in Big Ten again, that does not mean they are incapable of slipping up.
Ryan Day’s Ohio State football team has a shot to go undefeated in regular-season play yet again.
While the Buckeyes are probably not getting back to the national championship game again, Ohio State should win the Big Ten with one or fewer losses and play in a national semifinal. They may not have the quarterback play or the deep enough roster to contend with an SEC juggernaut or Clemson should they be matched up in the New Year’s Six. As for a trap game, they may have one.
Ohio State football’s potential trap game for 2021 college season
When looking at Ohio State’s schedule, the Buckeyes’ hardest game occurs before Big Ten play really gets going. After beginning the year at the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Ohio State will host the Pac-12 behemoth Oregon Ducks. After that, Group of 5 contender Tulsa comes to town, followed up with an in-state game vs. the Akron Zips. Ohio State almost certainly goes 4-0 here.
But once the calendar flips to October, there is a chance Ohio State could come up short against a team it is way better than. While these type of letdown games have not happened under Day, you would get one every other year or so under Urban Meyer. Think Iowa and Purdue. While the Buckeyes do draw the Boilermakers in mid-November, their trap game might be vs. Maryland.
This sounds absolutely insane, but hear me out. The two games Ohio State circles on the calendar every year at the dates vs. Michigan and Penn State. For the time being, those are not possible trap game candidates. Had last year have been a normal season, maybe the road date at Indiana would suffice this trap game narrative? However, Ohio State knows how good the Hoosiers are.
So with the Terrapins coming to town on Oct. 9 with a bye week coming up, Ohio State might be counting its chickens and assuming it will be a perfect 6-0 before the bye. However, Ohio State and Maryland did not play a season ago due to COVID positivity. Also, there were times when the Terrapins offense looked really strong with transfer quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa in the ‘gun.
Outside of the Oregon game, Ohio State may not face a team with as good of a quarterback. For Maryland to pull off the shocking upset, they will have to win a shootout. Fortunately, the Terps are best equipped to do that with Mike Locksley full entrenched in College Park and Tagovailoa in his second season as the Maryland starter. This may not be the Maryland team of yesteryear.
If Ohio State loses the quarterback battle vs. Maryland, the Buckeyes could end up losing the war.
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