COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Ohio State seems to be getting into a rut - the good kind that can lead to championships.
J.T. Barrett accounted for four touchdowns, Curtis Samuel scored three TDs and the sixth-ranked Buckeyes enjoyed another 62-3 rout - this time, against Maryland on Saturday.
After beating then-No. 10 Nebraska by the identical score last week, Ohio State poured it on against Maryland, going up 21-3 after the first quarter and 45-3 at halftime.
''It's just that time of year where you're getting closer to the playoffs and championship games,'' Samuel said. ''We know we've got to step it up. We've got to come out here every day and give it our all, put up numbers.''
Ohio State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten, No. 5 CFP) has won three straight to remain in contention for the Big Ten title and, more importantly, a berth in the College Football Playoff.
With Barrett and Samuel leading the way, the Buckeyes eliminated any potential drama by scoring touchdowns on three of their four possessions in the first quarter.
Samuel got things started with a 2-yard touchdown run. Barrett then took it in from 4 and added a 36-yard TD pass to Samuel.
In between, the Buckeyes punted for the first time two weeks. Also, backup quarterback Caleb Rowe led the Terps to a field goal. But even that was disappointing because Maryland failed to get into the end zone after a 37-yard completion produced a first down at the Ohio State 3.
Rowe took over for Perry Hills, who was injured at the end of Maryland's second drive. Rowe proved ineffective and was replaced in the second half by true freshman Tyrrell Pigrome.
Barrett made it 28-3 with a 1-yard run early in the second quarter and Samuel got his third touchdown around right end from the 5.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer replaced Barrett during a third-quarter drive that ended with a TD for a 55-3 lead. Barrett ran for two touchdowns, threw two scoring passes and finished 18 for 27 for 253 yards.
Samuel ran for 38 yards and caught five passes for 74 yards. Freshman Mike Weber carried 12 times for 93 yards.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes are gaining momentum heading into the most important part of the season. The offense has been unstoppable over the past two weeks and the defense limited Maryland to 176 yards and 10 first downs.
Ohio State travels to Michigan State, which whipped Rutgers 49-0 Saturday. It's the Buckeyes' final tuneup before the regular-season finale at home against Michigan.
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