COLUMBUS — There was a different vibe at Ohio Stadium on Saturday prior to the kickoff between No. 1 Ohio State and Maryland.
Following Friday's news that Ohio State defensive end, and Heisman Trophy candidate, Chase Young would not play due to an NCAA investigation into a loan he received and paid off, there was a sense around the stadium of angst, anger and anticipation.
The mood turned much more positive with Military Appreciation Day activities taking place prior to kickoff and all throughout the game.
What everyone really wanted to know prior to kickoff was whether or not the Buckeyes would come out flat because of the Young news, or would they come out fired up?
By the time the first quarter ended, the Buckeyes were in front, 21-0.
There was no doubt the Ohio State players were fired up and ready to play.
By halftime the game was over, with Ohio State taking a commanding 42-0 lead. Head coach Ryan Day kept the offensive pedal to the floor in the third quarter, and when the game mercifully came to an end, OSU did nothing to tarnish it's No. 1 ranking.
The 73-14 victory was a far cry from a year ago when the Buckeyes barely escaped Maryland with a 52-51 win. This just in Buckeye fans, Ohio State is very, very good.
But still ...
The NCAA Young situation was never far from the minds of everyone at Ohio Stadium, and Ohio State fans everywhere. The talk about just what would happen didn't stop.
"Did you see that (Kirk) Herbstreit (of ESPN) reported that Young would be suspended for four games because of the amount of money he borrowed?"
"I read that Ohio State is going to appeal that so he might have some games knocked off the suspension."
"Shouldn't this be resolved quickly, he didn't take money from a booster or agent? He paid the money back!"
"The NCAA moved quickly when Johnny Manziel got caught signing autographs for money, and he only missed half a game."
"Since the NCAA is going to let players profit from their likeness, why are they coming down on Young now?"
"Of course this news came out now, Ohio State is No. 1 and everybody hates the Buckeyes."
And those are just some of the comments discussed at Ohio Stadium, and found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on Ohio State chat rooms all over the internet.
Until the Young situation is resolved by the NCAA, and at this point, who knows when that will be, it will continue to dominate the thoughts, and social media and TV news feeds hourly.
Unfortunately it's understandable, but it's also too bad.
Now, there won't be much, if any, talk about how the Ohio State offensive line looked against Maryland, how well quarterback Justin Fields played, or how many yards running back J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague rushed for in the win.
There won't be much discussion either about how the Buckeye defensive front played well in the absence of not only Young, but injured defensive end Jonathon Cooper.
In addition, Young, who some pundits thought could win the Heisman Trophy, wasn't the only Buckeye getting Heisman buzz. Fields and Dobbins were also generating some of their own.
That's pretty much an afterthought, now, even though they both played well in the win against the Terrapins.
Maybe Fields and Dobbins can turn the heads of Heisman voters next week when Ohio State takes on a very bad Rutgers team next, or in the coming weeks when the Buckeyes host Penn State, and hit the road to face Michigan.
In any case, the narrative around Ohio State football has changed from, "The Buckeyes have been one of the most, if not the most consistently dominant team in all facets of the game in college football," to "How long is Chase Young going to be out?"
As of now, only the NCAA can answer that question.