Walking into a road environment against a team threatening to go undefeated, it was a slow start that ultimately doomed Maryland in a 31-15 loss to Iowa on Saturday in Iowa City.
Turnovers once again plagued Maryland. Their four giveaways on the day helped Iowa jump out to a 21-0 lead by halftime and the Terrapins were unable to climb out of that hole.
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills rushed for 104 yards on the ground -- his third straight game reaching the 100-yard mark -- but he finished 11-of-22 passing for 74 yards and three interceptions.
Here are five things you need to know.
1) Turnovers and mistakes plague Maryland again
Maryland turned the ball over twice in the first half, once fumbling the ball and once throwing an interception (though they got the ball back on an Iowa fumble during that return). There was also a blocked punt deep in their own territory that set Iowa up for a score just before the half.
The result? A 21-0 Iowa lead at the break.
2) Not sustaining drives
Maryland controlled the ball for just under 11 of the first 30 minutes of Saturday’s game. That is the time during which Iowa amassed its 21-0 first-half lead. Behind the eight ball like that going into the second half, Maryland played more of an even game. It was that early hole that hurt them.
3) Tried to fight back late
Maryland scored a touchdown to make it 21-7 in the fourth quarter, which considering everything that had happened up to that point was reasonable. An ensuing onside kick attempt was meant to inject life into the team. The try was unsuccessful, but Iowa only kicked a field goal coming from the good field position.
Perry Hills’ ability on the ground helped Maryland to push again into Iowa territory and, as they stood on the doorstep with the chance to make it a 10-point game, the worst happened.
4) Painful pick six
A Hills pass was intercepted by Iowa’s Desmond King and returned 88 yards for a touchdown, making it 31-7.
Will Likely returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to make it 31-15 and Maryland continued to fight -- including trying another onside kick -- but it was ultimately too much.
5) The brightest spot
Junior pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue continued his season-long tear with another sack on Saturday against Iowa. He now has 10 sacks on the season and is only three sacks shy of tying the school’s single-season sack record.