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Maryland-Ohio State Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland-Ohio State Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland faces No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, looking to get to pull a major upset at a crucial juncture in the season and possibly in the program’s history.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Randy Edsall’s final game at Maryland?

With reports saying that the dismissal of head coach Randy Edsall is imminent, Saturday’s game vs. Ohio State could be his final game on the sidelines as the coach of the Terrapins.

A statement released by the program affirmed the fact that Edsall would be the coach Saturday, but it did not refute what has been reported and it did not address his future beyond Saturday’s game.

2) Starting Maryland QB still a mystery

Edsall said that a change would likely be made after senior quarterback Caleb Rowe threw three interceptions in last week’s loss to Michigan. Whether it be gamesmanship, a pure need for further evaluation, or both, Edsall has maintained that a starter would not be named until game time on Saturday.

But perhaps we have at least a hint. Junior Perry Hills, who started the first two games of the season before being benched in favor of Rowe, was named a captain for Saturday’s game.

A captain, but not assuredly the starter.

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3) A running back unlike many others

Maryland has faced quality running backs during the early part of the season, but Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is something else entirely. Elliott has rushed for 100 or more yards in 10 straight games, including when he went over 200 yards in four of those games.

He is a powerful downhill runner who often gains his biggest chunks of yards after first contact is made.

And Maryland is facing him at their most vulnerable time. Two starters in the front seven have gone down with season-ending injuries over the past two weeks and a converted defensive back, Denzel Conyers, will be in the rotation as a backup to fill in.

If they are not careful, 300 yards by Elliott alone could be within reach.

4) Whichever OSU QB, same threat

Whether Maryland sees more of Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett, they’ll have the same issues against the Buckeyes. The Terrapins do not defend the spread offense well and the depth of talent on the Ohio State roster is matched in few places around the country.

Barrett may be more of a threat to run, but Jones can take off if there is open space in front of him. Added to that, Jones it tougher to bring down.

Keep a close eye on the secondary. Cornerback Sean Davis was burned badly against Bowling Green’s spread. The hope is that there is not a repeat of that on Saturday.

5) Staying competitive

This has been the biggest problem for Maryland against big-time schools over the past few seasons. Simple losses to superior teams turn into runaway losses where the team is rarely competitive (2013 Florida State, 2014 Wisconsin, 2015 West Virginia).

There is the same threat vs. Ohio State.

Stalled Maryland offensive drives keep the defense on the field for longer. The Ohio State offense works that defense and scores, then another stalled drive by the Maryland offense puts the defense back out there.

The cycle continues and that is how final scores like 45-6 and 28-0 can happen.

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

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"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

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Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.