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Michigan State tops Maryland: 5 things you need to know

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Michigan State tops Maryland: 5 things you need to know

It was a similar story for Maryland on Saturday against Michigan State. Plagued by turnovers and unable to get the offense moving, the Terrapins lost their grip on what was a close football game for a time in a 24-7 loss to the Spartans in East Lansing.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Injury forces Michigan State star QB out of the game

After quarterback Connor Cook took a shot from defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue on Michigan State’s first drive, the Spartans inserted backup Tyler O’Connor, who led a 10-play touchdown drive.

Cook re-entered the game and was hit by Maryland defensive lineman Jesse Aniebonam, exiting the game again with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. He would again come back into the game.

At halftime, though, Cook was replaced for good by O’Connor. Against a Maryland team that was getting pressure on the quarterback while being unable to do much on the other side of the ball, it was worth the risk for the Spartans to sit Cook down.

Cook was 6-of-20 in the first half for 77 yards, clearly unable to make the full repertoire of throws that he typically does. In relief, O’Connor finished 6-of-11 for 44 yards.

2) Special teams issues

Lou Groza Award-winning kicker Brad Craddock was out after undergoing surgery a week ago to repair a dislocated bone in his wrist.

Punter Nicolas Pritchard was yanked after punting the ball 11 yards in the second quarter. Replacement Lee Shrader came in and punted the ball 19 yards on the attempt after Pritchard’s. All of those issues combined to give Michigan State good field position and put the defense in a tough position.

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3) Perry Hills strong, then struggles

Hills started out 5-of-7 passing early against Michigan State. Just 1-of-11 passing followed, coinciding with offensive stagnation in the first half and a pick-six by the Spartan defense that gave Michigan State a 14-7 lead.

Caleb Rowe was inserted in different capacities in passing situations, but he struggled as well. Hills was 14-of-30 passing for 140 yards and an interception. Rowe was 3-of-5 for 42 yards and two interceptions.

4) Too many turnovers (again)

Entering the game already as the team with the worst turnover margin in the country, it only got worse for Maryland on Saturday. The Terrapins turned the ball over five times (once on a Hills interception, another two by Rowe, plus two fumbles) and forced three themselves for a net of -2.

The game was tied, as mentioned above, before Hills’ pick six. A Caleb Rowe interception just before halftime gave the Spartans another opportunity to score before the break and they capitalized with a field goal.

The turnovers put an incredible stress on the defense. Even when they themselves are able to force three turnovers, the four on the other side make the hole too large to get out of.

5) Ngakoue gets closer

Maryland defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue inched closer toward tying the school’s single-season sack record on Saturday, registering a sack to put him at 12 on the season. That is good for second in the nation and he is now just one shy of the school record of 13.

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Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland forward Justin Jackson will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to seek a career in the NBA.

Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon also says guard Dion Wiley will transfer before playing his senior season.

MORE TERPS: LEFTY DRIESELL IS FINALLY GOING TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME

Jackson averaged 10.5 points as a freshman before missing most of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury.

Jackson says, "After talking with my family and weighing my options, it's my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in professional basketball."

Wiley appeared in 83 career games, playing a backup role on three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under Turgeon.

Maryland was 19-13 this season, including 8-10 in the Big Ten, and failed to reach the postseason.

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

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USA Today Sports Images

Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

Long-time University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell will finally be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

This is according to NBC Sports Washington contributor Jon Feinstein.

Driesell coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons between 1969-86. While guiding the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Championship, Driesell transformed Maryland into a legitimate force in college basketball.

When hired by the Terps, Driesell famously announced that he wanted to turn Maryland into the “UCLA of the East.” After only four seasons he had made it to two ACC Championship Games and his first Elite Eight appearance. His success opened the door not only for the program but the school to compete at the highest levels of competition.

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Maryland made it as high as the Elite Eight twice under the reign of Driesell. He was named ACC Coach of the Year twice and won one ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. At the time of his NIT Championship with the Terps in 1972, the NIT was held in a similar regard to the NCAA Tournament.

He is second on Maryland’s all-time wins list (348), behind Gary Williams’ 461. Driesell however, still holds the best win percentage of all Maryland coaches with 68.6 win percentage.

After Maryland, the former Duke basketball coached at James Madison for just short of a decade and ended his coaching days at Georgia State. Driesell also coached at Davidson before taking the Maryland job to combine for over 40 seasons at the head of a Division I basketball program.

The 86-year-old was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2007. He also the namesake for the NCAA’s best defensive player of the year award, which was first awarded in 2010.

The official announcement from the Naismith Hall of Fame will be during the Final Four on Saturday, March 31.

WANT MORE HOOPS?  Listen below as Troy Machir and Chick Hernandez discuss Lefty Driesell's legacy in the area and why the Terps icon was on the outside of the Hall of Fame for so long.