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First-Half Superlatives: Handing out awards to No. 4 Maryland

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First-Half Superlatives: Handing out awards to No. 4 Maryland

The non-conference portion of the schedule is done and Maryland finished 11-1, now sitting as the No. 4 team in the nation.

How about some first-half superlatives? CSN has its list here.

MVP - Melo Trimble

Who else could it be? This team is supremely talented and the wealth is pretty evenly spread, but part of the reason it is able to be that way is because of Trimble as a rock at the point guard spot.

In his sophomore season, he has been more willing to shift into a full-time distribution role when needed while still showing his ability to take over games as a scorer when called upon. His 14.8 points per game is a team high. He leads the team with 5.8 assists (nearly double last season’s average). He even leads the team with 1.5 steals per game.

Best Supporting Actor - Rasheed Sulaimon

Where would Maryland be without Sulaimon? From a basic, X’s and O’s standpoint, were he not to have transferred from Duke to College Park the team’s backcourt depth would be so depleted after the injury to Dion Wiley that it’s almost certain they would not be the nation’s No. 4 team.

But from a leadership, fit, and production standpoint, he has been even more valuable. Sulaimon and Trimble have meshed together and filled in where the other is weak. He is one of five players on the team averaging double figures and is shooting 50 percent from both the field and from three.

MORE TERPS: NATION'S NO. 1 PLAYER SAYS MARYLAND STILL IN THE MIX

Most Improved - Jaylen Brantley

When Wiley went down with that injury, it was assumed from the outside that the guard depth Maryland had would allow them to absorb it without much issue. But, as it turns out, Brantley still had to adjust to the Power Five game and Turgeon had to build the trust to put him in.

Now, both the trust and the confidence have come together and Brantley posted 14 points against Princeton and another 8 against Marshall. In this two-game stretch, he has made nine of his 11 shots.

A healthy Wiley would have pushed Brantley almost completely out of the rotation. Now he will be asked to shoulder key minutes in conference play.

Newcomer of the First Half - Robert Carter, Jr.

Preseason hype was about how Carter could be the best player on this Maryland team. He has lived up to it, averaging 13 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on a loaded team, while completely changing the dynamic of how the Maryland offense can work.

He now gives them a legitimate, take-it-yourself option in the post with an array of NBA level moves. It’s almost inevitable that we will see him take over a game at some point this season in Big Ten play.

Best Performance in a Losing Effort - Melo Trimble vs. UNC

There’s only one losing effort to speak of for Maryland so far this season, but there’s not really a question that the superlative should go to Trimble. In a back-and-forth battle on the road, Trimble overcame early jitters to finish with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He made it a double-double by adding 12 assists.

Added to that, he barely sat. He played 38 grueling minutes and even had Maryland leading in the second half.

Highest Ceiling in the Second Half -- Diamond Stone

Stone says that he has fully accepted his role off the bench and it is paying off. Since becoming the team’s sixth man, he is averaging 14.2 points per game and has been better defensively -- probably due in part because he is now able to face second-unit forwards and centers to begin the game in his new role.

That has translated to confidence that carries over into big moments against the opposition’s best players. The five-star freshman is progressing nicely and will continue to do so. 

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Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Former Maryland Terrapin D.J. Moore made his first trip to FedEx field as an NFL star. His Carolina Panthers traveled up to Landover, Md. for a Week 6 matchup with the Washington Redskins.

However, it was not the homecoming he and the Panthers were hoping for. 

The first-round draft pick had two fumbles in the first half against the Redskins. Both were punch-outs due to Moore not holding the ball tight enough.

The wide receiver's first came as he fielded the Redskins' first punt of the afternoon.

The second being a fumble coming off of his first reception, punched out by Josh Norman, who had his best game as a Redskin.

Both plays had enough effort, probably too much. Moore was clearly trying to make something out of nothing and both times it cost him and the Panthers two key possessions on the road. 

First two touches, two fumbles. Not a good look. 

But in other Maryland Terps news, Vernon Davis did haul down the first touchdown of the game and Torrey Smith scored a late touchdown and converted the two-point conversion. 

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

On the field, it has been a season of ups and downs for the Maryland Terrapins. On Saturday, it became evident that the team's penalty issues are at epic proportions based on their loss to Michigan.

This season, Maryland is one of the most penalized teams in all of Division I football. 

No matter if the penalties are coming in wins or in losses, yellow flags have forced Maryland to dig themselves out of holes this season. Quickly these holes become insurmountable with the inconsistent offense the Terps have this season. 

Below is where they stand on the NCAA FBS Division I leaderboard:

  • Penalties per game (4th worst) - 9.8 penalties
  • Penalty yards per game (3rd worst) - 93.8 yards
  • 7 penalties per 100 plays (t-worst) 


This past Saturday against Michigan, their penalties were a significant factor in a loss for the first time this season. Twelve times the Terps were flagged, costing them 107 yards. 

The first major penalty was just after the Terps got a big kickoff return for a touchdown by Ty Johnson to give them an early 7-3 lead. Two scrimmage plays later, Darnell Savage got his second interception of the season on Michigan's side of the field with the upset in full swing. A holding penalty on the return pushed the Terps back to midfield where they would go three-and-out. 

That mistake, although minuscule at the time, cannot happen on the road against a top-25 opponent. A momentum-swinging play was diminished by the penalty and kept them from adding to their lead.  

The offense though was responsible for most of the dirty laundry on the field. Of their 12 penalties, half of them were on the offense. Five of those six were detrimental to their success. 

A holding penalty in the second quarter prevented the Terps from having the chance to answer Michigan's first touchdown of the game.

On the first drive of the second half for the Terps, three penalties in the first four plays pushed them back to a 4th-and-36. 

Although they converted a fourth-and-6 in the red zone, they got pushed back to that mark because of a false start the play prior. This was their first drive of the fourth where they were behind by three scores and desperately trying to come back.

In their Week 1 shocking upset over the ranked Texas Longhorns the team had eight penalties for 70 yards. This was the only game that their opponent committed more penalties.

The next week at Bowling Green (14 for 139 yards) was worse, at home vs. Temple (five penalties, 35 yards) and at Minnesota (10 penalties, 118 yards).

Currently, the team is sitting at 3-2 with a win over the No. 9 team in the country, Texas. Considering everything that has happened, and they are under interim head coach Matt Canada, they are rising above expectations. 

But by no means are there many confident in how the Terps have played this season. Mostly that is due to these penalties. 

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