Maryland Terps

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Having 'guts enough' to do it may be key to fixing Terps' backcourt problem


Having 'guts enough' to do it may be key to fixing Terps' backcourt problem

COLLEGE PARK -- Mark Turgeon sat at the podium after his team’s 75-71 victory over Georgetown on Tuesday night in College Park and promised it would be the only time this season that he would say this.

“We missed Dion tonight.”

With sophomore guard Dion Wiley sidelined for the season after undergoing knee surgery, Maryland’s backcourt rotation went from what appeared to be deep to a situation that forced senior Rasheed Sulaimon and sophomore Melo Trimble to play 37 and 34 minutes vs. the Hoyas, respectively.

That is the kind of minutes tally that will help you win a must-have rivalry game, but one that Turgeon knows is not sustainable for an entire season.

“I just have to have guts enough to play my bench on the perimeter,” Turgeon said. “If I do that, we’ll be fine.”

With Georgetown out of the way and four games in the next nine days, this is the time to figure it out. Senior Varun Ram is a situational defensive player, so most of this falls on the shoulders of junior college point guard transfer Jaylen Brantley.


Brantley came to Maryland with a reputation as a strong shooter and a player who could be an agitator on the defensive end of the floor. He played 16 minutes in the team’s opener against Mount St. Mary’s, but just one in the win over Georgetown.

“I just got to get him in there more. He’s got to get more comfortable and it’s a lot,” Turgeon said. “It’s a big jump from junior college ball to Georgetown, on ESPN, in front of that environment.”

The biggest adjustment for Brantley will be how exactly he fits. In high school, he says, he was a featured player. In junior college, he played 30 minutes per night and ran the team. Now, he has to figure out how to boil his game down and pack it into, say, 15 minutes per game.

“The adjustment with that is just playing harder in the time that you’re in,” Brantley said. “Do positive things. Don’t do anything negative to get yourself out of the game and if you just be positive and play great at that time that you’re in, I’m pretty sure Coach will keep you in and see what happens in the rest of the game.”

An effective Brantley would mean a reduced workload for Trimble and Sulaimon, which will pay off down the stretch of the season. It would also allow Maryland to be more flexible with small-ball lineups like the one they were forced to use late against Georgetown.

Brantley should get more minutes beginning on Friday against Rider. Three more games after that await before the team’s big showdown Dec. 1 in Chapel Hill against No. 1 North Carolina.

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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.