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How, literally sickened by Minnesota loss, Maryland bounced back

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How, literally sickened by Minnesota loss, Maryland bounced back

COLLEGE PARK -- Sickened by Thursday’s loss to a Minnesota team that had previously not won a game in conference play, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon had eaten sparingly as Sunday’s game back at home against Michigan approached.

Standing at the podium after his team’s 86-82 victory over the Wolverines in College Park, a relieved coach made a confession.

“I was down as you can be,” he said about the loss earlier this week. “I can’t wait to eat. My stomach’s up here growling.”

Turgeon mood after Thursday’s defeat mirrored that of his team. Junior Damonte Dodd said the plane ride home was difficult. Others said it took time for the team to smile again. But whatever was said and whatever was done, Maryland came out against Michigan looking like a team fighting for its life rather than one ready to lay down after a possibly resume-defining loss.

With the game tied in the first half on Sunday, 12-12, the Terrapins shifted into another gear. Dodd became a shot-blocking machine, rejecting two Michigan shots in two possessions. One led to a Robert Carter, Jr. dunk in transition. The other came on a possession that ended in a Michigan turnover.

MORE TERPS: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARYLAND'S WIN OVER MICHIGAN

An earlier Jake Layman steal had sparked a run-out and transition layup, plus the foul.

The first half featured a stretch of more than seven minutes without a made Michigan field goal and a 14-0 Maryland run that ignited XFINITY Center in a way that proved the Terrapins were here to play.

“We’re fine. We have a lot of confidence in each other. We knew we [were] going to get out of it,” Carter said postgame before making a joke. “You guys don’t have to write anymore stories about us losing.”

Maryland’s hot start allowed it to endure the counterpunch that Michigan eventually threw, which included 13 threes for the game and the forcing of 18 Terrapins turnovers that led to 21 points.

Had the order of events been flipped, perhaps with the Wolverines coming out on fire from deep as opposed to catching fire later in the game, Maryland could have wilted. But they didn’t.

“We wanted to get back to being us and who we are and that would be what we really talked about,” Turgeon said. “Were we desperate? I don’t think so, but we were dialed in.”

Turgeon never labels regular-season games as must-wins, but Sunday was about as close as it gets.

If Maryland had lost, that would mean six days to dwell on it before a tough road matchup against Purdue -- a three-game losing streak that included two home losses and a loss to a sub-200 RPI team before going to West Lafayette to face one of the nation’s best defensive teams.

That is the type of mixture that can derail a season, even for a team full of veterans or mature-beyond-their-years players.

Disaster avoided.

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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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