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How Maryland playing with fire could get them burned in Cancun

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How Maryland playing with fire could get them burned in Cancun

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland has played with fire over its past two games and, if the trend continues, they run the risk of soon getting burned.

Despite beating both Georgetown and Rider this past week, the Terrapins trailed by seven points with 5:48 to play and 14 points with 16:19 to play, respectively. They battled back from both deficits, but is there a common thread between the two games?

“It’s not chemistry. It was effort tonight, it was paying attention to details tonight, and then a coach just not having them prepared,” Turgeon said after the win over Rider.

“I don’t see a common thread. We were nervous the other night to start, they weren’t. They made shots to start, we didn’t. We competed, so we know we have to get better. We understand it.”

In each of those two games, there seemed to be a separate thorn in Maryland’s side. Against Georgetown, it was the play of seven-footer Bradley Hayes and timely outside shooting. Against Rider, it was an inability to keep the Broncs out of the lane defensively and the inability to crack the defense’s zone on the other end of the floor.

But there still seems to be a sense of confidence that players projected after both wins. Senior Rasheed Sulaimon talked about the mood of the huddle late against Georgetown when upperclassmen kept repeating the message that they could still win the game.

Then, there was Layman after the Rider win.

MORE TERPS: HOW DIAMOND STONE BOUNCED BACK SO QUICKLY

“To me, the whole time I felt like we were all going to come back, but when we’re down 15, that’s not a good spot to be in,” he said. “We showed some good things at the end of the game, but we still have a lot to work on obviously.”

Maryland will refocus on its trip to Cancun this upcoming week. Illinois State is up first, a mid-major that the Terrapins should beat handily.

The major concern should be if Rhode Island beats TCU and the Terrapins meet the Rams in the tournament’s championship game.

Rhode Island lost star E.C. Matthews for the season to a knee injury, but that team is still packed with talent and led by one of the best young coaches in college basketball -- Dan Hurley.

Former Towson guard Four McGlynn is carrying the offense. Off-guard Jared Terrell was once an Oklahoma State commit. Forward Hassan Martin could start on a number of Power Five teams. Fellow forward Kuran Iverson was a Top 30 player nationally coming out of high school and for him it has always been about putting it all together.

The Rams are 2-1 on the year. Their loss? A three-point defeat at the hands of a Valparaiso team that is a favorite to win the Horizon League -- and pushed Maryland to the brink in last year's NCAA tournament.

Trail by double digits in the second half against that Rhode Island team and a win isn’t as much within reach.

“We’re three games in and we just have to get better,” Turgeon said. “We’ll keep working on it and hopefully get more consistent defensively and more consistent offensively.

“We’ve got to play better and that’s my job to get them playing better.”

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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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