Maryland Terps

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Jared Nickens sees something familar in this crop of Terps

Jared Nickens sees something familar in this crop of Terps

Watch more from Nickens at Camden Yards in the video player above, which will begin momentarily.

In Jared Nickens' first season at Maryland, expectations were modest and that Terrapin team exceeded almost all projections by making the NCAA tournament and advancing to the second round.

Now, Nickens is a junior and after a season of sky-high expectations that culminated in a Sweet 16 appearance, the tables have turned. A talented group of underclassmen will be paired with a core of veterans on Mark Turgeon's 2016-17 team. 

This time, though, Nickens is one of the elder statesmen. And he sees a mix of both change and continuity.

"When the season ended, it looked like the whole starting five was about to leave and then Melo [Trimble] decided to come back which is great for us," Nickens said Thursday at Camden Yards after accompanying Turgeon on the mound for a ceremonial first pitch. "That just adds another dynamic to our team and being that we're going to have a whole different team from last year to this year."

Leading the group of freshmen next season at Maryland will be point guard Anthony Cowan, a four-star recruit who will likely flex between a role as Trimble's backup and as Trimble's sidekick.

MORE TERPS: THE CHANGE TURGEON EXPECTS TO SEE IN TRIMBLE

Fellow guard Kevin Huerter, at 6-6, is a talented shooter with point guard attributes, as well. That's before mentioning the late addition of forward Justin Jackson, a former UNLV commit solidified the frontcourt rotation with his pledge.

Four-star Micah Thomas and Spanish forward Joshua Tomaic round out the group.

"They're going to help a lot," Nickens said. "It kind of reminds me of my freshman year where we kind of, I wouldn't say thrown into the fire, but they're going to be able to contribute and we signed L.G. Gill ... so he has experience too. We're going to be pretty good this year."

And it all centers around Trimble, who was so integral to Maryland's success when he was a freshman. Having come to the Terrapins at the same time, Nickens has been along for every step so far and he can foresee what going through the draft process will do for Trimble.

"It just brings that fire to him, which I know he has. It's just going to allow him to play well," he said. "I mean, last year I would say he's seen all types of defenses so now he'll be prepared to know what's coming. I'm just excited to see his growth as a player."

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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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