Maryland Terps

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Maryland-Northwestern Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-Northwestern Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland faces Northwestern for the second time this month when the Wildcats come to College Park on Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. showdown.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) First time the second time around

For the first time this season, Maryland will be facing an opponent for the second time. The first was a 72-59 victory in Evanston, Ill. Maryland controlled the game for much of that contest, despite the fact that the Wildcats made a push at different points.

It was a good test on the road, which the Terrapins passed, and now they come home for Round 2. This time, the Northwestern crowd will not be a factor.

If fact, there could be the effect in the opposite direction. Maryland's crowd has helped to push it to a win, including against Penn State, Rider, and Georgetown.

2) Change to the starting lineup?

Mark Turgeon said on Monday that he was unsure what his starting lineup would be, leaving the door open for the possibility of freshman standout Diamond Stone to return to that role.

Except for a clerical error that made him a starter against Rutgers, Stone has been the team’s sixth man since a Dec. 1 loss to North Carolina. He has flourished, using the role off the bench to avoid foul trouble, survey the game, and provide a scoring spark on the second unit.

But he is simply becoming too efficient, if that makes sense. In only 20 minutes per game, he is producing like a starter. If this team wants to take the next step, he will need to play more minutes, with the thought being that he will maintain that efficiency and produce more.


3) Watching the Northwestern backcourt

The Wildcats’ backcourt duo of Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps is the engine for Northwestern. The two combine to average more than 30 points per game. McIntosh had 17 the first time these two teams met earlier this month.

Maryland, you’ll remember, has a strong backcourt itself with Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon. Trimble led the way with 24 points against the Wildcats last time out, while Sulaimon had a season-high 22 in the team’s blowout win over Ohio State on Saturday. That is the matchup to watch.

4) Seven-footer has returned

Maryland matches up well against size, but did not have to face seven-footer Alex Olah the first time around this season. He returned to the lineup and played seven minutes, posting five points and two rebounds, against Penn State on Saturday.

Is he fully healthy, though? If he is, he is a double-double threat. Head coach Chris Collins says he has no minutes restriction.

If he hits his stride, that means more defensive responsibilities for Stone, Damonte Dodd, and Michal Cekovsky.

5) Can bench keep it up?

Especially if Diamond Stone does end up starting, will Maryland’s bench pick up the slack? Jared Nickens showed signs of breaking out of his shooting slump vs. Ohio State. Varun Ram now seems to be an integral part of the rotation on the defensive end of the floor. Jaylen Brantley needs to find his niche.

There are a lot of moving parts, but Maryland needs production from that unit. Its starting five -- Stone included -- is as good as any in the country. But feast or famine will come back to bite them if they cannot get anything from the bench with starters off the floor.

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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.