Maryland Terps

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Maryland is not No. 1 -- and maybe that's easier right now

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Maryland is not No. 1 -- and maybe that's easier right now

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland has never been the nation’s No. 1 team within a regular season. They narrowly missed out on Monday, outpaced by only Villanova as they settled into the No. 2 spot.

Head coach Mark Turgeon often reiterates the fact that he does not talk about rankings with his team and rarely goes very far in-depth with the media. Monday, he went deeper than he typically does.

“I think if we got to No. 1, we’d have to talk about it because it’s different,” he said. “I think No. 2 we don’t have to.

“I’m proud of our guys because it’s February … we’ve played 24 games, and we’re No. 2 in the country and we’ve had a lot on our plate and we’ve been able to handle it, which has been good.”

No. 2 in the country includes No. 2 in the Big Ten, trailing only Iowa in the conference -- a team they beat at home late last month. It’s almost as if No. 1 isn’t all that desirable a place to be this season, with so many top-ranked teams getting knocked off.

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From North Carolina to Kansas to Oklahoma, the national race is wide open. Staying out of the spotlight is almost wise.

“We were [No.] 8 two weeks ago. That shows you how volatile it is,” Turgeon said. “Usually when you’re [No.] 8, in two weeks you can’t move up that much, but there’s just so many good basketball teams out there beating everybody, so we’ll see how we handle it, but I think it keeps the pressure off.

“We’ve learned to handle No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 because we never talk about it so [No.] 2 will be no different.”

Maryland resets and refocuses starting on Tuesday with a rare Division II matchup against Bowie State in the middle of the conference season.

From there, six more regular-season Big Ten games remain.

“Where we’re ranked now, where we’re ranked last week, where we’re ranked next week, it doesn’t matter,” the always-diplomatic Rasheed Sulaimon said. “The final ranking of the year matters and we’re trying to be one of those teams competing for the best spot at the end of the year.”

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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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