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Maryland-Princeton Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland-Princeton Preview: 5 things you need to know

No. 6 Maryland faces Princeton on Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) A change of scenery

Mark Turgeon says that his team will likely be excited by playing in a new venue as part of the program’s brand extension northward into Baltimore. The Terrapins have not played in Baltimore since facing Iowa during the 1999-00 season.

The arena seats 14,000 people, slightly smaller than the on-campus XFINITY Center. For the first time in a long time, though, no member of the Maryland roster is a native of the city. Assistant Bino Ranson and special assistant Juan Dixon are, though.

2) Coming off a break

Maryland has been plagued by slow starts against mid-majors at different points this season. They are coming off their longest stretch without a game this year. What will the effect be? On one hand, they could be well-rested and energized. On the other, they could take some time to get into the swing of things early.

MORE TERPS: GAME IN BALTIMORE NOT JUST ABOUT RECRUITING

3) Something of a preview?

Maryland got a look in part at what it will see on Saturday when it played Georgetown, which runs a similar offensive system. Princeton is an experienced group, though, and they can be a threat shooting the basketball.

Princeton ranks 91st in the country in offensive efficiency.

4) Backcourt rotation?

Turgeon says he knew at the time the impact of Dion Wiley’s injury before many people realized it in action. We’re still seeing the ripple effects of it, too. Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon are playing major minutes. Jaylen Brantley is still being worked into the fold.

What will we see on Saturday? Does Turgeon give Brantley some slack if the Terrapins can get an early lead and reduce the workload for the two backcourt starters?

5) Another big break after this

The other concern on Saturday night is the fact that this game not only comes after a big break for the Terrapins, but this game is followed by a big break as well. Will the focus be there or will there be another sluggish performance against a smaller school?

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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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