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Michigan blows past Maryland: 5 things you need to know

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Michigan blows past Maryland: 5 things you need to know

COLLEGE PARK -- On a dreary, cloud-covered day in College Park, Maryland’s offense did little to enthuse the crowd of 51,802 at Byrd Stadium in a 28-0 loss to Michigan.

In all, the Terrapin offense mustered just 105 yards of total offense, hurt by an inability to get anything going on the ground or in the air and compounded by turnovers that stalled what progress was made.

Here are five things you need to know about the loss.

1) Interceptions plague Caleb Rowe again

Senior quarterback Caleb Rowe threw two interceptions in the first quarter, negating the two fumbles the defense had worked to recover in the same quarter.

One came on a deep out route to D.J. Moore that was thrown into double coverage. The other was on a screen that bounced off of running back Brandon Ross, hanging in the air long enough to be picked off.

He made another poor decision in the third quarter, scrambling and throwing a side-armed pass that was bobbled but intercepted.

Rowe now leads the FBS in interceptions by a wide margin with 12. He was later replaced. More on that below.

2) Plenty of offensive problems to go around

Yes, much falls on Rowe. But his wide receivers were doing him no favors. The first half saw five drops by Maryland receivers and he was pressured consistently by the Michigan pass rush.

On the ground, Michigan came into the game surrendering just 2.6 yards per carry. That was good for sixth in the nation. In the first half, Maryland rushed for just 1.8 yards. Of Ross’ 25 first-half yards, 18 came on one run. The other seven came on 10 carries.

MORE TERPS: RAVENS COACH JOINS BROTHER ON SIDELINES VS. MARYLAND

3) Defense forced turnovers (turning into little)

Maryland’s defense did its part to bounce back after a dismal out vs. West Virginia last week. They forced two turnovers in the first quarter, then picked off a Jake Rudock pass in the third quarter.

The problem was, Maryland did very little to capitalize on those turnovers.

4) Rowe replaced again

For the second straight game, Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman replaced Rowe in the third quarter of the game. The move came after Rowe’s third interception.

Rowe finished 8-of-27 for 47 yards with those three interceptions.

Against Michigan’s stout defense, though, it didn’t make much of a difference to insert Garman. He finished 2-of-9 passing for 29 yards.

5) The defense finally breaks

As has been in the case in many other games over the course of the past three seasons, there came a point where the defense could simply hold no longer.

Though the score was 6-0 at the half, short Maryland offensive drives ultimately took their toll. A handful of big Wolverine plays made it 21-0 by the end of the third quarter and Michigan cruised from there.

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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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