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UNC outlasts Maryland: 5 things you need to know


UNC outlasts Maryland: 5 things you need to know

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- In a game that was on the verge of spiraling out of control for Maryland on national television and in front of a packed Dean Smith Center in the first half, what followed was the gutsiest performance of the year by the Terrapins despite their defeat.

In a battle between the nation’s No. 2 and No. 9 teams, a fight to the end was ultimately a 89-81 Maryland loss to North Carolina on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

Melo Trimble, in a valiant effort, posted 23 points and 12 assists. North Carolina’s Marcus Paige countered masterfully with 20 points and five assists of his own.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Furious pace early and Terps look jumpy

Through five minutes, Maryland had six turnovers and North Carolina’s efforts to get the ball out of Melo Trimble’s hands by hedging far away from the rim and not allowing consistent dribble penetration.

The result was a rushed offense that was trying to fit passes into windows that weren’t there. Maryland turnovers allowed North Carolina to get out on the run. Turgeon said before the game that the Terrapins could not afford to play at UNC’s hyper speed for 40 minutes. It’s clear why.

2) Life to end the half

Maryland trailed by 12 points with 4:49 to play in the first half and the game was teetering on the edge of getting out of hands. That’s when the turnovers dried up and the Terrapins gave themselves a chance.

Maryland is never out of a game if its shooters are locked in, whether it’s Jared NIckens, Rasheed Sulaimon, Melo Trimble, or Jake Layman. A 9-3 run to end the half made it a manageable 41-35 deficit at the break.

3) Matchup that we expected

North Carolina is not an undersized, scrappy mid-major with small lineups that test Maryland. This is big man vs. big man, elite guard vs. elite guard, roll it out and play basketball. The turnovers are what hurt Maryland early, but there were no real bad matchups for them.

When the Tar Heels went on their run, it was because of execution and not a systematic mismatch.

4) Absolute heavyweight title fight

The second half of this game was a blow-for-blow heavyweight boxing match. Maryland tied the game, 55-55, with 14:54 to play and they went shot-for-shot after that. There was a stretch of time where Trimble assisted or scored eight of nine Maryland baskets.

Marcus Paige, making his season debut after recovering from a hand injury, was answering everything that Trimble was doing. The basketball was crisp. The Dean Dome was jumping.

5) UNC pulls away late

The game was tied, 69-69, with 8:49 to play after a pair of Jake Layman free throws. From there, North Carolina’s unbelievable clip from three-point range persisted and the turnover bug bit again down the stretch for Maryland.

North Carolina was 6-of-7 from deep in the second half and 9-of-13 for the game.

The Terrapins would trim the lead down to as little as six points late, but it was not enough.

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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.