Maryland Terps

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Vegas experts not impressed with Terps start


Vegas experts not impressed with Terps start

While Maryland may be undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country, the experts in Las Vegas aren't as high on the Terps now as they were when the season began. 

In late October listed Mark Turgeon's Maryland squad at 10-1 to win the 2016 national title, one of the highest odds for any team in the country. A month later and the Terps odds have slid to 14-1, still high considering how much of the season is left, but considerably lower as other teams have moved up. 

It's not a surprise that Maryland's odds have dipped. Despite their 6-0 record and a win over Georgetown, the Terps have struggled in victories over lesser teams like Rider and Illinois State. 

Maryland is working on a new starting five, with holdovers Jake Layman and Melo Trimble now joined by transfers Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon alongside freshman big man Diamond Stone. Turgeon has said repeatedly that his squad is a work in progress, and so far in the early stages of the college hoops season that assessment seems correct. 

Tuesday night's game at North Carolina is a chance for Maryland to make a strong impression. UNC came into the season ranked No. 1 in the country until an early season slip up at Northern Iowa. Despite that loss, the Tar Heels are still loaded with talent and will be fired up to welcome former ACC partner turned Big Ten opponent Maryland into the Dean Dome. Vegas has Carolina a 6-point favorite over the Terps. 

Other moves at the top of the college basketball ranks include mighty Kentucky moving to 5-1 odds at winning the title, the highest of any team in the country. Michigan State vaulted from 20-1 to 9-1 odds, second highest on the board. Duke and Carolina came in at 10-1 while Virginia and Kansas post 12-1 odds.

RELATED: Maryland-UNC Preview: 5 things you need to know

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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.