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'We’re not scared' -- Why Terps feel they can match up with Kansas

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'We’re not scared' -- Why Terps feel they can match up with Kansas

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland ranked third in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25. Who was right behind them at No. 4? The Kansas Jayhawks.

Their seasons have taken different paths. Kansas never dropped below No. 7 in the polls and was the nation’s No. 1 team for the final three weeks of the season. Maryland reached as high as No. 2, but fell all the way to No. 18 when they lost four of their final six regular-season games.

Slates are all but wiped clean now, though, as the two meet Thursday in Louisville in the Sweet 16.

“We feel like we can play with them,” Turgeon said on Tuesday. “We’re just not going to show up. We’re going [to Louisville] to win the game. Our guys understand that and they get it.”

Talent-wise, Maryland has the better on-paper roster if you’re judging in terms of a talent stockpile for the next level. The Terrapins have two presumed first-round picks in Diamond Stone and Melo Trimble in their starting lineup, plus two more presumed second-round picks in Jake Layman and Robert Carter, Jr.

In all likelihood, Kansas does not have a first-round pick in its starting lineup. The Jayhawks are simply a collection of really good, really well-coached college basketball players who fit together in such a seamless way that they have earned 32 wins to this point and secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

MORE TERPS: GOOD -- AND BAD -- STATS THAT TELL THE STORY OF RUN TO SWEET 16

But it's that pure talent that should have Maryland viewed on near-equal footing before this game is played, resumes aside.

“I think we’re definitely one of the most talented teams in the country," senior Jake Layman said. "I think no matter who we’re playing, we’re not scared of whether they have talent or not.

“I think for us, it’s just a matter of being locked in on personnel and being ready to play, most importantly.”

Maryland will be the underdog in this game. It could be that way from here forward as long as the Terrapins continue to advance. But something curious happens with this Maryland team. They can struggle to put away a team like Rider, but compete toe-to-toe with some of the nation’s best.

Despite how first-round upset exit in the tournament might affect how they are ultimately viewed, Michigan State was a team the Terrapins played tough twice. The Terrapins went to Chapel Hill and led in the second half against North Carolina.

The ceiling for this team has never changed and something about playing an elite opponent seems to get Maryland as close to that sky-high ceiling as they possibly can get.

“We just go out there and play basketball,” sophomore Melo Trimble said. “People doubt us ... before this game coming up so, I mean, we just got to go out there and play basketball. Like we’ve been saying, never listen to the media. Just go out there and just worry about us as a group and everything will take care of itself.”

It can be debated what would be written about this Maryland season if its season were to end with a loss to Kansas on Thursday, whether this team reached the expectations set for it back in October or if they fell short -- and why.

But at least for right now, before the final score Thursday night is known one way or the other, Maryland just doesn’t want the ride to end.

“When it’s all said and done, we’ll take a deep breath,” Turgeon said. “But right now we’re just trying to win the next game.”

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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. 

MORE NFL TERPS NEWS: 

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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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