Maryland Terps

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Why No. 5 seed is what Terps deserved and why it all resets now

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Why No. 5 seed is what Terps deserved and why it all resets now

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland has rightfully drawn criticism for its up-and-down regular season, which included having to use late runs to beat less talented teams and lacking the type of signature wins that would have locked them into a higher NCAA tournament seed.

It was 1-5 against the RPI Top 25 and had only five wins against RPI Top 50 teams.

But now the regular season is done. Maryland deserved the seed that it got. Its "punishment" will be traveling out to Spokane, Washington instead of starting the tournament closer to home and it will have to face the No. 1 overall seed, Kansas, if it reaches the Sweet 16.

All of its past shortcomings have been quantified and are accounted for with that No. 5 seed. Now reset.

“Whether we’re playing South Dakota State or Michigan State, we’ve got to play the same way and we’re to that point,” head coach Mark Turgeon said on Tuesday. “The guys understand that.”

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND LANDS 4-STAR WING TO FILL NEED IN 2016

Turgeon has consistently called Maryland a work in progress all season, even when expectations were high in October through when the team reached No. 2 in the national rankings as recently as early last month.

The lack of a Big Ten regular-season or tournament title is likely disappointing, but the mood around this Maryland team does not seem to be fixated on that. Much more it seems focused on the number of points the team posted against Nebraska and the defensive battle it put up in a narrow loss to Michigan State.

Those last two games showed an encouraging versatility, which can often be key as opponents change from round to round -- and also on a turnaround of two days.

Maryland can win games by locking down defensively. It can win games in a shootout that reaches into the 80s. It has as much on-paper talent as any team in the country. But can it win games against this level of competition, and consistently?

“I feel like this is what we were preparing for. Everybody wanted us to win every game, but this is what we prepared for the whole year,” redshirt junior Robert Carter, Jr. said. “This was our goal from the beginning of the season. We wanted to be our best by this time. We feel like it’s time for us to make a run.”

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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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