December 7, 2019

Maryland Football: Terps start out fast before embarrassing themselves against Hoosiers on Senior Day

On Senior Day in College Park, the Maryland Terrapins were without their starting quarterback Perry Hills (mono) and had to revert back to the FBS leader in interceptions Caleb Rowe before he was knocked out of the game with a possible concussion. In a further new look offense without wide receiver DeAndre Lane, playmaker Will Likely got his first career start on both sides of the ball. Things looked good for the Terps early but as many on campus have come to learn, this team might be allergic to success. Maryland wasted the career day for senior Brandon Ross by blowing a 18 point lead on their way to a 47-28 loss. The Hoosiers ended the game on a 44-7 run.

Linebacker Jermaine Carter cost his team a three-and-out to start the game by jumping offsides on third down to open the game. Three plays later Nate Sudfeld hit Mitchell Paige on a crossing pattern that beat Anthony Nixon. Despite the red zone opportunity, Maryland shutdown Devine Redding on three straight rushing attempts in goal-to-go situations to hold the Hoosiers to a field goal.

After Wes Brown was suspended for a year earlier this week, senior back Brandon Ross returned to the starting lineup and loomed large. On the Terps second offensive play from scrimmage, the Delaware native hit pay dirt from 79 yards out on a great cutback off of the counter play.

With the Hoosiers seeming to have lost the services of star running back Jordan Howard with a knee injury, the Terps defense keyed in on Devine Redding with success. They would force a three and out to give their offense a chance to methodically move the ball down the field. It was the Brandon Ross show early as he converted on a third-and-9 play and followed that up with a 14 yard run. After three straight completions from a calmer Caleb Rowe, Ross hit paydirt again from 22 yards out to put Maryland up 14-3.

The momentum would continue to roll for the Terps as Yannick Ngakoue would put pressure on Sudfeld to force a fumble that was recovered by Quinton Jefferson to set up Maryland in the red zone. That was Ngakoue’s 13.5th sack of the year to set the Terps new single-season sack records. Faced with a third-and-goal from the 14, Rowe fired to Malcolm Culmer on the outside who picked up four great blocks on the screen to walk in for the touchdown.

(Photo by: @IndianaOnBTN)

(Photo by: @IndianaOnBTN)

Sudfeld would not go quietly however with pro-scouts in the building. To start the drive, the Hoosier quarterback would get 46 yards on three pass attempts. When it looked like the defense had forced another field goal attempt in a goal-to-go situation, Sudfeld fired over the middle to Mitchell Paige for 19 yards on third down to beat Jarrett Ross for a touchdown. The Hoosiers would keep it going on the very next drive by forcing a punt and converting a first down thanks to a dead ball foul on Jermaine Carter. On the very next play, Sudfeld showed off his arm for the scouts as he hit Andre Booker deep down field for a 59-yard touchdown. In a span of less than three minutes, two IU scores meant the Terps lead shrank to 21-17.

Things would only get worse for Maryland as they were not disciplined on special teams and were burned on a suprise onside kick. With no surprise in the way things were going, Sudfeld led the Hoosiers to yet another touchdown drive that included a third-and-5 conversion on a beautiful touch pass to Luke Timian. After the Maryland offense, that cluelessly got away from Brandon Ross, wne three-and-out, Indiana was back in the red zone after a well-designed screen play. The Terps defense would get a stop in another goal-to-go situation, but trailed 27-21. Following a debacle of a fake punt attempt where Anthony Nixon fumbled the direct snap, Indiana was able to tack on another field goal and went into halftime up 30-21 thanks to 27 unanswered points.

It was deja vu for Brandon Ross to start the second half as he took the second offensive play from scrimmage again to the house, this time a 75 yard variety.

Thanks to poor coaching from Mike Locksley Maryland gladly gave back all momentum that Ross earned by attempting an onside kick by kicking it straight out of bounds. Four plays later that included poor tackling along the way, Sudfeld fired into the end zone for another easy touchdown to Paige while A.J. Hendy was lost in coverage.

Maryland’s passing offense became non-existent with Shane Cockerille in at quarterback after Caleb Rowe did not return to the game after halftime with a possible concussion. As a result, the Terps completed a single first down during the span of three possessions. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers continued to make the Terps look foolish in their tackling approach on a 40 yard play that would lead directly to another Sudfeld touchdown. Indiana would tack on another field goal to go up 47-28 before the start of the fourth quarter.

After both sides traded punts, Maryland look poised to get on the scoreboard for the first time since the opening minutes of the half. Brandon Ross got the offense out of the shadow of their own goal post and then Cockerille converted on a fourth-and-4 play with a tough side arm delivery to P.J. Gallo for a first down. Later on in the drive, Cockerille’s side arm delivery hurt the Terps as his pass attempt on a fourth-and-2 play was batted down at the line of scrimmage.

The Maryland defense would stop the Hoosiers one last time and Cockerille had a chance to put points on the board. However, the former full back displayed his lack of arm strength by badly underthrowing Taivon Jacobs who would have walked in for a touchdown should the ball have been thrown better. By the end of it all, there was no scoring in the garbage time play of the fourth quarter and the Terps would fall by a final score of 47-28.

The Maryland Terrapins football season will finally end next Saturday when they travel to play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights before the intense search to find their next head coach begins.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] week against Indiana, things got ugly for the Terps when starting quarterback Perry Hills had to sit out of the game […]

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