July 10, 2020

Maryland Football: Terps suffer another mistake-filled loss, fall to Iowa

Mike Locksley’s second game as head coach of Maryland’s football team didn’t go any better than his first. In fact, things didn’t look much different than the rest, as turnovers, penalties and spotty offensive play continued to plague the Terps in a 31-16 loss to No. 10 Iowa on Saturday in Iowa City.

Perry Hills threw three interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — increasing Maryland’s total for the season to 22, which far and away leads the nation.

All that said, the Terps found themselves in a two-score game midway through the fourth. But their final two possessions saw just six plays ran and two more punts, and Iowa salted away its eighth win against no losses, and moved to 4-0 in the Big 10.

Iowa entered play third in the nation in rushing defense with 74.1 yards per game. Maryland generated 167 yards on the ground, led by Hills’ 104 yards on 19 carries. Hills finished 11 of 22 for just 74 yards passing with a touchdown and the three picks.

Iowa took the opening drive 13 plays and 44 yards, but the Terps defense held on third-and-7, and Marshall Koehn missed a 45-yard field goal.

Maryland (2-6, 0-4) couldn’t benefit from the miss, though, as four plays later Brandon Moss coughed up the ball on an 8-yard run, and Iowa’s Miles Taylor recovered it at the Iowa 43.

The Hawkeyes did take advantage of its good fortune, running it straight through the Maryland defense. Akrum Wadley broke off 8- and 14-yard runs to start the drive, and LeShun Daniels Jr did the dirty work, carrying it 14 yards to the Maryland 5, then 4 more yards to the 1.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz called his number again on second-and-goal, and the 1-yard plunge made it 7-0.

Wadley had 67 yards on 19 carries, and Daniels finished with 60 yards on 13 carries.

On the next possession, the turnover bug bit again, as Perry Hills’ pass was picked off by Taylor and returned 12 yards to the Terps’ 32. But Taylor gave it back, as Wes Brown’s tackle forced him to lose the ball, and Maryland took over again at the 38. It was to no avail, as three plays later, the Terps were forced to punt.

The teams traded punts, but Iowa finally got on track — again helped by Maryland mistakes. The Hawkeyes moved into Maryland territory, but eschewed a long field goal attempt on fourth-and-5,  and decided to go for it.

C.J. Beathard’s pass intended for Tevaun Smith was incomplete, but Sean Davis was called for pass interference, giving Iowa renewed life at the Terps’ 15. After a 4-yard Wadley run, he got the ball again and carried it in from the 11 to put Iowa up 14-0.

Beathard was 12 of 23 for 183 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

After another short Maryland possession and punt, Iowa again moved into Terps territory, but punted form the 41, pinning Maryland at its 3. Another three-and-out forced another punt, but Nicolas Pritchard’s effort was partially blocked, resulting in a net 13 yards.

Iowa took over at Maryland’s 19 and after a couple of complete passes, Derrick Mitchell Jr pounded it in from the 2 and the Hawkeyes led comfortably at the half, 21-0.

Maryland got the ball to start the second half and sustained a drive into Iowa territory, bolstered by a 23-yard scamper by Ross and Hills’ 6-yard draw from a spread formation on fourth-and-1. The Terps decided to go for it on fourth-and-6 from Iowa’s 35, but a false start made it fourth-and-11, and Locksley sent in Pritchard to punt.

After forcing Iowa to punt on its next possession, Maryland got the ball back at the 50. Two plays later, Hills was picked off again to end any threat.

After another Iowa punt, though, the Terps finally drove inside the Hawkeyes’ 30 for the first time for the day — with the benefit of a pair of facemask calls — and from first-and-goal Hills hit Taivon Jacobs on a skinny post to finally get on the board right at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Locksley called for the surprise onside kick, but Brad Craddock’s bouncer was scooped up by an Iowa up-man and the Hawkeyes took over on the Terps’ 45. A pass interference call on Sean Davis put Iowa at the 14, but Quinton Jefferson’s sack of Beathard moved them back to the 26.

After an incomplete pass and an illegal formation penalty, Iowa settled for a 49-yard field goal by Koehn to make it 24-7.

Maryland drove again, but with first-and-10 at Iowa’s 12, Hills threw into heavy coverage and was picked off for the third time. Desmond King weaved through all sorts of traffic and returned it 88 yards for a back-breaking touchdown.

William Likely, Maryland’s most dangerous weapon, returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to get the Terps within two scores with 7:26 left, but Maryland ran just six plays more in the fourth quarter, resulting in two punts — and yet another loss.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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