October 16, 2019

Maryland Football: Rowe plays great for a benched Hills and Terps D comes through in second half to beat Rutgers

After an embarrassing loss in the regular season last year against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Maryland Terrapins were able to put some sort of a positive spin on in otherwise dismal season. Without their best player on all sides of the ball in Will Likely, but with their starting quarterback Perry Hills, the Terps were looking for a big win to help them in the recruiting race for years to come.

In a comeback eerily similar to last year but in reverse, the Terps were victorious, 46-41, behind a great performance from backup quarterback Caleb Rowe and strong defense in the second half.

Brandon Ross‘ 80-yard touchdown run with 4:40 left provided the lead, then the much-maligned defense held Rutgers on fourth-and-1 at Maryland’s 38. After Rowe busted a 36-yard run on third down, all the Terps had to do was kneel for their first conference win of the season.

Ross moved into fourth place in Maryland history with 2,542 career rushing yards. [Read more…]

Maryland Football: Terps have one last chance to get a conference win by amending last year’s “worst loss”

When the Maryland Terrapins blew a 25 point lead to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights last year, Director of Football Operations Fran Foley called it the “worst loss” during his tenure at the time. Luckily of Maryland, Gary Nova is no longer the quarterback at Rutgers but on the other hand the Terps have lost nearly all of their offensive weapons from a year ago. The 4-7 Scarlet Knights are also out of postseason contention, so Saturday will be a game of pride between both clubs.

Last week against Indiana, things got ugly for the Terps when starting quarterback Perry Hills had to sit out of the game due to having mono. Caleb Rowe started out well for Maryland in a backup role, but the problem was compounded when recently converted fullback, Shane Cockerille, had to start the second half under center when Rowe exited with a concussion. Maryland plans for Hills to return to his starting role on Saturday as he is listed as QB1 and that could help the Terps attack Rutgers the same way they did last year.

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Maryland Football: Terps still looking for first Big Ten victory as they travel to no longer unbeaten Michigan State

Another week and another game where Maryland has failed to put it together. The Terps actually made things fairly interesting against the Wisconsin Badgers by covering the spread and hanging 24 points against the then #1 scoring defense in the country. All of this came after Perry Hills was benched mid-game for the likes of Caleb Rowe because of the solely passing offense Maryland needed to get into.

Things will get no tougher for Maryland this week as they will have to play an angry Michigan State team that just had their undefeated record snapped by a controversial call against Nebraska. The Spartans are still a factor in the College Football Playoffs as a one-loss team, because of their matchup with the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes after playing the Terps. I would say that the Spartans would making a mistake by looking too far ahead, but they could probably get away with it since Maryland has been playing so poorly.

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Maryland Football: Competitive early, but poor quarterback play by Perry Hills late dooms Terps against Penn State

(Photo by: Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

(Photo by: Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

Today was probably one of the last games that the Maryland Terrapins would have a chance to actually pull out a victory this season. In the national spotlight, on ESPN, the Terps showed that they could play tough against arguably one of the best quarterback prospects for the NFL in Christian Hackenberg. Mike Locksley had his guys ready to go coming out of the bye week and Maryland was competitive throughout the first half. A shootout ensued in the second half as the lead changed hands four times on consecutive drives. In the end, Perry Hills choked in the spotlight when Penn State left the door open for a late comeback to the Terps where Maryland had converted last year. Maryland fell 31-30 in a border battle with Penn State and their hopes of bowl eligibility under Mike Locksley are now next to none at 2-5.

The theme for Maryland to start the game was their ability to move the ball with ease but inability to convert the yardage into points. On the opening drive, Maryland had three plays of 16 yards and nearing field goal range before Perry Hills under threw Malcolm Culmer in double coverage for an interception. After the defense forced a three and out, Maryland was set up at the Penn State 34 following a catch and run by Levern Jacobs after Hills broke contain. A poor screen and sack resulted in another stalled drive resulting in no points. The third try was not the charm for Maryland as Hills fumbled in the red zone after the defense worked hard to force another three and out.

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Maryland Football: Terps play hard for Edsall early, but #1 Ohio State too much late

In what is quite possibly Randy Edsall‘s final game as Maryland’s head coach, it was business as usual for the 57 year old coach. He went through his usual routine of pumping up all players individually, which he said he would when he said he was completely focused on Ohio State (not reports). The Terps looked to have surprised the nation by keeping pace with Ohio State well into the second half, but in the end the defense was worn down and the offense just could not come up with one more big play when needed. Maryland fell 49-28 and now the decision of whether Randy Edsall is going to be fired and who would step in as interim head coach is to be decided during the bye week.

Things took a surprising start as the Terrapin defense sacked Cardale Jones on the second play of the game and then forced a three and out. After two conversions on third down, offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, a candidate for interim head coach, decided to open up the playbook for Perry Hills. Coming out of a timeout, Hills unloaded a bomb down the field that was hauled in by D.J. Moore who won off the line of scrimmage on a post route. Just four minutes in the game Maryland was up 7-0 on the #1 team in the country, but that would not last for long.

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Maryland Football: Terps travel to Morgantown in hopes of avenging last year’s loss to WVU

After opening the game down 28-6 last year Maryland fans had little hope of anything more than a route at the hands of West Virginia last year. Clint Trickett was having his way with the defense throwing for 511 yards and four touchdowns including one to Kevin White who finished with 13 receptions for a whopping 216 yards and another two to Mario Alford who had 131 yards on 11 catches. It was no surprise that White was a first round pick in this past draft.

But something magical was in the air as C.J. Brown had willed his team all the way back to tie the game at 37. Brown would finish with 241 yards in the air but more importantly 161 yards on the ground when the rest of the Maryland backfield combined for a miserable two yards on 9 carries. Then it was heartbreak, from the perspective of Maryland fans worse than a blow out, as West Virginia sent Byrd Stadium home unhappy with a walkoff 47-yard field goal from Josh Lambert.

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Maryland Football: Terps look to continue mounting momentum against Bowling Green

Now that Randy Edsall and company have taken care of the FCS power Richmond Spiders in a convincing 50-21 victory, they will now have their minds set on welcoming in the Bowling Green Falcons, who gave the No. 25 Tennessee Volunteers a tough battle on the road. Maryland will look to nearly exactly replicate Tennessee’s game plan against Bowling Green through rushing the ball on offense, defending the fast paced passing attack on defense, and winning the field position game on special teams.

It was clear that Perry Hills struggled in the passing game against the Spiders with multiple underthrown passes, but head coach Edsall has continued to name Hills as the starting quarterback over backup options like Caleb Rowe or Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman.

Regardless, the Terps will rely heavily on their running attack, which did not seem to miss a beat after the departures of both Jacquille Veii and Albert Reid. Brandon Ross (18 carries for 150 yards), Wes Brown (13 carries for 74 yards), and freshman Ty Johnson (10 carries for 83) were the major benefactors of a bulked up offensive line against Richmond.

Tennessee had a similar mindset to attack the Bowling Green defense as they also had three main rushers combine for 356 yards on over seven yards per carry. In a game that saw nobody catch more than two passes for the Terps in a receiving corp that is still suffering from the losses of Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, Marcus Leak, and Juwann Winfree it will be completely up to the ground game to put up points.

[Read more…]

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