August 10, 2022

Maryland Football: Terps lose verbal commits QB Dwayne Haskins and OLB Keandre Jones to Ohio State

After weeks of momentum for head coach DJ Durkin in putting together a recruiting monster of coaching staff, a storm of bad news came down on MLK Monday when quarterback Dwayne Haskins and outside linebacker Keandre Jones both flipped their verbal commitments from Maryland to Ohio State.

Both de-commits come on the eve of wholesale coaching changes that resulted in both players going on official visits to other schools. Besides Randy Edsall‘s termination, the likely departure of former-interim head coach Mike Locksley, an elite national recruiter, was also a huge cause of lost verbal commitments. Haskins was on the Buckeyes campus on Dec. 11, while Jones just finished a visit this past weekend.

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Maryland Football: Report–Terps to hire Michigan defensive coordinator DJ Durkin to be next head coach

After Randy Edsall was fired during the Maryland Terrapins bye week, athletic director Kevin Anderson began searching for the next head coach in College Park for football. Interim head coach Mike Locksley finished the season 1-5, the lone victory coming in the season finale against Rutgers. On Wednesday afternoon, Sports Illustrated was the first of many to hear from a source that current Michigan defensive coordinator, D.J. Durkin, will be 36th head coach in the Terrapins history.

Durkin, 37, played defensive end and outside linebacker at Bowling Green until 2000, when he then transitioned to a graduate assistant. After a brief stint at Notre Dame in the same position, Durkin returned to Bowling Green as the defensive end and then linebackers and special teams coach. At Bowling Green, Durkin worked under current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

Following a sting at Stanford as the defensive ends and special teams coach with current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, Durkin returned to work under Meyer at Florida as a linebackers and special teams coach. Durkin remained at Florida when Will Muschamp quickly took over after Meyer resigned and he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2013 to replace former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator and current Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. In the Gators final game of the 2014 season, Durkin served as interim head coach after Muschamp stepped down.

(Photo by: Tony Ding/AP)

(Photo by: Tony Ding/AP)

Durkin, moving on from Florida, was hired as the defensive coordinator for Michigan less than 11 months ago in a reunion with former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. There, Durkin also coached the teams’ linebackers. Durkin, with Harbaugh, is credited for turning around a dismal program with an aggressive defensive philosophy that gave Maryland fits, 105 total yards, earlier this year. Yes, Durkin had far superior talent in Ann Arbor, but with his reputation of being the 2012 recruiter of the year we could see steady improvement in College Park.

Durkin will not receive a lofty $8 million annual salary that his mentor Harbaugh received from his alma mater. Durkin, the Ohio native, will probably have something similar to Randy Edsall’s $3 million annually, per our best estimates.

It is unknown if either Locksley or current defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski will stay on as coordinators or if Durkin would rather bring in his own associates. It is also unclear whether Durkin was Kevin Anderson’s first choice when compared to the likes of Mark Richt or many other potential candidates.

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 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.

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Maryland Football: Terps have best chance of conference win all year against struggling Hoosiers

(Photo by: Testudo Times)

(Photo by: Testudo Times)

It is officially basketball season in College Park. But even after a great victory against the Georgetown Hoyas in a renewed rivalry on Tuesday, there are still two more games that the University of Maryland’s football team has to partake in. After going through the gauntlet of some of the Big Ten’s best and brightest programs nationally — featuring Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State — the Terps schedule takes a huge turn for the better. All of that starts with hosting the Indiana Hoosiers this week, who are also looking for their first conference win.

After then-starting quarterback C.J. Brown went down with injury against the Hoosiers last year, now-backup quarterback Caleb Rowe came in to save the day by throwing for two touchdowns on the way to the Terps rout of Indiana in their first conference game as a member of the Big Ten. Of course, a lot of that victory has to do with now-departed receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, who combined for 16 receptions, 220 yards, and a touchdown. Things are much different for the Terps new-look offense now, designed around the legs of Perry Hills.

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Maryland Football: Offense continues to do defense no favors as Terps get dropped by Spartans without Connor Cook

Maryland thought they were going to face off against their third undefeated team last week, but in a stunning upset the Michigan State Spartans lost on a controversial touchdown call. The Terps defense came out aggressive as usual with a bevy of unique blitzes that eventually knocked Connor Cook out of the game. However, the offense could not sustain much outside of a single touchdown drive and consistently lost the field position battle due to turnovers (5) and poor punting. At the end of it all, Maryland fell 24-7 and to a record of miserable record of 2-8.

As has now been common for the Terps to start the game, things started out well for Maryland. After giving up one first down, the defense was able to pressure Connor Cook into two straight incompletions to force a punt. Maryland was approaching midfield on offense thanks to a pass interference penalty drawn by DeAndre Lane on an underthrown deep ball from Perry Hills. Then everything started to fall apart. Wes Brown, who got his first start of the season over senior running back Brandon Ross, was loose with the football and fumbled to give the Spartans a short field.

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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: Terps still searching for Big Ten victory, hosting Wisconsin for homecoming holds little hope

(Photo by: Jeff Hanisch/ USA Today)

(Photo by: Jeff Hanisch/ USA Today)

In the past three games, the Maryland Terrapins have looked more competitive relative to blowout losses to West Virginia and Michigan. It it were not for a ridiculous number of turnovers, 11 in the past three games, who knows if the Terps would actually have been able to knock off some of the powerhouses in college football in Ohio State, Penn State, and Iowa. Although probably an easier task against Wisconsin at home compared to Ohio State and Iowa, top ten teams on the road, Maryland will have their work cut out for them to simply keep the student section marginally filled on homecoming.

It might be Maryland’s hardest opponent of the year to muster up any points against because of a fiery Wisconsin defense that is best in the nation at allowing just 11 points per game. The interesting matchup for the Terps offense will be Perry Hills‘ effectiveness on the ground against the seventh ranked rush defense in the country that surrenders just 96 yards on the ground per game. With Mike Locksley retooling the offense around Hills’ legs, the senior quarterback has been able to gain 400 yards on the ground, on a combination of designed runs and scrambles, since returning to the starting fold.

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Maryland Football: Terps travel to Iowa in hope of their first Big Ten win and major upset against surging Hawkeyes

Maryland Terrapins’ interim head coach Mike Locksley has his first game under his belt in a tough loss against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Things get a whole lot harder for the Terps as they have to face off against the undefeated, 10th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes who are coming off of their midseason bye.

It seems that Maryland has found their quarterback for the remainder of the season. Although Perry Hills committed five turnovers in the loss to Penn State, including not coming through in the clutch in two situations where the Terps could have taken the lead with a field goal, he is still the best option Maryland has.

In the two games Caleb Rowe started against West Virginia and Michigan, Maryland mustered a total of three points. Hills, at the very least, has led the offense to 58 points against Ohio State and Penn State — even if it seems that he has caught the turnover bug from Rowe. Hills will have to be careful when throwing against Iowa defensive back Desmond King, who is second in the country with six interceptions.

[Read more…]

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