August 19, 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 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: 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 hope to salvage some semblance of respect in border battle with Penn State

(Photo by: ESPN)

(Photo by: ESPN)

Isn’t it fitting that Randy Edsall is fired just before the Maryland Terrapins face off in a rematch with Penn State, the team that Edsall had arguably his most important win against during his tenure in College Park. Not only was the 20-19 victory just the second in Maryland’s 38 game rivalry with the Nittany Lions, but it probably helped jump start the DMVtoUMD movement. Maryland was notorious for losing local products to other schools in the region, and a win at State College surely went a long way of helping develop the Terrapins program.

You may remember that the game started before the opening kickoff when the Terps captains refused to shake the outstretched hands of the Nittany Lions at the opening coin toss. After a pre-game brawl, both sides knew that they would be in for a physical battle all about winning in the trenches.

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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 top South Florida again in mistake filled afternoon

After an extremely disappointing loss for the Maryland Terrapins against MAC power Bowling Green last week, Randy Edsall make the big decision earlier in the week to name Caleb Rowe the starting quarterback today against South Florida. Although Rowe was far from perfect, Maryland’s offense flow was much stronger compared to Perry Hills‘. The Terps got back in the win column with a 35-17 victory over the University of South Florida to complete the home-and-away series that began last year.

Things were far from pretty in the early going for the Terps. After the defense forced a three-and-out after the opening kickoff to South Florida, Rowe was picked off on his second pass attempt of the game on an overthrown ball over the middle of the field. This coming after Rowe threw two interception in four attempts last week had a lot of Maryland fans leaving the student section earlier than usual. There seemed like a chance that backup quarterback and Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman might see action early. There was not much the defense could do having only four yards to defend and South Florida was up 7-0 just two minutes into the game.

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Maryland Football: Terps lose in blowout second half to Bowling Green

TERPS LOSE TO BOWLING GREEN IN EMBARRASSING FASHION AFTER POOR SECOND HALF IN DREARY WEATHER

After handily defeating the Richmond Spiders last weekend, the Terps were set to face off against the spread up-tempo offense that Bowling Green brought to College Park. Although it was previewed that Maryland would have an easy time running and returning the ball, the defense had their hands full. After a slow start because of the dreary weather, the shootout was on but it resulted in a Maryland defeat 41-27.

The Terps got off to a decent start against the fast paced Bowling Green team thanks to some incompetence from Falcons kicker Tyler Tate, who missed two chip-shot field goals. Then the excitement started for Maryland when William Likely picked up right where things left off last week with a 85-yard punt return touchdown. The Terps defense would hold strong throughout the first half, partly assisted by the drizzling rain, and give the team a 13-6 halftime lead. [Read more…]

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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