MICHIGAN 42 TERPS 21
The win moves Michigan to 5-1 and 2-0 in the Big Ten while the loss dropped Maryland to 3-2 and 1-1 in the conference.
HOW IT WENT DOWN
Early on after a Ty Johnson 98-yard kickoff return for touchdown after a Michigan field goal to open up the scoring, Maryland looked to be right on their way to program changing upset in the Big House.
The score gave the Terps their first lead of the game at 7-3 although it’ll prove to be the only lead for Maryland all game.
Michigan regrouped soon after the score and counter with their own scoring drive.
A lengthy physical drive that started at the Michigan 5-yard line. The Wolverines as they did just a week earlier against Northwestern on the road never blinked this time playing in front of their 100,000 plus big blue faithful.
Coming into the game, Michigan was over 17 points favorites mainly due to their number 1 ranked defense in the entire Country and that defense never disappointed.
Maryland came in with a top 10 ranking nationally in rushing offense but Michigan loaded the box with 8 and at times even 9 men fronts daring Terps quarterbacks to beat them.
Matt Canada’s offense is a rhythm offense which relies on crisp execution and staying on schedule.
When teams force this offense to go off schedule or manages to slow their rhythm and motions down the Terps entire offense suffers as a result.
The Terps flat out failed to make the Wolverines pay for loading up the box all game long, thus Michigan teed off. It also didn’t help Maryland once again shot itself in the foot with repeated self inflicted penalties.
On their first drive after halftime, the Terps had great field position starting at their own 40 yard line after a Michigan personal foul penalty on special teams.
But it was all for nothing as the Terps immediately took 3 consecutive penalties of their own turning good field position and a chance at gaining some momentum right after the break into a disastrous 4th and 36 & a quick punt.
Those sets of plays pretty much summed up this entire afternoon for Terps faithful in the Big House.
The Wolverines game plan on defense was centered on forcing the Terps to pass to beat them.
Maryland as they did against Temple just couldn’t gain the balanced needed to win today.
Terps offense was nonexistent up until the game was nearly out of reach.
Kasim Hill struggled early and often including throwing a late pick 6 that basically put the curtains on a Michigan victory. The red shirt freshmen confidence going forward has to be a question mark.
Hill completed just 5 of his 10 passes for 62 yards and the pick 6 mentioned. He has struggled mightily when opposing teams dare him to pass to beat them.
However, today was far more than just a Kasim issue, the Terps defense also failed to hold up against the physical Michigan attack.
Wolverines don’t beat you with finesse however they do a great job of forcing teams to match their physicality and keep their eye discipline and today Maryland failed on all those fronts.
The Terps front 7 simply wasn’t physical enough at the point of attack besides Senior linebacker Tre Watson and Junior Nickel Antione Brooks Jr, both guys brought their A game today.
The Terps secondary which had also been a strength coming in fell flat today. Too many guys didn’t show up and besides Antione Brooks Jr, who continues to be a budding star in the conference no one else truly stood out.
There were one too many blown coverages that had Michigan taken more advantage of all them this game could’ve easily gotten far uglier.
Maryland Safeties struggled all game long with eye discipline. Senior Darnell Savage had an interception but he also had arguably his worst game in about 2 years.
His late blunder in the second quarter caused an easy touchdown for Michigan on a play that he usually makes.
Many times, the Terps were just a step or 2 late to a play and that was all Michigan needed to hurt the Terps.
When the Terps did do some good things Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson was right there to scramble and make a huge play for his team.
Numerous occasions when the Terps defensive line had him caught in no man’s land only for Patterson to escape the pocket and make plays that led to back breaking huge gains for Michigan.
Patterson is a hell of a quarterback and he gave the Terps fits all game long. Michigan dominated the time of possession with the Terps offense basically going on a 3 and out frenzy.
At one point in the game Maryland had 6 three and outs in a 10 possessions span that lasted over 2 quarters.
That offensive funk all but ended any shot the Terps had at an upset on the road.
Terps offense ended their day gaining only 220 yards of total offense with over half of those coming after the game was basically decided in Michigan’s favor.
This was a disheartening performance from a team that had 2 weeks to prepare after having their bye week. Matt Canada and his coaching staff have got to be better at game planning.
Michigan was a step ahead in all phases.
A lot of work to do and things to fix but the good news is the Terps got time to work on themselves in the next few weeks before hitting the hardest part of their schedule to end the season with back to back games against Ohio State and Penn State, both top 10 nationally ranked teams.
Plenty of more chances to Fry a big fish for the Terps going forward.
Maryland has to regroup and hope that whatever that knocked Ty Johnson out of the game wasn’t too serious.
Michigan was better coming in so losing to them was no shocker however this team CAN NOT allow this Michigan team to beat them twice.
With lonely Rutgers coming to College Park next week Maryland can’t feel sorry for themselves.
Terps next 4 games are VERY winnable but they MUST play much better than they did today on both sides of the ball.
Beat Rutgers next week and your season can still be special but lose that one and this season will quickly spiral out of control for the worse.
Rutgers is one of the worst teams in all of football at any level so hopefully the Terps can come out and whoop up on them and regain some confidence if any was lost today.
This is still a very good Maryland team, one that’s been through the unimaginable so DON’T COUNT OUT THIS GUYS JUST YET.
Note* Both Tre Watson and Rayshad Lewis got injected due to very questionable targeting calls.
Both guys are expected to miss the first half of the Rutgers game. Watson was having what could have easily end up being the best game a Terps linebacker has had since EJ Henderson.
Watson had over 13 tackles in just over a half of game time before he got injected. I’ll have more on the Rutgers game mid-week. GO TERPS