It takes a lot to outdo the dreadfulness that has been Maryland football over the past three years. The Terps might have just done it, putting together one of the worst offensive halves of football ever to be seen on the gridiron, turning the ball over on three consecutive possessions (two of which came off Syracuse turnovers) in a pitiful effort. Maryland is losing 10-0 at halftime.
Syracuse got the ball first, and showed their dominance on the ground, with running plays and screen passes leading to a 16-play, 80-yard drive that ate up nearly eight minutes of clock and resulted in a one-yard Jerome Smith touchdown. Smith ran eight times for 30 yards on the drive, while Terrel Hunt completed all six of his passes for 49 yards.
Maryland was able to move the ball early on their next drive, as Brandon Ross ran twice for 21 yards and Kenneth Goins caught a seven-yard pass, but a screen play went for a loss and C.J. Brown was sacked, forcing the Terps to punt the ball away.
Maryland forced a punt on the Orange's next drive, getting the ball back on their own 21. The Terps were able to move the ball down the field, highlighted by a fourth down reception by Amba Etta-Tawo on the sideline (after the receiver had dropped a crucial ball earlier). Brown nearly found Nigel King in the end zone, but the pass fell just through the receiver's hands.
In the middle of the second quarter with the score still 7-0, Syracuse was driving down the field and looked to make it a two-possession game. On a run to the outside, Andre Monroe came in hard and forced the fumble, with Alex Twine recovering for the Terps. Maryland's drive was unable to result in anything, as C.J. Brown's third-and-ten pass intended to Amba Etta-Tawo in the end zone was intercepted by Durrell Eskridge.
On Syracuse's following drive, Will Likely made a ridiculous interception -- the first of his career -- to give Maryland the ball with about five minutes to play in the half. Brown threw an interception right to Julian Whigham, making it four straight drives ending in turnovers.
After Maryland forced a punt, the Terps turned the ball over yet again -- making it five out of six drives ending as such.
Syracuse made a 34-yard field goal, making it 10-0 at the half.