Maryland football hosted No. 14 Michigan for its homecoming game on Saturday. But the Terps ultimately lost 38-7 to the Wolverines — a beating that started from the opening kickoff.
Although Maryland had a few bright spots, including throwback jerseys and a kick return touchdown from Javon Leake in the third quarter, the outcome of the game was not one of them.
Here are our biggest takeaways from the Terps’ fourth consecutive loss.
1. Red zone woes.
Despite the loss, Maryland had early opportunities to get on the board. In the team’s second and third drives of the game, the Terps put together 12-play drives for 63 and 43 yards, respectively.
The first red zone drive abruptly ended when Maryland’s offensive line completely blew its assignments and let a plethora of Michigan players through. Terp quarterback Josh Jackson was attempting to pass the ball but was hit during the throw, lobbing his pass attempt into the air where it was snagged by a Wolverine defender.
Although Michigan went three-and-out off of the takeaway, Maryland lost its opportunity to cut the deficit to one score.
“Obviously not scoring in the red zone kind of curtailed our ability to keep the game close,” head coach Mike Locksley said. “And that’s a little bit on everybody, not just Josh.”
Maryland QB Josh Jackson throws his fifth interception of the year, messing up the Terps' first red zone chance of the game. pic.twitter.com/FTRnVUc17s— Lila Bromberg (@lilabbromberg) November 2, 2019
On their next drive, the Terps marched to Michigan’s 11-yard line until Jackson was sacked on third down. The nine yard loss forced Maryland into a fourth-and 19 and brought on kicker Joseph Petrino and the field goal unit.
Petrino had finished his freshman campaign 12-for-14 on field goals and had , but has struggled in his second year, making only one of his three attempts.
His struggles continued today, hooking his only attempt from 30 yards out. For the second time against Michigan, the Terps came away from the red zone without a tally on the board.
“A couple plays we don’t execute, we don’t get any points. That’s our job,” Jackson said. “We can’t leave it on the kickers.”
2. Keandre Jones came up big on defense
Linebacker Keandre Jones cross his arms emphatically to indicate an incomplete pass and waved his finger back and forth like Dikembe Mutombo after deflecting Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson’s pass to force a fourth down punt in the third quarter.
Keandre Jones with a really nice pass deflection here to force a Michigan fourth down punt. pic.twitter.com/0Ep68y9ZFp— Lila Bromberg (@lilabbromberg) November 2, 2019
The Ohio State transfer had two pass deflections against the Wolverines in addition to six combined tackles — five of which were solo — and a tackle for loss.
“Keandre’s just a high motor guy. Every time he step out on the field, he gives his all,” fellow linebacker Ayinde Eley said. “It just showed today just how hard he works and how much he puts into this game. He just was very productive today.”
Jones was timed for the team-lead with three pass breakups going into this game, but now sits atop the leaderboard with five on the season. And he also leads the Terps with 12 tackles for loss.
3. The takeaway streak is over.
For the first time in 20 games, Maryland didn’t have a takeaway, ending what was the longest current streak in the nation.
The streak began on Sept. 1 en route to a 34-29 victory over then-No. 23 Texas and ends as the second longest in program history behind the 26 game takeaway streak that took place from 1999 to the end of the 2001 season.
The last takeaway in the streak came from cornerback Marcus Lewis, who notched his first career interception as a Terp last week against then-No. 17 Minnesota.