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Maryland football falls to No. 8 Michigan, 59-18

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The Terps were down by 21 at the half and couldn’t recover.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, Maryland football was down 45-19 against No. 8 Michigan.

On the first play of the Terps’ drive starting at their 25-yard line, quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa completed a pass for no gain to wide receiver Brian Cobbs. Although it didn’t advance Maryland down the field, with the completion, Tagovailoa broke the program record for most completions in a single season with 287.

However, on the next play, the quarterback threw his first interception of the day that Michigan’s D.J. Turner returned for a touchdown extending Michigan’s lead even further.

The Wolverines continued to drive the score up and ultimately secured the road win, 59-18.

“We just weren’t good enough today,” head coach Michael Locksley said. “As I told our team, we can’t hang our heads...because we still have a lot to play for.”

Maryland football welcomed No. 8 Michigan to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium as it honored its seniors and Jordan McNair.

Maryland’s defense started on a high note stopping Michigan on three downs. The Terps stopped the rush twice in a row and defensive back Jakorian Bennett played tight defense on third down to force Michigan to punt the ball away.

Maryland started with the ball on its 31-yard line and quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa moved the offense down the field but kicker Joseph Petrino missed a 48-yard field goal attempt as the ball sailed wide right.

Michigan was able to find offensive success on its next drive as quarterback Cade McNamara moved the team 70 yards down the field on 11 plays and capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass.

On first down during the drive, Bennett was called for a pass interference call moving the ball forward 12 yards to the spot of the foul, putting the Wolverines in the red zone. Four plays later, McNamara passed it to tight end Luke Schoonmaker in the end zone and with the extra point, Michigan went up, 7-0, with about seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Maryland punted on its next drive and the defense came up with a big stop on third down when the Wolverines were on offense forcing them to punt as well. The Terps again couldn’t get anything going and punted away from deep in their territory. Michigan took over in Maryland’s territory and capitalized on its field position.

McNamara marched the Wolverines 45 yards down the field in plays and capped off the eight-play drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown from running back Hassan Haskins. Ahead of back-to-back rushes from Haskins, defensive back Jordan Mosley was beaten near the end zone as McNamara completed an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Andrel Anthony. Michigan walked away from that possession up, 14-0 with about a minute to go in the first quarter.

Maryland got on the board first with a field goal in the second quarter thanks to a 17-play drive in which the Terps moved down the field 69 yards over the course of six and a half minutes. Despite having the chance to make this a one-possession game, Maryland continued to make mistakes that prevented them from digging into its deficit.

“Takeaway would be just continue to work on what we can work on and control,” wide receiver Carlos Carriere said.

The offense was called for a chop block on second-and-1 when they had the ball on the five-yard line, bringing Tagovailoa and the rest of the offense on the cusp of the red zone. After two successful plays that brought Maryland back to the five-yard line, offensive lineman Johari Branch and wide receiver Rakim Jarrett had back-to-back holding and illegal shift calls, respectively, to move the Terps further back.

Tagovailoa had a couple of shots at the end zone but couldn’t land them on target leading to a Petrino 31-yard field goal attempt that was good, 14-3.

On the next drive, Maryland’s defense stopped McNamara and the Wolverines on fourth-and-4 and the Terps took over on the 40-yard line. Maryland couldn’t convert on third down and was quickly forced to punt the ball away. Junior Anthony Pecorella’s punt was blocked and Michigan took over essentially where it left off on the 42-yard line.

On the next drive, quarterback J.J. McCarthy came out for the Wolverines and got to work quickly. On the fourth play, McCarthy sailed it to the top right corner of the end zone where wide receiver Mike Sainristil extended himself for the one-handed catch. The extra point was good as Michigan went up, 21-3 over Maryland.

The Terps went three-and-out on the next drive. Punter Colton Spangler’s punt was blocked by Michigan and they started with the ball on its 37-yard line.

Maryland was in danger of going into the locker room at halftime down 25 points as McNamara completed a six-yard pass in the end zone, however, this time it was Michigan who had the chop block penalty bringing it back 15 yards as it elected to take a field goal rather than another shot at the end zone.

Michigan went into the locker room up, 24-3.

To start the half, Maryland could not convert on fourth-and-2 turning the ball over on downs. The Wolverines took over on their 44-yard line.

Michigan moved the ball down the field, Mosley grabbed an interception in the end zone however, a holding call on defensive back Nick Cross negated the pick and on the next play, Haskins ran it in for the one-yard touchdown. The extra point put Michigan up, 31-3.

With less than five minutes to go in the third quarter, Maryland found its first touchdown of the day as Tagovailoa completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Carriere however, Michigan responded in an instant.

On the kickoff return, Michigan completed a backward pass in which the Wolverines returned the ball 79 yards to the end zone. The extra point attempt was good as Michigan went up, 38-10 over the Terps.

On the next drive, it was Maryland’s turn to respond.

Tagovailoa marched the Terps down the field in seven plays and capped off the drive by holding onto the ball and scrambling up the middle for the 17-yard touchdown. He kept the ball on the two-point conversion and Maryland closed Michigan’s lead to 20.

However, once again, Michigan responded with an explosive play. McNamara completed a 77-yard touchdown pass to running back Donovan Edwards on Maryland’s next drive when Tagovailoa broke the single-season completion record, Michigan’s defense answered again, this time with the pick-six.

“We got outcoached and outplayed,” Locksley said. “A lot of blame to be placed, and it starts with me.”

Michigan continued to coast to victory as the Terps had no response on either side of the field as they dropped to 5-6 on the season.

Three things to know

1. Maryland continued to let penalties get in the way. On the first drive of the second quarter, Maryland’s offense committed three costly penalties for 25 yards. The penalties inhibited the Terps from getting anything going as it appeared they moved forward, they committed a penalty and moved further away from the end zone. That drive ended with three points rather than seven as Maryland’s penalties played a role in potentially costing Maryland a touchdown. The Terps finished the game with eight penalties costing them 60 yards.

2. The Terps’ defense once again had no response for a top-10 offense. Maryland’s 24-3 deficit at halftime marked the largest the Terps had since it was down 35-10 against Ohio State went on the road to Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, its lone field goal as the only means of points in the first half mark the fewest points the Terps scored in a half tied with when they scored three against Illinois in its first Big Ten matchup of the season. Maryland’s defense continued to allow Michigan to coast in the second half as it outscored the Terps 28-15 in the third quarter. Maryland ultimately could not come back and the Terps allowed the second-most points they had all season.

“I just have to do my part as a leader and just make sure that I continue to improve myself first because it’ll rub off and it will become a domino effect,” linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II said.

3. Both Rutgers and Maryland will be looking for win No. 6 next week. In Piscataway, New Jersey, it will be a battle for a bowl game as both teams dropped to Big Ten opponents in Week 12. After running over Indiana on Nov, 13, 38-3, the Scarlet Knights were on the receiving end of the onslaught as Penn State shut them out, 28-0.

“Urgency is there... guys ready to come practice Monday with the right attitude,” Carriere said. “And I’m excited for the next opportunity.”