Maryland football dropped its second straight game and fell to 5-4 on the season with a 59-3 loss to No. 3 Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines dominated in all aspects of the game, out-gaining Maryland 660-367. Michigan racked up 387 yards through the air and 273 on the ground. Quarterback Wilton Speight went 19-of-24 and connected with seven different receivers, while nine Wolverines received carries. Michigan didn’t punt the ball once.
The Terps’ offense moved the ball on a few early drives, but their offensive efficiency cratered after quarterback Perry Hills went down with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. He did not return, and head coach DJ Durkin elected to replace him with Caleb Rowe over usual backup Tyrrell Pigrome.
Rowe was serviceable but clearly overmatched, completing 12 of his 23 throws with two interceptions. Hills was a respectable 4-of-4 with 73 yards before leaving. Pigrome entered in garbage time.
Michigan dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, leading 3-1 in sacks and 13-3 in tackles for loss. Speight and the other Wolverine playmakers seemed to have plenty of space throughout the afternoon; Maryland never had that room and rushed for a season-low 78 yards. Lorenzo Harrison had 58 yards on nine carries; Ty Johnson gained 11 on 9 (plus 42 receiving yards) before leaving the game with an injury of his own.
Maryland’s offense picked up 19 first downs and crossed midfield eight times, but couldn’t finish off drives against the elite Michigan defense. The Terps were only 6-for-13 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth.
Michigan scored on all five of its first-half possessions to take a 35-0 lead into the locker room. The Wolverines gained 402 yards in the half, roughly 80 per drive and 11.8 per play. Speight was 13-of-16 for 292 yards and two scores.
The Terps were in good position to get on the board at the start of the second quarter, taking a second-down snap from the 1-yard line, but a negative rush, false-start penalty and out-of-bounds scramble preceded a missed 29-yard field goal from the far hash. Maryland had another scoring chance at the end of the half, as D.J. Moore raced toward the end zone on the final play. He broke free for a 47-yard gain, but was stopped just short of the end zone as time expired.
Rowe was picked off on the first drive of the second half, leading to a Michigan field goal. De’Veon Smith’s 1-yard rumble made it 45-0 through three quarters. Adam Greene spoiled the shutout with a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth, but no backdoor cover was in order on this day. Michigan scored two more touchdowns just for good measure before the clock mercifully struck zero.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s defense was absolutely torched. Michigan moved the ball at will, finishing with 660 total yards. Jim Harbaugh pulled out some successful trick plays, even though he really didn’t need to. The Terps’ secondary was decimated even more egregiously than the run defense, as Michigan receivers were getting open all across the field.
2. Caleb Rowe was the injury replacement. In both previous instances that Hills was forced out with an injury (UCF and Penn State), Tyrrell Pigrome entered the game. On Saturday, DJ Durkin turned to Rowe, a redshirt senior. The most logical reasoning here is that he thought bringing in Pigrome against the Wolverines defense would be overwhelming for a true freshman. If Hills is to miss more time, it’s anyone’s guess who plays against Ohio State.
3. The Terps are very clearly not “there” yet. More than anything, this game demonstrated how far Maryland has to go before it hangs with powerhouses like this Michigan squad. The program is heading in the right direction, and one blowout loss doesn’t change that. But this was still a humiliating three-plus hours.