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Maryland football beats Indiana, 42-39

The Terps’ losing streak is over.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Since joining the Big Ten, some of Maryland’s most high-scoring, back-and-forth games have been played against Indiana, and Saturday was no different.

The Terps and Hoosiers battled for all 60 minutes in a Homecoming shootout for the ages, with Maryland eventually coming out on top, 42-39.

Maryland showed a resiliency that it hasn’t showed since the Texas game, battling back from an early 14-0 deficit. The Terps were previously 2-9 in the DJ Durkin era when the other team scored first, but found a way to eke this one out.

Indiana came out firing on all cylinders, completing pass after pass over the middle. Maryland looked to have come up with a stop, but back-to-back offside penalties extended the drive. The second one was a free play that allowed Peyton Ramsey to find Simmie Cobbs for a 34-yard strike down the right sideline for a touchdown.

Maryland got the “extend D.J. Moore’s reception streak” part of the game out of the way early, getting him the ball on the first play of the game. The second play was much less successful, as Indiana defensive back Tony Fields intercepted an under-thrown deep ball from Bortenschlager.

Four plays later, running back Cole Gest caught a swing pass from Ramsey, ran over JC Jackson on his way to the Hoosiers’ second score of the day. Before the Terps could run their third offensive play, they were down 14-0.

Darnell Savage gave the Terps life late in the first quarter when he picked off a slant on third down and returned it to the Indiana 14. One play later, Lorenzo Harrison shimmied and shook his way into the end zone, cutting the Hoosiers lead in half.

A sack put the Hoosiers behind the chains on their next possession, but a coffin corner punt backed the Terps up to their own goal line, and on second down, Ty Johnson was stopped for a safety to make it 16-7 Indiana.

Maryland and Indiana couldn’t get much going on offense in the second quarter, but Savage continued his outstanding day, blocking a punt and returning it 16 yards for a touchdown.

It seemed like a spark that would ignite the Terrapin defense, but Indiana drove right down the field and scored on a Ramsey-to-Luke Timian pass to put the Hoosiers up 23-14. This is typically where Maryland has folded this season, but the Terps bounced right back, scoring 14 unanswered points for the first time since the Towson game.

The run started with a four-play, 65-yard touchdown drive, aided by Indiana penalties. Bortenschlager hit Taivon Jacobs on a 14-yard over the middle for the score, cutting the lead to 23-21.

Following a three-and-out, Maryland went right down the field and took a 28-23 lead with under a minute remaining in the first half. Moore made two outstanding catches on the drive: a one-handed catch to give the Terps first and goal and a back-shoulder fade for the score.

Maryland’s first drive of the second half looked promising, but stalled before a Henry Darmstadter field goal was blocked. Indiana capitalized, taking the ball 80 yards for a touchdown to retake the lead at 30-28. The Terps went three-and-out on their next possession, giving the Hoosiers the ball right back.

Indiana’s ensuing possession was sustained by a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after what should have been a Jermaine Carter Jr. drive-ending sack. The Hoosiers took advantage, methodically moving the ball down the field before settling for a 41-yard field goal to extend the lead to 33-28.

Once again, Maryland had an answer. Javon Leake fielded the kickoff six yards deep in his own end zone and took it all the way down to the Indiana 18. Six plays later, Jake Funk found the end zone from one yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Bortenschlager found Moore for a 44-yard bomb down the middle and Funk punched in another one-yard touchdown run five plays later to give Maryland a 42-33 lead.

Indiana answered with a long touchdown drive of its own, but Chandler Burkett blocked the extra point, keeping the Terps ahead by a field goal, 42-39. The Hoosiers forced the three-and-out they needed on the ensuing drive, forcing a Maryland punt with just over two minutes left.

Wade Lees, as he’s made a habit of doing, dropped a punt down at the 1-yard line, forcing Indiana to go the entire length of the field to win. The Hoosiers couldn’t do it, sealing the deal in the final minute.

Three things to know

1. Penalties are costly. Each team was guilty of extending the other’s drives, and even though Maryland had 12 penalties for 133 yards, it was Indiana’s seven for 70 yards that proved more costly.

2. Maryland’s resiliency showed. This is a game that seemed like it would have been a sure loss earlier in the season. The Terps were down 14-0 before they could run three offensive plays, but fought back to take a halftime lead and ultimately hold on for the victory.

3. Special teams wins football games. The Terps had a blocked punt that they returned for a touchdown, blocked an extra point that kept them up by a field goal and Leake’s long kick return set up the go-ahead touchdown. To cap it all off, Lees’ late punt and Funk’s hustle backed Indiana up to its own 1-yard line for the potential game-winning drive.