Maryland football made all the Terps fans sad on Saturday, losing to Michigan, 35-10.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 28-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter, and while Maryland cut into the deficit during the second half and finished the game with 35 more offensive yards than Michigan, the Terps were never in it.
Frankly, there wasn’t much reason to think the game would go much differently, with a fourth-string walk-on starting at quarterback. In his first career start, Ryan Brand looked a little off early on, perhaps dealing with some nerves, playing against one of college football’s perennial powerhouses. It didn’t get much better.
After Maryland came up with a stop on Michigan’s first possession the Wolverines marched right down the field on their second drive. A coverage mixup on third-and-7 allowed a wide-open Zach Gentry to take a 21-yard completion all the way down to the Terps’ 5-yard line, and two plays later, with three fullbacks in the offensive backfield, Baltimore’s own Henry Poggi plunged in from two yards out to put the Wolverines up 7-0.
They never looked back.
Michigan held Maryland’s offense to 18 yards in the first quarter before pouring it on in the second, scoring three more unanswered touchdowns before halftime. Aside from the Wolverines repeatedly running the ball down the Terps’ collective throat for the first 30 minutes, Maryland tried some crazy stuff on offense.
First, Lorenzo Harrison took a backward pass and threw it back across the field to a wide-open Brand, who had nothing but four offensive linemen, few defenders and green grass in front of him. The only problem was that the pass was incomplete.
Then, after running deep down the middle of the field for a pass that he couldn’t catch, D.J. Moore punted. It was a pretty good one, and it initially appeared to have hit a Wolverine and be recovered by Maryland, but that ruling was overturned after a brief conference and no official review.
Instead of trotting Moore, or starting punter Wade Lees, out to punt on the next drive, Jake Funk took a direct snap as an upback and hit an in-motion Jacquille Veii on a pitch pass. He was tackled short of the line to gain, and Michigan took over on Maryland’s 33, before scoring one play later.
Lees came out for the Terps’ next punt, but that one was blocked and recovered on Maryland’s 19. Two plays later, Michigan was up 28-0.
Maryland wasn’t done doing crazy things though, as Moore took a double reverse and completed a pass to Brand down the right sideline and to the Michigan 9-yard line. It was the closest the Terps had been to the Wolverines’ end zone all day, but Brand threw an interception in the end zone—which was returned to the Terps’ 20—three plays later.
Michigan missed a field goal and went into the half up 28-0, which was the final score the last time these teams played in College Park.
The second half was relatively less exciting, with significantly fewer trick plays.
The Terps came out guns blazing in the third quarter, racking up three points on a Henry Darmstadter 20-yard field goal. Their offensive success carried over into the fourth quarter, as Brand orchestrated an 11-play 75-yard touchdown drive, culminating in a 10-yard pass to Taivon Jacobs. The comeback was officially on, but Michigan quickly squashed those hopes on its next drive, answering with an 8-play, 65-yard touchdown drive of its own to go up 35-10 with just under five minutes remaining.
Brand threw another interception on the Terps’ next drive, officially ending any hopes of some miraculous comeback. Michigan ran out the clock to leave with a 25-point win and move to 8-2.
Maryland will be back in action next Saturday against Michigan State in East Lansing at a still-to-be-determined time.
Three things to know
1. D.J. Moore might be the backup punter (and everything else). He stuffed the stat sheet today: he threw a pass, caught five, returned punts and made a tackle.
2. Maryland outgained Michigan. The Terps finished the day with 340 yards on offense, compared to Michigan’s 305. It’s not often that a team can outgain its opponent and still lose by 25, but Maryland’s season has been anything but ordinary this season.
3. There’s another quarterback. Add Brand to the list of starting quarterbacks this season, which also includes Tyrrell Pigrome, Kasim Hill and Max Bortenschlager. Let’s just hope the list doesn’t grow any longer.