On senior day, the Maryland football team blew an 18-point first-quarter lead and lost badly, 47-28, to Indiana before a sparse crowd at Byrd Stadium.
The loss drops the Terps to 2-9 on the season, with next week's matchup against Rutgers their only chance to grab a conference win this year. It also marked the team's fifth-straight loss under interim head coach Mike Locksley.
The Terps had a 21-3 lead in the first quarter, but the Hoosiers went on a 44-7 run for the rest of the game.
Nate Sudfeld and Indiana's passing attack drove down the field with ease against the Maryland secondary, finishing 23-of-35 for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. Indiana's Simmie Cobbs Jr. had nine catches for 192 yards receiving, including two catch-and-runs where he weaved through the Maryland defense, breaking tackles and causing defenders to run into each other as they chased him. Maryland didn't have an answer.
For Maryland, Brandon Ross had the best game of his life on his senior day, finishing with 250 yards rushing on 19 carries, including touchdown runs of 79, 75 and 22 yards. But his success was the only real bright spot on offense.
Maryland was extremely limited through the air once again. Caleb Rowe, starting in place of an ill Perry Hills, couldn't get it done against Indiana's secondary before exiting the game with an injury just before halftime, finishing 10-of-19 with 88 yards passing. Shane Cockerille came in as his replacement in his first extended playing time at quarterback and completed 10 of 21 passes for 87 yards. The quarterback-turned-fullback-turned-quarback again finished with 23 yards on the ground on 12 carries.
Yannick Ngakoue claimed Maryland's career sacks record with his strip of Nate Sudfeld in the first quarter. He now has 13.5 on the season, and will get one more chance to pad his margin over previous leaders Bruce Palmer and Mark Duda next Saturday.
Maryland started the game off as well as anyone could have imagined. The Terps found the end zone three times in the first quarter, on two Brandon Ross runs and a Malcolm Culmer touchdown reception. But after what may have been their best quarter of the season, the Terps regressed back to what we're used to seeing. The Hoosiers recovered a perfectly placed onside kick after scoring to open the second quarter and never looked back, scoring 27 points in a row.
After Ross's 75-yard touchdown dash opened the second half and made it 28-30, it was all Indiana the rest of the way. The Terps didn't score again in the third quarter, and the game was essentially out of hand by the final 15 minutes.
Three things to know
1. Maryland's nightmare season is almost over. The Terps are 2-9. That's not much different than being 3-8, and it'll all be over very, very soon. Losing after holding such a commanding early lead might be a low point in a season with plenty of candidates.
2. Maryland played one of its best quarters of the season, then three of its worst. After Culmer raced into the end zone to make it 21-3, the fans who actually made the trip to Byrd Stadium were treated to a rare exciting quarter of Maryland Terrapins football. But that stopped once the first quarter did. The Hoosiers outscored the Terps 20-0 in the second 15 minutes, limiting Maryland to 13 passing yards. It wasn't pretty. Of course, things didn't get any better after that.
3. Brandon Ross had the game of his life. Ross entered the game with a career high of 150 yards on the ground, which he surpassed in the first half. It was his first-ever 3-touchdown game, and his 250 yards on the ground were the most by any Terrapin since Bruce Perry in 2003. Not a bad closing act.