COLLEGE PARK – Often times people are advised not to delay the inevitable. However, thanks to Hurricane Joaquin, the inevitable was expedited for the Maryland football team. The Big Ten matchup between No. 22 Michigan and Maryland was moved up eight hours Saturday afternoon due to the impending hurricane, but it seemed to have no […]
COLLEGE PARK – Often times people are advised not to delay the inevitable.
However, thanks to Hurricane Joaquin, the inevitable was expedited for the Maryland football team.
The Big Ten matchup between No. 22 Michigan and Maryland was moved up eight hours Saturday afternoon due to the impending hurricane, but it seemed to have no bearing on the outcome as the Wolverines manhandled the Terrapins, 28-0. A week after scoring six points and gaining 326 yards of offense against West Virginia, the Maryland offense was shutout and put up a measly 105 yards of offense in its first conference game of the season.
“Offensively, we just can’t turn the ball over the way we did,” said Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall. “We had opportunities in the first half to try to cash something in based on the field position we had. We have to be able to do that.
“We had some momentum going in some drives against a really good Michigan defense. You have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. We just weren’t able to do that today.”
Starting quarterback Caleb Rowe did not put forth a good performance yet again. The junior completed just 8-of-27 passes and threw an interception in each of the first three quarters before being replaced by Daxx Garman for the second week in a row. In three games since taking over as the starter, Rowe has thrown for 411 yards and four touchdowns with ten interceptions (12 on the year). Take away his numbers against South Florida and Rowe has totaled 114 yards passing with a 0:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio against the team’s two Power Five opponents.
“Michigan is a very good football team and they have a great defense,” Rowe said. “They really didn’t do anything that we didn’t practice. It’s just a matter of execution.”
Due to Rowe’s lack of execution, Edsall was once again forced to bring in Garman. And Garman’s performance wasn’t much better. The Oklahoma State transfer completed only 2-of-9 passes for 29 yards and was sacked three times. Still, he did not turn the ball over.
“I have some thoughts in my mind right now,” Edsall admitted. “We’ll be making a change. What direction we go in, we’ll wait to see what happens there. We’ll get together as a staff tomorrow and decide what we’re going to be doing going forward. At that position, you can’t have the turnovers that we’re having. That’s something that you have to address and we will address.”
Maryland wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground either. Brandon Ross tallied the most yards with 55. Wes Brown added eight yards on five carries.
To Michigan’s credit, the Wolverines (4-1, 1-0) had the nation’s second best defense in terms of yards-per-game allowed (204) coming into the afternoon. They were also tied for fourth in the FBS in scoring defense (9.5 points-per-game). Both of those statistics will read better this week.
“It’s good. Back to back shutouts are a heck of a thing,” said Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. “2000 was the last time Michigan did that. It feels good.
“I think each unit is playing extremely well. There has been great individual play. Desmond Morgan and Joe Bolden and all of our linebackers have been having really good individual play. They are also playing well as a unit. Same with the secondary. All of them are really good players that are playing well together.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Maryland (2-3, 0-1). In fact, it will be as tough as it can be next week when the Terps travel to Columbus to take on the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for us,” Edsall said. “That’s why you come here. You look forward to that challenge, to that opportunity. Just like this week. We told them this was a great opportunity against Michigan.
“We’ll continue to get them ready throughout the week, bounce back, and that’s what we’ll do. I think it’s great when you get a chance to play these teams. We’ll go in, compete, and have fun.”