The forecast was already set for Maryland as they rushed the field with their fourth starting quarterback of the season, Redshirt Sophomore and walk-on Ryan Brand.
Brand commented after the game on his preparation for today’s game, “My dad always told me growing up, and especially throughout this year, that if you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. So just preparing like I’m the starter and this is my team.”
Despite his preparation, the Terps struggled immensely on offense, and there was zero to no offense for the Terps as fifth-string quarterback, Brand, went 6-9 for 13 yards in the 1st quarter. Michigan was the first to strike after a series of nine plays, and fullback Henry Poggi rushed for two yards into the end zone.
The remainder of the first half continued to be dreary for Maryland. Brand continued to get punished by Michigan’s outside rushers, Ty Johnson and the rest of the running game was absolutely shut down, netting 64 yards total. The air and the backfield was locked down with 48 total passing yards.
For Michigan everything continued to flow. The balance between the running and passing game was unstoppable as the Wolverines tacked on two more touchdowns and accumulated 212 yards of total offense before the half to give them a 28-0 lead going into the locker room. Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh was very impressed with his team’s short field opportunities in the first half:
“I think it might have been out best ball game- in all three phases. There was so much good three-and-outs by our defense, the turnovers, the interceptions, special teams blocked punt, no turnovers, and stopped a fake attempt as well.”
Coming out of the locker room at the half, Maryland’s offense continued to struggle, and Michigan continued to excel. Coach Durkin and Brand decided to initiate the run game as the air remained compromised by the Wolverines. The Terrapin offense had strikes of success as Ty Johnson finally found his footing and made headway up the field and reached 2,000 career rushing yards to make him the 13th running back in Maryland history to reach that milestone. The Terps settled for a 20-yard field goal attempt to finally put themselves on the scoreboard, 28-3. The biggest setback for Michigan was the loss of running back Karan Higdon who went out the rest of the game with an injury. Despite the result on the scoreboard, the Terrapins surpassed the Wolverines in total offensive yards 260-233, but quality over quantity was the motto for the Wolverines.
Undeterred by the 28-3 lead, 3 hours later Brand and the Terps finally started to settle in and find their way around the Michigan defense. After 11 plays and 75 yards up the field, Brand found a shotgun pass to Taivon Jacobs for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Maryland’s defense remained solid as the Wolverines pushed up the field, but the Michigan offense was too much for the passable Terrapin defense as Chris Evans went for two back to back rushing attempts and found the end zone for Michigan’s 5th touchdown, to increase their lead 35-10.
An interception by Khaleke Hudson with 4:21 left on the clock would solidify the score of 35-10 as the Wolverines chose to run the clock and take a knee on their last two snaps. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Peters considered it vital securing the last touchdown:
“I thought it was really important [getting the last touchdown] just to seal it out and not give them any momentum, to get the ball back and score again.”
Maryland now falls to 2-4 in the conference with two games left to play in the regular season. With this loss, Maryland is slowly losing their grasp on their bowl eligibility and must win their last two games in order to have a chance at post-season play. The Terps will head on the road next weekend to play #12 Michigan State then finish the regular season at home on November 25 against #14 Penn State. That being said, Maryland is going to need a lot of luck in order to secure a bowl game.