Maryland’s bowl aspirations put on life support with loss to No. 21 Michigan

Maryland football

By Eddie Hobbs

Maryland (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten) lost to No. 21 Michigan (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) 35-10 Saturday afternoon. With No. 13 Michigan State and No. 16 Penn State left on the schedule, the Terps are facing an uphill battle to gain a bowl berth.

Fourth-string redshirt sophomore Ryan Brand started Saturday’s game for Maryland. Max Bortenschlager suffered an injury against Rutgers last week; It was unclear if he was able to go or not against the Wolverines.

Brand delivered inconsistent play behind center for Maryland on Saturday going 16-35, 136 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. The team has been struggling to replace quarterbacks Tyrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill after losing them to season-ending ACL tears.

The Terps relied heavily on running back and wide receiver screens early on to ease Brand into the game. They even ran a fake screen to Lorenzo Harrison who threw the ball back to Brand on the other side of the field, but they were unable to connect on the creative play call.

Maryland continued to try and catch Michigan off guard. Early in the second quarter, Maryland tried a fake punt on a 4th-and-7 from its 33-yard line and failed to convert. Later in the first half Maryland ran a reverse play with DJ Moore who threw the ball to Ryan Brand for 21 yards.

The Terps tried their best to fool the Wolverines, but Michigan pushed its lead to 28-0 before the end of the first half.

Maryland flipped the script in the second half. The Terps got on the board late in the third quarter off a Henry Darmstadter 20-yard field goal to bring the deficit to 28-3.

Maryland looked more comfortable on offense in the second half and moved the ball with ease. Brand showed poise in the pocket and led Maryland on a 11-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Jacobs with 9:46 remaining.

It was Maryland’s last push as Michigan put the final nail in the coffin after a 17-yard touchdown run by Chris Evans pushed the lead to 35-10. With just 4:55 remaining Maryland was out of time to generate a comeback.

Maryland will travel to East Lansing to take on No. 13 Michigan State Saturday. The Spartans will be looking for redemption after losing to Ohio State 48-3 while Maryland will be looking to bounce back from its two-game losing streak.