By Megan Smedley
Maryland basketball has more wins than Maryland football. Let that sink in. It has been over two months since Maryland won a football game. The guy from “Wedding Crashers” is wrong. Crab cakes and football is not what Maryland does—at least not this year.
This afternoon the Terps lost 47-28. Prior to the game it was announced that Perry Hills was out with mono and Caleb Rowe would get the start. Rowe came into the game leading the country with 15 interceptions and only a 44% completion rate.
Maryland won the toss and elected to defer the ball until the second half. Indiana received the kickoff and marched down the field. After a couple of rushes by Jordan Howard, Nate Sudfeld connected with Mitchell Paige for a 34-yard reception. The Terps defense produced a goal line stand prompting Indiana to kick a field goal. The Terps answered quickly though. Brandon Ross ran 79 yards for a Maryland touchdown. It was his longest career-rushing touchdown and moved him to 10th overall on Maryland’s top rushing yardage.
“I just saw huge holes,” Ross said. “I’ve gotta give all the credit to the line of course. I mean they were opening them up all game.”
In their next possession, the Terps marched down the field. Caleb Rowe completed a 23-yard pass to Ty Johnson followed by a 12-yard pass to Levern Jacobs. Brandon Ross scored his second touchdown of the game on a 22-yard run. The Terps were up 14-3 only halfway through the first quarter.
During Indiana’s possession, Yannick Ngakoue applied pressure to Sudfeld. Ngakoue became Maryland’s all-time single season sack leader with 13.5. Quinton Jefferson came up with an interception. Maryland received the ball in Indiana’s red zone. Caleb Rowe connected with Malcom Culmer for a 14-yard touchdown. The Terps were up 21-3 and it was still only the first quarter. Indiana marched down the field in their next possession. Nate Sudfeld connected with Mitchell Paige for a touchdown. Maryland led 21-10 at the end of the first.
Indiana continued to fight their way back on their opening drive of the second quarter. Sudfeld hit Andre Booker for a 59-yard touchdown, cutting Maryland’s lead to only 21-17. Indiana surprised Maryland with a flawless onside kick and was able to recover it. Sudfeld threw to Luke Timian for 24-yards to get into the red zone. Sudfeld ran it in himself to take the lead, 24-21 midway through the second quarter.
Maryland had a quick three-and-out and Indiana marched down the field again. Defense came up with a bid goal line stand, resulting in a 19-yard field goal from Griffin Oakes. Indiana expanded their lead to 27-21. Maryland struggled again on offense. On fourth down, an awful fake punt was attempted. Anthony Nixon fumbled and recovered but was blocked by Indiana. Oakes made a 48-yard field goal to make it 30-21. Through the first half, Brandon Ross had 151 yards on the ground for two touchdowns. Caleb Rowe threw only 50% for 80 yards. Rowe would not return in the second half. He was ruled out with a concussion.
“You know when you lose Caleb because of the threat of the pass and Brandon was running the ball really well, they adjusted obviously,” said interim head coach Mike Locksley.
The Terps came out strong in the second half. Brandon Ross sprinted up the sideline to score his 3rd touchdown of the game. Maryland was only down 30-28 now. Maryland attempted on onside kick but kicked it out of bounds. Indiana quickly made do of Maryland’s error and marched down the field. Sudfeld hit Paige again to expand their lead to 37-28. Terps went another quick three-and-out with Shane Cockerille in as quarterback.
Indiana quickly scored again with Sudfeld hitting Michael Cooper for the touchdown. Cockerille was the quarterback for the majority of the third quarter even though he led the Terps to numerous three-and-out drives, giving them little chance to score.
“They didn’t really seem to be doing anything different,” Ross said. “ We couldn’t really get anything going in the air so we were really one dimensional.”
Oakes hit another field goal for Indiana increasing their lead to 47-28 where it would stay for the rest of the game. Despite on early lead, the Terps allowed Indiana to go on a 44-7 run for the rest of the game. Brandon Ross ran for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, both of which are career highs. Maryland falls to 2-9 on the year and remains winless in the Big Ten. The final game of the season is next week against Rutgers.
“”Our team is going to continue to fight,” said Locksley. “We’ve got one game left. We’re going to finish it, the right way, the way it should be finished.”