By Sebastian Obando
On a third-and-9 with just above two minutes to go in the first half, quarterback Perry Hills took the snap and looked toward the left side of the field. His pass towards the outside was picked out by Spartan linebacker Riley Bullough, who returned the interception for a touchdown to regain the lead for #14 Michigan State. The Terps’ offense never seemed to recover, as the Terps dropped their seventh straight of the season, falling to a 2-8 record on the year.
“Defensively, we played well enough to win the ball game. Offensively, we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,” interim head coach Mike Locksley said. “The turnovers continue to be a problem. We have promising drives, but we put the ball on the ground or turn it over in the passing game.”
The Terps are currently last in the BIG10 in turnover margins, averaging approximately two turnovers per game. Against Michigan State, quarterbacks Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe totaled three interceptions, while running backs Wes Brown and Brandon Ross both fumbled once.
“It’s frustrating beyond words, I hate to lose,” Hills said. “What I have to do is get better. I don’t want to be the one to let my team down.”
Along with the offense, the Terps struggled on special teams, setting up the Michigan State offense with excellent field position on numerous drives. The Terps averaged less than 30 yards on seven punts.
Despite the offense and special team struggles, the defense again displayed an impressive showing. Holding the Spartan offense to just 121 yards through the air and 262 total yards, the Terp defense also added three takeaways; with senior defensive back Anthony Nixon picking off both quarterbacks Connor Cook and Tyler O’Connor. The Spartans currently commit the least amount of turnovers per game in the BIG10, a testament to the growth and development of the Terp defense.
“We need to get the offense up to the level in which our defense is performing,” Locksley said. “I promise you this, the Terps are going to show up next week. We’ll show up fighting and mad and I’ll get them coached up.”
With the loss, the Terps drop their seventh straight contest and fall to a 2-8 (0-6) record on the year. Maryland will be looking to bounce back when they welcome Indiana in the team’ last home game of the season.