A week after getting roughed up on its home field by Ohio State, Maryland (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) came back on a little bit of a redemption mission this week at home against Iowa (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten). Maryland took a 38-21 lead in the fourth quarter and held on for a 38-31 win in Big Ten play.
Maryland fell behind Iowa early in the game, with the Hawkeyes jumping out to a 14-0 lead in part because Maryland turned the football over on the first play of the game. Maryland was not rattled though, and rallied with 17 straight points heading to the halftime break with the lead. Maryland linebacker Will Likely intercepted a pass from Iowa’s Jake Rudock and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Maryland a 10-point advantage. That was later expanded to a 17-point advantage with a Wes Brown touchdown run, his second of the game. Stefon Diggs dazzled with 130 yards and a touchdown on nine catches.
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown was forced to leave the game after taking a hit from an Iowa defender. Brown was scrambling for a first down when he went diving head first. Brown was able to leave the field under his own power, but given his history with head injuries it is understandable why Maryland would be extremely cautious with their quarterback’s health. Redshirt sophomore Perry Hills replaced Brown under center, a move that was necessary with Caleb Rowe out for the year following an injury this week. Brown is Maryland’s top passer and leading rusher, so his absence could be important if he is unable to play in the future.
Iowa may face some quarterback questions as well. The position has been a frustrating ones at times this season for Iowa, and Rudock had his ups and downs in this game as well. Iowa is far from panic mode, as they still sit in a good position in the Big Ten West division, but if Kirk Ferentz is going to make any adjustments then he may need to do so soon if he feels one is needed.
Iowa will have a week off to prepare for the home stretch to the season. It begins at home against Northwestern and will later end with back-to-back home games against Wisconsin and Nebraska in late November.
Maryland will play the next two weeks on the road before getting another bye week. Next week Maryland will visit Wisconsin. The following week, on November 1, Maryland will rekindle an old series with Penn State in Beaver Stadium.