Maryland will make its Big Ten debut next week with a road trip to Bloomington, Indiana to play the Hoosiers. The Terps will certainly be heading into their new conference schedule on the right foot after getting the big plays to go their way in defeating Syracuse 34-20 on the road Saturday afternoon.
C.J. Brown passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Ross (97 yards, 1 touchdown) and Marcus Leak (93 yards, 1 touchdown) each came close to 100-yard days. Stefon Diggs may not have had a big stat game but was a key contributor as well with six catches for 56 yards and some work on special teams and the running game. The Maryland offense has shown some good things in non-conference play that should carry over to Big Ten play. But the Maryland defense is going to have to get better.
Despite losing, Syracuse piled up nearly 500 yards of offense against Maryland (roughly 115 more yards than Maryland accumulated). It was big plays that helped Maryland overcome the yardage battle. Maryland had a 90-yard touchdown (Brown to Ross) and an interception returned for an 88-yard touchdown by William Likely. Maryland avoided turning the football over and forced two turnovers in the game. For Syracuse, preventing costly mistakes will be a key area focused on in practice before getting ready to dive into ACC play.
Syracuse first needs to make sure they can count on quarterback Terrel Hunt throwing the football. He completed just half of his attempts against Maryland for 219 yards, but he also added a team-high 143 rushing yards and a touchdown. Syracuse also had a good day from running back Prince-Tyson Gulley with 138 rushing yards and an average of 9.9 yards per carry. The potential is there for Syracuse’s offense if they can put it all together.
Syracuse will face Notre Dame in MetLife Stadium next week, which sort of qualifies as an aCC game with Notre Dame’s relationship with the ACC. But the Orange will officially get started with ACC play the following week against the team that replaced Maryland in the conference, Louisville.
Marshall has struggled at times when playing away from home this season, but the Thundering Herd put together a fine performance in a neutral site game by definition only. Rakeem Cato passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns to lead Marshall to a 31-20 Military Bowl victory over Maryland in Annapolis Friday afternoon.
Gator Hoskins led Marshall with 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but Maryland’s Brandon Ross led all players with 116 yards in a losing effort. In what had been a bit of a back-and-forth game for most of the afternoon, Marshall pulled away with a go-ahead touchdown run by Essray Taliaferro early in the fourth quarter, after Maryland had completed a 99-yard touchdown drive to take a 20-17 lead. Cato’s third touchdown pass of the game padded the lead later in the fourth quarter as the Terps were forced to punt twice and had another drive in the fourth quarter end with an intercepted pass thrown by C.J. Brown. Maryland was held to just two third down conversions out of 14.
This was the third straight bow victory for Marshall, although that bowl winning streak spans over five seasons. The Thundering Herd will head in to 2014 hoping for one more year with Cato at the helm. If he does return, Marshall should once again be considered one of the favorites in Conference USA.
Maryland has now played their final game as a member of the ACC. Now the football program will begin to make the transition to the Big Ten. Maryland officially becomes a full member of the Big Ten in the summer of 2014 and begins Big Ten play in football next season in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and fellow Big Ten newcomer Rutgers.
Every team has injuries, but what is happening with Maryland is something else.
Five offensive players who started last week for the Terrapins will be out for this weekend’s game against Clemson. Even if Maryland was at full strength it may have been a difficult position to try to knock off Clemson, with the Tigers looking to bounce back after a demoralizing blowout loss at home last weekend to Florida State on the national stage. Maryland may not even be at two-thirds or three-fourths strength this weekend.
Nine players are out for the season including Maryland’s top two wide receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Young. A total of 12 additional players are listed out for the Clemson game, including starting quarter CJ Brown and leading rusher Brandon Ross.
Here is the full Maryland injury report for this weekend, courtesy of CSN Baltimore:
- DB Milan Collins | Ankle | Out for the season
- LB Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil | Upper Body | Out for the season
- WR Stefon Diggs | Leg | Out for the season
- OL JaJuan Dulaney | Knee | Out for the season
- WR Deon Long | Leg | Out for the season
- DB Dexter McDougle | Shoulder | Out for the season
- DL Mike Minter | Knee | Out for the seasom
- DL Kingsley Opara | Shoulder | Out for the season
- DL Ty Tucker | Knee | Out for the season
- OL Silvano Altamirano | Back | Out
- QB C.J. Brown | Trunk | Out
- LS Christian Carpenter | Knee | Out
- WR Tyrek Cheeseboro | Head | Out
- LB L.A. Goree |Back | Out
- K Adam Greene |Quad | Out
- DB Jeremiah Johnson | Toe | Out
- OL Nick Klemm | Foot | Out
- WR DeAndre Lane | Head |Out
- DB Anthony Nixon | Toe |Out
- RB Brandon Ross | Shoulder | Out
- TE Dave Stinebaugh | Knee | Out
- DL Zeke Riser | Ankle | Probable
- LB Matt Robinson | Shoulder | Probable
- LB Alex Twine | Shoulder | Probable