Maryland may have been hit hard by some recent recruiting developments in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day (Feb. 3), but on Saturday the Terrapins had one of the more interesting recruiting wins this season. Twin brothers Elijah Daniels and Elisha Daniels committed to the Terrapins on Saturday.
Adding to the double-mint fun, both brothers play cornerback and both decommitted from Minnesota earlier this month. Elijah is a three-star prospect according to Rivals. Guess what. So is his brother! The brothers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida ended up choosing Maryland over Minnesota, but two other Power 5 programs extended offers too; Boston College and Iowa State.
The addition of the twin brothers will provide some immediate depth at a position of need for Maryland in 2016. The Terrapins must replace three starters in the defensive backfield, but they do return Will Likely in the fall.
For new head coach DJ Durkin, the first recruiting class being assembled under his watch is already showing signs of planting seeds in the south. With the addition of Elijah and Elisha Daniels to Maryland’s Class of 2016, the last four recruits to hop on the Maryland train hail from the state of Florida, as noted by Daniel Martin of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Running back LaDerrien Wilson and Aaron Thompson also have committed to Maryland this week.
Stanford (8-5) did its part to keep the Pac-12’s perfect bowl record in play this bowl season. The Cardinal were dominant in a 45-21 victory over Maryland (7-6), improving the Pac-12 bowl record to a clean 4-0 this season.
Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was locked in from the start, ending his night with a pair of touchdown passes and plenty of short, accurate passes for 189 yards and 50 rushing yards. Cardinal running back Remound Wright rushed for three touchdowns to help push Stanford to a big lead in the first half. Wright was unstoppable down close to the end zone, scoring all three of his first-half touchdowns from inside the four-yard line. Having that offensive line providing a nice push against the Maryland defense certainly had an impact as well.
There were very few offensive highlights for Maryland in their first bowl game representing the Big Ten. Will Likely returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, although it came in the fourth quarter with Stanford still leading 42-14 following the score. Stefon Diggs returned to the field after missing the last few games of the season due to an injury, and he led the Terps with 106 receiving yards on nine catches. Quarterback C.J. Brown struggled to find consistency during the game, and he was picked off once and under pressure and sacked multiple times. He did run for a touchdown on his final play on the field of his career, so that was nice.
Stanford was a mess inside the red zone for a while this season, but you would not have been able to guess that if the Foster Farms Bowl was your first time watching the Cardinal this season. Stanford scored five red zone touchdowns. If the Cardinal can take that and the success seen in the regular season finale against UCLA into the spring, the Cardinal should once again be considered a team to pay attention to in the Pac-12 in 2015. There are going to be plenty of holes to fill though, on both sides of the football. The defense should be hit especially hard, but David Shaw‘s program has found a way to continue to play well on defense and that is not expected to change anytime soon.
Shaw now has two bowl victories to his name. That is as many bowl victories as Stanford had from 1993 through the end of the Jim Harbaugh era in 2010.
The Pac-12 remains the only conference without a loss this bowl season. At 4-0, the Pac-12 now owns the best bowl record of any conference this season, with Conference USA and the SEC each trailing with 4-1 records. The Big Ten is now a game under .500 at 2-3. The ACC (3-5) and Big 12 (0-3) are also struggling so far this bowl season.
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.