Maryland football has regularly been strangled by the top teams in the Big Ten, suffering a long string of blowout losses against teams like No. 4 Michigan. The Terps, who arrived in Ann Arbor as 17-point underdogs on Saturday, finally looked like they belonged on the same playing field as one of the conference elites, but this moral victory is all they could take home. after a frustrating 34-27 loss.
Looking back on that game, Mike Locksley’s side will taste the bitterness of missed chances and mistakes. They turned the ball over seconds into the game when the opening kickoff sounded off Tai Felton’s facemask and Michigan scored on the next play. Later there were two interceptions, one of which clearly appeared to have hit the ground but inexplicably went uninvestigated.
The Terps were also doomed by their inability to stop the run, watching Michigan star Blake Corum go for 243 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.
They finally proved themselves worthy of playing a team like the Wolverines, a step up for a program that has maintained a formula pattern of stringing together mini-win streaks and then crashing out to the big dogs of the Big Ten. , which despite everyone’s natural hatred of these moral victories, is a valuable step forward in terms of outside perception and inside confidence in Mike Locksley’s program.
“Obviously I have to give credit to Michigan, a top-five program. I told our team that we don’t believe in moral wins. Shutting down isn’t good enough. But I’m proud of the way which our team struggled with. I like the effort with which we played,” Locksley said. “I thought our penalties had gone down. We had a good rhythm of play, we had more than 70 plays executed in attack. I thought situationally in attack we played well on third and fourth down.”
Here’s the good, the big, the bad, and the ugly: