Michigan 28 – Maryland 0
The Wolverines moves to 4-1 on the season (1-0 in the B1G) after another dominant defensive performance against the Terps.
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. That was the best word to describe the first half for both sides. Michigan and Maryland both turned to the ball over and committed countless penalties. Can we call the first half a defensive struggle?
Maryland shocked everyone with their stout run defense, holding the Wolverines 43 rushing yards on 16 carries. Although starting running back De’Veon Smith did not make the trip due to injury, Michigan was expected to set the tone early with their running game.
Ty Isaac had a first half he would like to forget. Starting in place of Smith, Isaac ran the ball three times for eight yards and coughed the ball up once- giving way to Drake Johnson and Derrick Green earlier than expected. Not only did Isaac fumble, but he roughed the punter on a punt block attempt, giving the Terrapins the ball and a new set of downs.
The best run play came from quarterback Jake Rudock. On a fourth down play action call, Rudock rumbled for 20 yards, netting Michigan’s most successful run play in the first half.
With the run game not working so well, Michigan turned to the passing game. Throwing 18 times in the first half was not Harbaugh’s game plan.
Rudock completed 12 of his first 18 passes for 124 yards, but no touchdowns. 44 of those yards came on a brilliant screen pass to tight end Jake Butt. Although it didn’t finish with a touchdown, it was the best play Michigan ran in the 30 minutes.
Kicker, Kenny Allen finished 2-for-3 on field goals, for Michigan’s only six points.
The Wolverine D held Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe to 8-for-24 passing and two interceptions. Jeremy Clark came away with his third pick of the season. Desmond Morgan had the other interception
Michigan led 6-0 heading into the locker room
Rudock began the second half with a turnover, throwing an interception on the first drive. Then Isaac fumbled again but got it back. After that, the Wolverines began clicking.
Jourdin Lewis jumped a Rowe pass, intercepting it and setting up Michigan’s first touchdown.
Rudock found Drake Johnson on a perfectly called third down screen pass. As Maryland blitzed, Ruduck waited for the defensive lineman to close in on him and flipped it out to Johnson. He did the rest, taking it 31 yards to make it 12-0. Khalid Hill pulled in a pass on the two-point conversion try, to go up 14-0.
After another defensive stop, wide receiver Jehu Chesson took a jetsweep 66 yards for the next score.
A Johnson TD plunge capped the scoring at 28-0.
The Michigan defense continues to be the backbone of this 2015 football team. Allowing 105 yards total and forcing three turnovers. At one point, Michigan’s defensive line had three sacks in four plays.
Maryland used multiple running backs and quarterbacks to try and penetrate the Wolverine defense but they were mildly unsuccessful.
This team looks better each and every week. DJ Durkin is doing an exceptional job with the players he inherited from the Hoke regime. Most guys being will and able to do the things he is asking them to do, which is be aggressive and stay disciplined.
Michigan, improving to 4-1, has a date with Northwestern next week. Maryland drops to 2-3.
- Starting cornerback Channing Stribling did not make the trip to College Park due to a minor injury.
- Mario Ojemudia left the game on crutches and is likely out for the year with an achilles injury.
- In the past two weeks, Michigan has held its opponents to 210 yards total.
- Michigan shutout back-to-back opponents for the first time since 2000, when they blanked Indiana and Michigan State.
Michigan welcomes undefeated Northwestern to Ann Arbor as two of the top defenses in the B1G and nation will likely have a slugfest that old school football fans will be sure to enjoy.
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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