Maryland loses to Michigan State and a bid at a bowl game

Feature photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

It has been a tough season for the Maryland Terrapins, who is now 4-7 as they lost their chance to play in a bowl game this year in their 17-7 loss to Michigan St. on Saturday.

Maryland was able to attend the Quick Lane Bowl in head coach D.J. Durkin’s first year at Maryland last year. The Terps bested Boston College a day after Christmas after a 31-13 bowl-clinching win over Rutgers in their regular season finale last November.

Expectations were high after the major upset over then ranked No. 23 Texas in the first game of the season and  the possibility of Maryland going to another bowl game seemed realistic.  Although they lost their starting quarterback for the year against Texas, there was hope that the Terps would start the season off undefeated as they had to play Towson, UCF, and Minnesota.  Maryland demolished Towson but lost to UCF 38-10 along with their prized freshman quarterback. They then won against Minnesota 31-24, but that  joy didn’t last long. After being crushed by the ranked No. 8 Ohio State 62-14, the Terps six game losing streak began.

If the weather wasn’t enough for Maryland, the Spartans’ offense was. The weather didn’t pose a threat to Michigan St. as they gained 271 yards on the ground alone against the Terps with junior back LJ Scott having 147 of those yards along with a touchdown. Although having the same passing issues as Maryland, the Spartans plowed their way through the ground, something the Terps was unable to do as they only rushed for a combined 83 yards on the day.

Maryland struggled to move the ball costed them the game. Max Bortenschlager returned to the starting lineup this week after being out due to a head injury. It seemed as though he didn’t fully recover as he was not on point Saturday, consistently missing his targets and only having 121 passing yards. After fumbling the ball in the Terps' territory, Bortenschlager was benched until he re-entered the game fourth quarter. Back-up quarterback Ryan Brand led Maryland in the third  quarter only to 23 yards gained.   

With ten minutes left in the quarter, Terps running back Lorenzo Harrison III scored a touchdown, Maryland’s first points of the game. With their confidence levels up, the Terps had a chance to comeback against Michigan St. Unfortunately, kicker Henry Darmstadter missed the 36-yard field goal preventing any chance of coming back in East Lansing.

“I was proud of Max coming back in the fourth” coach Durkin said. “We had some chances and we didn't execute when we needed to.”

With another lost under their belt, Maryland will hope for a positive ending to their season against No. 18 Penn State on Nov. 25 at Capital One Field at 3:30 pm.