No. 15 Michigan keeps momentum going with easy defeat at Maryland

Orion Sang

Detroit Free Press

Published 3: 24 PM EDT Nov 2, 2019

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It began with a bang — and eventually turned into somewhat of a slog.

No. 15 Michigan jumped to an early 14-0 lead at Maryland Stadium on Saturday afternoon, gave the Terrapins several first-half opportunities to get back into the game — and eventually cruised to a 38-7 win.

Receiver Giles Jackson returned the opening kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown. Then Michigan’s defense forced a three-and-out, giving the ball to the offense at Maryland’s 41. Several minutes later, running back Zach Charbonnet lined up at quarterback and scored from 1 yard out, his 10th touchdown of the season — setting a school record for most rushing touchdowns by a true freshman.

It seemed like the Wolverines would run away from there. 

But the Terrapins had fight left in them. 

They put together a 12-play, 63-yard drive that reached Michigan’s 12. But on third down, defensive end Mike Danna avoided a cut block, burst into the backfield and hit quarterback Josh Jackson, whose pass was knocked off target and into the hands of safety Josh Metellus.

On the following possession, the Terrapins made it to the Wolverines’ 8 — only to move backward on their ensuing two plays before missing a field goal. Maryland moved the ball well, yet had no points to show for it.

Michigan’s offense, meanwhile, slowed down after its early touchdown drive that was aided by a shortened field. The Wolverines went three-and-out on their ensuing two drives, and seemed poised to do the same on a third consecutive possession. But a fake punt kept the drive alive; on the next play, quarterback Shea Patterson connected with receiver Nico Collins on a 51-yard bomb. Two plays after that, Charbonnet scored again, this time from eight yards out.

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Had Maryland hit scored on either of its two red-zone drives, the game might’ve played out differently. But the Wolverines eventually clamped down on defense — and the offense picked things up in the second half.

After punting on its first possession of the third quarter, Michigan scored two consecutive touchdowns on drives of 60 and 62 yards, respectively. After struggling early to run the ball, the Wolverines found more success in the third quarter, with several big chunks — including a 39-yard run from Tru Wilson. 

Maryland’s only points of the day came on a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Javon Leake; still, by then, the game was already out of hand. 

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