Is there anything left to play for?
Maybe, but after Saturday's latest debacle, the chance to participate in a low-level bowl appears to be in serious doubt. On a day where 12 seniors on the football team were honored, it was tarnished with a 23-16 loss to Maryland.
It was arguably Michigan's (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten) best shot to earn a bowl bid, with the team traveling to Columbus next week to face Ohio State, now that it has missed on that chance, odds of making a bowl are as slim as the future Michigan coach Brady Hoke has with the program.
It acted like a team that had no idea what to do with a lead. Horrid mistakes and bad penalties later, Michigan saw its 16-9 early second-half lead dwindle and eventually reached a deficit it could not crawl out of.
The first mistake came from a Dennis Norfleet punt return touchdown that was called back by a crippling block in the back penalty. The next was going for it on fourth down instead of electing to kick a 49-yard field goal.
It doesn't end there.
Maryland (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) lined up for a field goal--and made the kick--only to have Jourdan Lewis be called for a personal foul roughing the kicker penalty. Which resulted in an automatic first down penalty and would result in a C.J. Brown quarterback keeper that would tie the score at 16 in the fourth quarter.
Later in the fourth, Maryland running back would score from one-yard to put the Terrapins in front for good.
On a day where very few, if any at all, bright spots emerged, there was no mistaking how easily Michigan could run the ball. Outrushing the Terrapins 292-147, the running game was the only aspect of the offense the Wolverines could muster. The passing game finished with an underwhelming 106 yards and was plagued with drops.
One of them was tipped by walk-on receiver Bo Dever and resulted in an interception that was nearly returned for a touchdown. The only turnover all game by both teams.
The first half appeared to be similar to a soccer match, as both teams could only muster three field goals each with the score being at nine at the half. Despite having the ball deep in the redzone twice, both drives resulted in short-yardage field goals after sputtering out.
One of those deep redzone field goals was due to a fake punt that was taken 52-yards to the Maryland redzone by fullback Joe Kerridge. The offense was not able to get anything going and resulted in the first goal of the game.
Michigan would finally hit paydirt in the third quarter on a 15-yard quarterback scramble from Devin Gardner, putting the Wolverines ahead 16-9.
That would be the last touchdown scored in Michigan Stadium in the 2014 season.
Odds and ends
- Delano Hill was not on the dress list during Saturday's game. Hoke told reporters that he had been suspended and is expected to return to face Ohio State. Hoke did not say why Hill was suspended.
- Michigan honored 12 seniors during Senior Day and sent four out for the coin toss and had the other eight lined up waiting for them.
- Drake Johnson led the team in rushing yardage with 94 yards on 14 carries.