It seemed like more of a scrimmage than a Big Ten tilt for Michigan against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday afternoon. Michigan was stronger, faster, and just better all around.
Michigan’s offense pumped out a lot of first downs in the early going, mixing pass and run. An 11-play, 70-yard drive set the tone early in the first quarter. It showed Hassan Haskins would be a force to be reckoned with, and that quarterback Cade McNamara would get rid of the ball quickly. The drive ended with a Luke Schoonmaker touchdown catch to put Michigan up 7-0.
Michigan wasn’t done scoring in the first quarter. A great one-handed catch by Andrel Anthony put Michigan in the red-zone, and the Wolverines would cash in with a Haskins 1-yard TD run — this put Michigan up 14-0.
Taulia Tagovailoa made errant throws to open targets throughout the afternoon, and a couple wide open targets in the end zone which took points off the board for the Terrapins. It should have became a one-score game, but Maryland settled for a field goal to cut Michigan’s lead to 14-3.
McNamara had an efficient first half, with some great throws, but also threw a few balls directly into the helmets of Michigan linemen or Maryland defenders. The Big Ten Network reported head coach Jim Harbaugh made McNamara aware he keeps throwing side arm and needs to throw over the top.
Backup J.J. McCarthy would start getting some snaps and he had a whole drive of operating the offense with McNamara on the sideline. McCarthy delivered on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson. It was a great throw, and certainly a great catch that put Michigan up 21-3.
McNamara would come back in to lead Michigan on a two-minute scoring drive right before the half, a chop-block took away a beautiful McNamara-to-Roman WIlson connection and Michigan wound up with 3, going into the half up 24-3.
After the break, Maryland’s offense couldn’t get things going, turning the ball over on downs on a Aidan Hutchinson tackle for loss. Michigan would capitalize shortly after on a Haskins touchdown from goal-to-go to put the Wolverines up 31-3.
Trailing by 28, Maryland finally had a cohesive drive that ended with a touchdown. Tagovailoa used his legs on the drive to extend plays and find openings in the Michigan secondary. The 7-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Carriere was the 14th game in a row that Taulia has thrown for a score. This trimmed Michigan’s lead to 31-10.
It didn’t take Michigan long to answer back — they scored on the kickoff. A.J. Henning, who put a couple balls on the ground in this one, redeemed himself and took a trick return to the house and Michigan went up 38-10.
Maryland didn’t just roll over, though, and came right back with a scoring drive — a drive where Maryland flipped Michigan in total yards, 321-to-317. Tagovailoa had a 17-yard touchdown run that was quite inexcusable — MIchigan’s D took their foot off the gas, and Tagovailoa would run up the gut for a 2-point conversion. A 38-10 lead became 38-18.
Michigan was soon able to get another score of their own. Facing a 3rd down, McNamara hit a wide open Donovan Edwards, who received the most action he has all year, for a 77-yard touchdown. Michigan went up 45-18.
Things kept spiraling out of control for Maryland — Tagovailoa threw an ill-advised pass that D.J. Turner gladly intercepted and returned for a score, giving Michigan a 52-18 lead.
Michigan just kept piling on. After yet another long gain on a Edwards reception, J.J. McCarthy turned a botched snap into a QB run for a touchdown. McCarthy had to use some force to punch it in, and he won the battle — this gave Michigan a staggering 59-18 win.
And that’s where the score would end, 59-18. Now 10-1 Michigan has a big game next week, to say the least, against Ohio State.