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Turning point of the game: Maryland

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The blocked punt set up the Wolverines nicely to score another touchdown.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Michigan at Maryland Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 6 Michigan Wolverines easily cruised past Maryland by a score of 56-18 in their final road game of the season. This win elevated the Maize and Blue to a 10-1 record and 7-1 in conference play.

Michigan got rolling in the first quarter, producing two touchdowns while simultaneously shutting out the Terrapins. After missing its first field goal attempt in the first, Maryland finally got on the board after a 68-yard drive set itself up for another field goal. This would be the Terps only score in the first half, as Michigan led 24-3 going into halftime.

Michigan opened up the start of the second half with another touchdown drive. The Terrapins were able to respond, finally getting into the end zone on their next drive. Both teams traded another pair of touchdowns before Michigan scored its third of the third quarter. Maryland started to move in response when Taulia Tagovailoa was picked off by DJ Turner, who returned it for six more for the Wolverines. After Maryland’s turnover on downs at its own 34 in the next series, Michigan was in excellent field position to strike again. J.J. McCarthy found the end zone for the Wolverines’ final score of the night early in the fourth.

This game was full of incredible highlights. Andrel Anthony had a one-handed catch that put the Wolverines at Maryland’s five-yard line to set up the second touchdown of the first quarter. Mike Sainristril caught an equally impressive ball for Michigan’s third score of the game in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, the Wolverines scored three times within four minutes and four seconds. What was so impressive about this was that the Maize and Blue scored in all three phases. It started with a 81-yard kickoff return from AJ Henning with around four and a half minutes left in the third quarter.

After getting the ball back on offense, Cade McNamara found freshman running back Donovan Edwards for a 77-yard receiving touchdown. The defense followed suit in Maryland’s next series, which led to the Turner pick six.

In arguably one of the most fun and complete games to watch this season, the Wolverines were stellar in every aspect of play. Maryland struggled to contain the Wolverines and while it tried to come up with their own answers, it was too little too late. Michigan took control early in this game and never looked back.

Determining a turning point of the game took some effort, since distinguishing between what turned the tide and what was an impressive highlight often fell into the same category. There were so many moments in this game that solidified Michigan’s win, but one stood out among the rest.

This moment came in the second quarter as Maryland set up for a punt after going three and out. The Terrapins just had the ball off when Matt Torey came in and blocked the punt. This put the Maize and Blue at Maryland’s 42, which set up a scoring drive for McCarthy and the Wolverines. This put Michigan up 21-3. Maryland was too far in the hole after this and never had the chance to make it close.

Michigan played an incredible game against Maryland, while keeping itself as healthy as possible for next week’s showdown against Ohio State. Both teams enter rivalry week 10-1 and the winner between the two heads to Indy. This will be the third time in five seasons where the Michigan-OSU game determines who earns the bid to the Big Ten Championship out of the East Division. While the Wolverines have yet to make this game since its inception, they have the chance to change that. It’s an uphill battle for the Wolverines next week and it means everything, as they haven’t beaten their storied rival since 2011. The Maize and Blue continue to impress in 2021 and hopefully they have what it takes to get one more win out of this regular season.