Maryland vs. Michigan: Score and Twitter Reaction

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The No. 3 Michigan Wolverines continued to roll Saturday at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, defeating the Maryland Terrapins 59-3 to remain undefeated. 

Michigan jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead that it never relinquished, and junior quarterback Wilton Speight was the star of the day, as he completed 19 of his 24 attempts for 362 yards and two touchdowns along with another 16 yards and one score on the ground. Senior running back De’Veon Smith also added 114 yards on 19 carries and three rushing touchdowns.

Saturday marked Michigan’s best offensive performance of the season with 660 total yards.

Maryland dropped to 5-4 in defeat, while the Wolverines bolstered their College Football Playoff standing and took one more step toward what could essentially be a CFP play-in game against Ohio State on Nov. 26.

Michigan was essentially flawless in the first half, as it scored touchdowns on all five of its offensive possessions.

The opening drive of the game was surgical in its precision, as the Wolverines covered 91 yards in 10 plays over the course of five minutes, 10 seconds, culminating in a perfectly thrown 34-yard touchdown pass from Speight to senior wide receiver Amara Darboh, as seen in this video courtesy of Big Ten Network:

Heisman Trophy candidate Jabrill Peppers was once again a major factor for Michigan on both defense and offense Saturday, and although his stats didn’t necessarily jump off the page, he made a number of plays that contributed to the win.

Among them was his involvement in a trick play on Michigan’s second offensive series, as he took a handoff from Speight and threw it back to him, which allowed Speight to find senior wideout Jehu Chesson for a 40-yard pickup:

Although Speight is mostly known as a pocket passer who isn’t exactly oozing with athleticism, he kept the Maryland defense honest two plays later.

With all of his potential targets covered, Speight took off and scored on a 10-yard touchdown run, which was appropriately punctuated by a Michael Jordan Jumpman pose in reference to the team’s uniform maker:

After the Wolverines seized a 14-0 lead, David Mayo of compared them to their most recent national championship team:

While the Maryland defense was struggling, the Terps started to move the ball offensively on their next possession thanks largely to solid play from senior quarterback Perry Hills.

They were unable to come away with point, though, as junior kicker Adam Greene knocked a 29-yard field goal off the right upright.

Michigan made the Terrapins pay with a seven-play, 80-yard drive, which included a 37-yard pass from Speight to senior tight Jake Butt.

Smith finished it off with a three-yard touchdown run, and the Wolverines extended their advantage to 21-0 after the extra point.

Things went from bad to worse for Maryland on its next drive, as Hills went down hard on a hit by junior defensive end Chase Winovich and landed on his left shoulder, per Larry Lage of the Associated Press.

Hills was replaced by senior Caleb Rowe and never returned. According to Drew Hallett of Maize n Brew, the Wolverines have made a habit of knocking opposing signal-callers out of games this season:

After Maryland turned the ball over on downs, Michigan took over near midfield and once again unleashed its all-out offensive assault.

Seemingly everyone got in on the action when it came to finding paydirt Saturday, and that included senior fullback Khalid Hill, who scored his team-leading ninth rushing touchdown of the season.

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, Hill doesn’t get a ton of usage, but he makes the most of his touches:

That score seemingly already put the game out of reach, but the Wolverines weren’t done there, as they made their final drive of the half count as well.

Speight threw another fantastic deep ball to Chesson for a 33-yard touchdown late in the half, which gave Michigan a 35-0 advantage:

After that score, Speight received a ringing endorsement from former Michigan and current Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess:

Per Nick Baumgardner of, Speight put up a first-half stat line that most quarterbacks would love to have over the course of an entire game:

Maryland nearly got on the board in the closing stages of the first half, but in what was a microcosm of the entire game for the Terrapins, sophomore wide receiver D.J. Moore tripped over his teammate on a 47-yard gain and went down at Michigan’s 1-yard line as time expired.

Michigan’s remarkable first-half performance represented something no team had done in conference play previously during the 2016 campaign:

Maryland’s first-half struggles carried over to the third quarter, as senior safety Delano Hill picked off Rowe on the third offensive play.

The Terrapins defense did score a minor moral victory on the next drive, though, as it prevented Michigan from scoring a touchdown for the first time all day.

Michigan did add to its lead, though, in the form of a 29-yard field goal by senior kicker Kenny Allen.

The Wolverines’ next drive was their first of the day without any points, as they opted to go for it on fourth down at Maryland’s 14-yard line, only to be stopped.

That drive wasn’t without a highlight, though, as Hill made an impressive, bobbling catch near the sideline:

Michigan’s point-scoring hiatus was short-lived, as its next drive covered 52 yards in 3:17 and was finished off by Smith on a one-yard scoring plunge.

That made the score 45-0 and added to an impressive total of 40-point performances by the Wolverines this season:

Maryland finally broke up the shutout on the next possession with a 37-yard field goal by Greene, and although Michigan lifted Speight from the game, its offense didn’t let up.

Senior running back Ty Isaac had a 53-yard run, and Smith scored his third touchdown of the game on a two-yard run to make it 52-3.

Dan Leach of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit praised Smith for reaping the rewards in a blowout victory by the Wolverines:

That wasn’t the exclamation point for Michigan, though, as Hill’s second interception of the game led to senior quarterback John O’Korn throwing a nine-yard touchdown to freshman wide receiver Kekoa Crawford to increase the lead to 59-3 with 3:26 remaining.

Michigan entered the game as a huge favorite, and head coach Jim Harbaugh’s team didn’t come close to disappointing.

Aside from a tight game against Wisconsin, Michigan has won every contest by at least two scores, and most of them have been by far more than that.

The Wolverines look every bit like a CFP-worthy team, and there may be no team in the nation with a better chance to knock off Alabama due to Michigan’s combination of excellence on offense, defense and special teams.

Maryland was the latest team to feel that wrath, and if Michigan can run the table until its clash with Ohio State, the CFP selection committee may still be inclined to include it because of consistent performances like the one displayed Saturday.

Postgame Reaction

Michigan’s confidence is likely through the roof after another blowout victory, and a comment made by Smith following the game suggests that is the case, as evidenced by this tweet from Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press:

The players executed in all facets Saturday, however, Butt gave a great deal of credit to the coaching staff:

Michigan’s offense continues to hum at an impressive rate, and Harbaugh loved the efficiency he saw out of that unit:

The stellar play of Speight ensured offensive execution Saturday, and Harbaugh suggested that his quarterback has earned some consideration for the Heisman Trophy:

For as good as the offense looked, the defense continued its season-long dominance, and Harbaugh was complimentary of that unit as well:

Former Michigan defensive coordinator and current Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin was nowhere near as happy with his team, according to Callie Caplan of Diamondback Sports:

Durkin offered concern regarding his teams mental state and stressed the importance of a turnaround:

Maryland is within striking distance of being bowl eligible, but with games against Ohio State and Nebraska in the next two weeks, it is in danger of falling below .500.


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