After being award the No. 3 overall ranking in the first draft of the College Football Playoff seedings, the Michigan Wolverines now know as long as they take care of business and win out, they should be in the Playoff.
Their first order of business however is taking care of the Maryland Terrapins, who undoubtedly were smelling upset to pick up a signature win while becoming bowl eligible in the process.
As Michigan has grown accustomed to doing this season, they scored early and often from start to finish and let the defense do its job in stifling opposing offenses. In the first quarter, they had two possessions, both resulting in touchdowns.
The first came on a 10-play, 91-yard drive that used up a little more than five minutes, capped off by a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Wilton Speight to wide receiver Amara Darboh. The second was good for 6 plays and 84 yards and it was from Speight, this time using his legs for a 10-yard score, his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Sandwiched in between the two scoring drives was forcing a Maryland punt.
(THRU 1ST: MICH LEADS 14-0)
Maryland continued a drive that ended prematurely at the end of the first quarter. They got inside the Michigan-15 and set themselves with a chip shot field goal, but kicker Adam Greene missed it.
The Wolverines made them pay for it. They turned the missed field goal into a 7-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard run into the end zone from De’Veon Smith. And after forcing the Terps to turn it over on downs on the following drive, Michigan efficiently once again had little trouble getting down field. This time it was tailback Khalid Hill punching it in from 1 yard out to bump their lead up yo 28-0.
The stout Michigan defense forced a 3-and-out in Maryland’s ensuing possession and needed just two minutes to get back in the end zone once more before halftime, making it a perfect 5-for-5 scoring touchdowns on every drive in the first half. Speight this time connected with Jehu Chesson, good for 33 yards and a five-score lead going into the locker room.
Maryland nearly scored before halftime on a big chunk play from D.J. Moore, but he was tackled just shy of the goal line.
(HALF: MICH LEADS 35-0)
Maryland received the opening kickoff to start the second half. Three plays in, backup quarterback Caleb Rowe was intercepted by Michigan’s Delano Hill. While the Wolverines did not find the end zone on this drive, they continued to score. Kicker Kenny Allen nailed a 29-yard chip shot.
The next three possessions, two for Maryland and one for Michigan, resulted in a turnover on downs. Then to close out the third quarter, Michigan marched down the field 57 yards and Smith as time expired on the frame ran it in from 1 yard out.
(THRU 3RD: MICH LEADS 45-0)
The bid for a second shutout of the season was lost when Maryland took their first drive of the fourth quarter down the field 55 yards in 10 plays and set themselves up with a 37-yard field goal from Greene. Michigan fittingly responded right away. In just a minute and 30 seconds, Michigan used a 26-yard kickoff return from Chris Evans and a 53-yard scamper from Ty Isaac to set Smith up with two more totes and 11 yards for what would be his third touchdown of the game and make it a 52-3 lead.
It was déjà vu for the quarterback Rowe and the defensive back Hill on the ensuing drive for the Terps. Rowe was picked off inside the UM-20 by Hill. And not showing any signs of letting up against former Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, Michigan turned the pick into an 8-play, 83-yard scoring drive. Backup QB John O’Korn hooked up with Kekoa Crawford for 9 yards and another Michigan touchdown.
FINAL – MICH 59, MARY 3
- W. Speight (MICH): 19/24, 362 yards, 2 TD
- D. Smith (MICH): 19 car, 114 yards, 3 TD (TEAM: 276 rush yards)
- J. Chesson (MICH): 5 rec, 112 yards, TD