By ERICK LEHMAN, Staff Reporter
Michigan was outdueled by Maryland, 23-16, Saturday, putting much distress on the bowl game hopes.
Drake Johnson paced the Wolverines with 94 rushing yards on 14 carries. Devin Gardner also carried the ball 14 times for 82 yards and a score.
The Wolverines as a team totaled 292 rushing yards, their highest output on the season.
The loss drops Michigan to 5-6 (3-4 Big Ten) on the season in 12 seniors’ final game at Michigan Stadium. A loss to Ohio State next week would mark only the third time since the 1975-76 season that Michigan would not become bowl eligible;, the second time since the end of the Lloyd Carr era.
“Obviously, we’re really, really disappointed,” head coach Brady Hoke said. “Disappointed because of our seniors, the 12 guys who are graduating, 12 guys who are playing their last games.”
Michigan had a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter, which that quickly evaporated.
A roughing the kicker penalty allowed the Terrapins to score the game tying touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
CJ Brown accounted for each play on that drive, marching the Terrapins down the field for 68 yards on 11 plays.
“We had a number of opportunities. Our defense was able to hold them a few times, but the penalties allowed them to go in and score. We need to be better in those situations,” said center Jack Miller.
Maryland scored the game-winning touchdown with 5:59 remaining in the game on a one1 touchdown run by Wes Brown.
“We missed some tackles in there; we tackle a little better than that,” Hoke said.
Michigan kicker Matt Wile went three-for-four on field goal attempts, with his only miss coming on a 39-yarder. If converted, the field goal would have given Michigan a three point lead late in the fourth quarter.
Michigan scored its only touchdown of the game on the first drive of the second half — a 15-yard run by Devin Gardner.
The players and coaches are quickly turning their focus to next week at Ohio State.
“It’s the biggest rivalry in college football. I’ve played in it, and it’s going to be a great game,” said senior linebacker Jake Ryan. “We’re going to treat it like every other game, but it’s a rivalry game, so it’ll be more amped up. We’re excited for it.”