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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Maryland showed it was a different team with its two wins in Kansas City

Back in May, before they stepped on the Maryland campus for summer workouts, I took a leap of faith regarding the five freshmen and one senior transfer who were joining Mark Turgeon’s teetering basketball program.

In this very space, I wrote how they were going to be better than the five players who had over the course of the previous month announced they were leaving the Terps with remaining eligibility.

Talk about an early return on your investment.

The excitement about Maryland’s victories over Arizona State and No. 13 Iowa State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City is not simply about the present for Turgeon’s program.

It's more about the future.

Since the newcomers had yet to arrive in College Park, my feelings in the spring were based largely on the players who had left. Though his gut told him otherwise, their departure had made Turgeon second-guess, at least publicly, the way he was doing things at Maryland.

In retrospect, he was not doing things any differently than...

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Terps kicker Brad Craddock named finalist for Lou Groza Award

Maryland junior kicker Brad Craddock has been named a finalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented annually to the top kicker in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Australia native has converted all 17 of his field-goal attempts and is the only kicker in the FBS yet to miss a field goal.

After making just 10 of his 16 field-goal attempts as a freshman in 2012, Craddock was successful on 84 percent of his kicks (21 of 25) as a sophomore last year and has converted 23 straight attempts dating back to last season.

Craddock hit a Maryland-record 57-yard field goal against Ohio State on Oct. 4, which stands as the second-longest field goal in the FBS this season. Craddock also lifted the Terps to a 20-19 win over Penn State on Nov. 1 with a go-ahead, 43-yard field goal during the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Craddock is Maryland's first-ever finalist for the Lou Groza Award. The other two finalists are Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo, who won the award last year...

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Looking at some noteworthy Terps football stats

Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown swept to his left, finding open running room on his way to a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter of the Terps' 23-16 win over Michigan.

The touchdown was the 54th Brown has been responsible for during his Maryland career, moving him into first place on the Terps' all-time list, past former Maryland quarterback Scott Milanovich.

Brown also accounted for 252 yards of total offense Saturday, which elevated him into second place on the Terps’ all-time list for total offense during a career.

Brown (6,596 yards) needs 515 yards during Maryland’s final two games to supplant Milanovich in first place.

Here are some other noteworthy Terps numbers following Saturday’s win:

** Senior defensive end Andre Monroe recorded a sack Saturday, which gave him 24 for his career and tied him with former Maryland standout Mike Corvino for first place on the school's all-time list. Monroe is also second in the Big Ten with 9.5 sacks.

** Terps cornerback Will Likely...

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Terps left tackle Jake Wheeler 'played well' in first career start

Maryland left tackle Jake Wheeler delivered the key block that sprung quarterback C.J. Brown for a game-tying touchdown early in the fourth quarter of the Terps' 23-16 win over Michigan on Saturday.

A virtual non-factor on offense since arriving at Maryland in 2010, Wheeler made his first career start Saturday and helped the Terps revive a running game that had been mostly stagnant since early September.

Maryland rushed for 147 yards while averaging 4.2 yards per carry against a Michigan defense that entered the game allowing just 2.8 yards per carry.

The 6-foot-7, 310-pound native of Hollywood, Fla., also helped the Terps block a Michigan pass rush that began the day tied for second in the Big Ten with an average of 3.33 sacks per game during conference play.

The Wolverines finished with just two sacks.

Wheeler "played well" and will start again when Maryland hosts Rutgers in its regular-season finale Saturday at Byrd Stadium, coach Randy Edsall said during his weekly conference call...

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The good and bad from Maryland football's 23-16 win over Michigan

Maryland beat Michigan, 23-16, on Saturday to improve to 7-4, including 4-3 in the Big Ten, heading into Saturday’s regular season finale against Rutgers.

Here is what went well and what did not from a Terps perspective during that game:

THE GOOD

Quarterback C.J. Brown

Days after coach Randy Edsall said he would be prepared to make a change at quarterback if Brown did not improve, Brown played what Edsall described as the quarterback’s best game of the season. Brown ran for 87 yards and a touchdown, completed 13 of his 24 pass attempts for 165 yards, and he led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives after the Terps entered the quarter trailing, 16-9.

There were no noticeably bad decisions. Throws were consistently on-point, and Brown’s numbers would have been much better if not for at least five drops by Maryland pass-catchers.

The win

In its first season as a member of the Big Ten, Maryland has won on the road at Michigan and Penn State, beaten a perennial Big Ten power in Iowa and...

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Maryland a sizable favorite heading into regular-season finale vs. Rutgers

The Maryland football team is a nine-point favorite heading into Saturday's regular season finale against Rutgers in College Park, according to ESPN.

The Terps improved to 7-4, including 4-3 in the Big Ten, with a 23-16 win at Michigan on Saturday.

Rutgers (6-5, 2-5) has dropped four of its past five games after beginning the season 5-1, and the Scarlet Knights are 0-3 in conference road games.

Rutgers has four losses at the hands of teams that were ranked as recently as last week — Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

However, the Scarlet Knights rank just 93rd nationally in scoring offense and 90th in scoring defense. Former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen is their offensive coordinator. 

Rutgers fell, 45-3, at Michigan State last week.

Saturday’s game will begin at 3:30 and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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