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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Weekly Maryland recruiting roundup

In this week's recruiting roundup, Ty Johnson does laps around most of Western Maryland high school football.

Football recruiting

-- Class of 2015 quarterback commit Gage Shaffer had five touchdown passes in a 68-20 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 athlete commit Ty Johnson ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and had a 29-yard touchdown catch in a 56-6 win Saturday. Watch him be faster and stronger than pretty much everyone on the field in the nearly 10-minute midseason highlight reel at the top of this page.

-- Class of 2015 wide receiver commit D.J. Moore had a touchdown in a 66-6 win Monday.

-- Class of 2015 wide receiver commit Jahrvis Davenport had a 60-yard touchdown catch in a 27-7 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 linebacker commit Gus Little had a catch for 11 yards in a 40-34 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 linebacker commit Brett Zanotto had 66 rushing yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, in a 35-10 win last Friday.

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Stopping Penn State's Christian Hackenberg a 'challenge,' but not impossible for Terps

Seventeen years ago, Maryland coach Randy Edsall was scouting and recruiting Christian Hackenberg’s father, Erick.

Edsall was an assistant coach at Syracuse. Erick Hackenberg was a standout quarterback at Marian Catholic High School in Pennsylvania who chose to attend Virginia before transferring to Susquehanna.

Now Edsall and his defensive staff at Maryland are scheming to find ways to slow down Erick’s son, Christian, arguably the most talented young quarterback in the country. The Terps play Hackenberg and Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa.

While Hackenberg has more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (six) in seven games this season, he threw for 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman last year after signing with Penn State as a five-star recruit.

“He's big, he's strong and he can make every throw that you want a quarterback to make,” Edsall said of the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Hackenberg. “He's mobile and able to move around. So when an...

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Previewing Maryland-Penn State football with a Nittany Lions beat reporter

Back for a second season, we'll be previewing each of Maryland's football games by conducting a Q&A with a reporter who covers the Terps' next opponent.

This week, we traded emails with Mark Wogenrich, the Penn State beat reporter for The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. Be sure to check out more of their coverage here before the Terps and Badgers kick off Saturday at noon from State College, Pa.

TRACKING THE TERPS: There are two ways a team can go after the type of loss Penn State suffered Saturday. Do you think the comeback gives the Nittany Lions a confidence boost heading into this week, or might that outcome stunt their preparation for Maryland?

MARK WOGENRICH: How Penn State lost that game will fuel not just confidence but also anger. Watching the Big Ten explain two officiating errors helped restore a chip the team carried for parts of the last three years. Penn State will play angry Saturday; not sure if that translates to better, but the team won’t be subdued.

Also, one new...

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Ping-Pong diplomacy? Not a when it comes to James Franklin's recruitment of C.J. Brown

When Maryland was recruiting quarterback C.J. Brown, then-head coach Ralph Friedgen took James Franklin, his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, along for the trip to the 3-star prospect’s home.

Both Brown and Franklin recalled this week how they played ping-pong in the basement of Brown's house in Cranberry Township, Pa., but their recollection of how their competion turned out was a little different.

“Before he left, I challenged to a game of ping-pong. He was talking all that trash saying he was pretty good,” Brown said Tuesday. "I don’t know if it was his way of getting me to commit, but I ended up beating him, so I’ll always have that over his head.”

Told Wednesday of Brown’s memory of their match, Franklin laughed.        

“No, I whupped him every game," Franklin said. Every game."

Brown and Franklin get a chance to settle the score Saturday, in some respects, when the quarterback leads his Terps to Penn State to face Franklin's Nittany Lions.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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Terps head into Saturday's game against Penn State as a three-point underdog

Maryland heads into Saturday's game at Penn State as a three-point underdog, according to four lines listed on ESPN.com.

While the Terps (5-3 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) lost, 52-7, to Wisconsin on Saturday, the Nittany Lions took No. 13 Ohio State to double overtime before falling, 31-24.

Penn State (4-3, 1-3) has lost three straight games and is ranked 123rd nationally in rushing offense. However, Nittany Lions sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg is arguably the most talented young signal-caller in the country, and Penn State is ranked seventh nationally in total defense.

After scoring 50 or more points in each of its previous four games, Ohio State was held scoreless during the second half against Penn State and finished with just 293 yards of total offense, even after two overtime periods.

Now, a Maryland offense that went most of the second half against Wisconsin without gaining a first down will have to overcome that same Nittany Lions defense.

On a positive note for the Terps,...

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The good and bad from Maryland's 52-7 loss to Wisconsin

Maryland's football team lost to Wisconsin, 52-7, on Saturday in Madison. Here is a rundown of what went well and what did not from a Terps perspective:


THE GOOD

It’s over and only counts as one loss

There were some small positives throughout the game — such as the defense holding Wisconsin's star running back Melvin Gordon to less than four yards per carry for two and a half quarters, and freshman outside linebacker Jesse Aniebonam generating some pressure as a pass rusher. However, this is a game coach Randy Edsall and most of his players would probably prefer to never have to talk about again.


THE BAD

The offense

Prior to a late touchdown drive after Wisconsin was already up 52-0, Maryland went eight straight drives and about two hours of real time without picking up a first down.

The Terps’ offensive line struggled in both pass protection and in the run game. Maryland wide receivers had trouble getting open against the Badgers’ press-man coverage, and quarterback C.J. Brown missed...

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