The pressure from Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State was consistent and came from all angles, converging on Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown and contributing to him finishing with lackluster statistics in each game.
The Terps’ offensive line will try to protect better in their next test, when Maryland plays No. 12 Michigan State Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
An offensive line that has allowed the fourth-most sacks in the Big Ten will be tasked with slowing down a Michigan State pass rush that leads the conference with 30 sacks.
Michigan State is "as good and as advertised as some of the defenses, and we’ve faced some of the top defenses the last three or four weeks with Wisconsin, Penn State, obviously Ohio State and now Michigan State," Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said, "and Michigan State poses that same type of challenge for us.”
The Spartans’ pass rush is led by defensive end Shilique Calhoun, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound redshirt junior who NFLDraftScout.com projects to be a future first-round NFL draft pick.
Calhoun has 10 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries in nine games after recording 14 tackles for a loss, including 7.5 sacks, as a redshirt sophomore last year.
“He uses power,” Maryland left tackle Michael Dunn said. “He’s got a nice set of moves he likes to use, kind of got a swipe [move]. He’s good against the run. It’s very difficult to reach him. He’s pretty wide in his stance, so it’s very difficult to really reach him or get on him, and he’s just a great player. Him and [Ohio State's] Joey Bosa might be the two best ‘D’ linemen we’ll be facing on the year, so it’s just another challenge for us.”
The Spartans have also gotten six sacks from outside linebacker Ed Davis, four from inside linebacker Taiwan Jones and 3.5 from defensive end Marcus Rush.
“They're strong up front,” Terps coach Randy Edsall said. “They're bull rushers. They do a good job. They come and put pressure on you. They'll play some really straight man [coverage]. They'll play some zone pressures. They have a good scheme for who they are. They do a good job defensively. They're well coached. They have good players. They're big and strong up front, and they play hard and get after you."
Cornerback Alvin Hill, who was lost for the season after a knee injury in September, underwent shoulder surgery Friday for an injury he suffered prior to hurting his knee. … Redshirt freshman wide receiver Taivon Jacobs is “doing good” after undergoing knee surgery in September, Edsall said. “No issues with any of our guys from a rehab standpoint,” Edsall said. … Maryland’s scout team players of the week were redshirt freshman offensive lineman Joe Marchese (offense), junior linebacker Avery Thompson (defense) and redshirt freshman tight end Eric Roca (special teams). … The Terps will wear their Black Ops uniforms Saturday against Michigan State, which consist of black jerseys, black pants and black shoes. … Edsall and Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner were both quarterbacks at Syracuse in the late 1970s. Warner also served as the offensive coordinator under Edsall at Connecticut in 1999 and 2000. … Terps junior right guard Andrew Zeller has “gotten better,” Edsall said. Zeller was awarded Maryland’s offensive game ball following the Terps’ win over Penn State Nov. 1 and will be Maryland’s offensive captain against Michigan State. “He’s working at it,” Edsall said. “I think he’s playing with a lot more confidence now, and I think that’s what happens when you play as much as he has and are doing what he’s doing. He’s putting in the time and the effort, and you see it paying off, which is good because he’s a really good kid and one of the hardest workers that we have.”