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

Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown hands the ball off during the first quarter against at Camp Randall Stadium.
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown hands the ball off during the first quarter against at Camp Randall Stadium. (Jeff Hanisch / USA Today Sports)

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

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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.

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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 at least a couple throws even when he did have time in the pocket.

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The Terps were being outgained 511-102 and had just five first downs before that last possession.

Excluding that drive, Maryland had just 17 yards rushing on 23 carries, and Brown was 10 of 26 for only 85 yards.

It was an ugly showing, and the biggest problem area was — and is — the Terps' offensive line.

The big plays allowed by the secondary

Maryland's goal entering Saturday was to limit Wisconsin's running game as much as possible and to put the Badgers in a position where they were dependent on their quarterbacks to throw the ball.

However, unlike previous games, those quarterbacks were able to connect for some big plays, in particular Joel Stave.

Stave and wide receiver Alex Erickson beat Maryland cornerback Will Likely for a 43-yard gain on the Badgers' first possession, which set up a touchdown.

Stave had a 16-yard pass to Erickson to set up a field goal on the Badgers' next drive, and that same combination exploited Terps cornerback Jeremiah Johnson for a 47-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.

While the numbers won't jump out, Stave finished 9 of 15 for 155 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions after going just 15 of 33 for 187 yards with three interceptions and only one touchdown in Wisconsin's previous two games.

Maryland's run defense was OK for the most part until starting to wear down during the second half, especially considering it was facing a team that entered the game rushing for FBS-bests of 343 yards per game and 7.4 yards per carry. The bigger issues defensively, at least early on, were Wisconsin consistently starting with favorable field position because of the Terps' issues on offense, Maryland not being able to get off the field on third or fourth down and the Badgers being able to make some plays in the passing game.

The loss

After beating Iowa, this was another chance for Maryland to prove that it deserves to be mentioned among the five or six better teams in the Big Ten. This was also an opportunity for the Terps to move to 6-2, including 3-1 in the Big Ten, and to put themselves in a better position to land a more prominent bowl game. But this game was never close. Wisconsin looked like a far superior team, and it will be interesting to see how the Terps bounce back heading into a game against a Penn State team that took No. 13 Ohio State to double overtime Saturday.

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