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A bust in Bloomington for rusty, short-handed Terps football team

BLOOMINGTON, IND. — Maryland’s football team, sidelined for three weeks by a coronavirus outbreak, showed its rust early and never got its offense going in a 27-11 loss to 12th-ranked Indiana on Saturday.

The Terps (2-2) opened the Big Ten matchup with a 12-play drive that came up empty after a missed field goal and then missed another scoring opportunity on its next drive on an overthrow in the end zone.

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“When you turn it over three times and have a safety, eight penalties, we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Maryland coach Michael Locksley said.

The Terps were playing short-handed with several players sidelined due to positive COVID-19 tests.

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Maryland, which was was picked off three times, was kept out of the end zone until 3:34 left when quarterback Tualia Tagovailoa connected with Dontay Demus Jr. on a 43-yard scoring pass. The duo then hooked up again for the 2-point conversion.

Stevie Scott III ran for three touchdowns and freshman Tim Baldwin Jr. ran for a season-high 106 yards for the Hoosiers (5-1), who have won four straight at home.

A safety midway through the third quarter gave the Hoosiers a 9-3 lead, and Indiana extended the margin to 17-3 on the ensuring possession. Scott scored on a 1-yard plunge and backup quarterback Jack Tuttle completed his first throw of the day — a 2-point conversion to Peyton Hendershot. Tuttle also led the Hoosiers to two fourth-quarter scores after replacing injured starter Michael Penix Jr.

Maryland moved the ball well in the first half but struggled in the red zone after a 21-day break that included the cancellation of two games. Tagovailoa missed two open receivers for potential scores in the first half and was picked off twice in the red zone. Also, Joseph Petrino missed a 29-yard field goal wide left on the first possession.

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Penix struggled before heading to the locker room in the third quarter after suffering what appeared to be a right leg injury while he was getting tackled. He was 6 of 19 for 84 yards. Tuttle completed all five of his passes for 31 yards.

Scott carried 24 times for 80 yards and Baldwin took advantage of his first significant action this season as Indiana rushed for a season-high 234 yards. Baldwin carried the ball 16 times after logging one carry in the Hoosiers’ previous five games.

“It’s not by chance, I can promise you that,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said, referring to the defense’s big plays. “Just watch the film.”

Tagovailoa was 17 of 36 with 241 yards and one touchdown in the waning minutes. Demus had six receptions for 114 yards and the score.

Indiana secured a winning record in Big Ten play for the second straight season, something that hadn’t happened since 1987-88.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: Clearly, the Terrapins were rusty. Perhaps that should have been expected. But the offense regressed after moving the ball well in the first half.

Indiana: Penix’s injury could be a problem for Indiana, but the defense continues playing well. The Hoosiers may need it to do even more going forward, especially if No. 3 Ohio State can’t fulfill the Big Ten’s six-game minimum to be eligible for the conference championship game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Last week’s narrow loss at No. 3 Ohio State turned many into believers, and the Hoosiers could soon return to the top 10.

MARYLAND@MICHIGAN

Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

TV: BTN Radio: 105.7 FM

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