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Maryland's Durkin says Big Ten admitted officials blew interference call on muffed punt

Maryland's Durkin says Big Ten admitted officials blew interference call on muffed punt
Maryland coach DJ Durkin, center, reacts on the sideline during the first half against Northwestern in College Park on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

Maryland coach DJ Durkin was noticeably upset after Saturday's 37-21 home loss to Northwestern because of several calls that went against the Terps, in particular an interference call that negated a fumbled punt in the third quarter.

With Maryland trailing 24-14 at the time, it appeared as if Andrew Isaacs had recovered the fumble by Northwestern punt returner Riley Lees around the Wildcats' 40-yard line. Instead, Northwestern took over at the Terps' 45 and wound up going three-and-out but pinning Maryland inside its own 10 on the ensuing punt.

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Replays showed that two Maryland players were no closer than a few yards from Lees, and both had their hands up. The ESPN2 telecast showed replays multiple times, and the call was criticized by the broadcast crew.

Durkin said at his weekly news conference Tuesday that the Big Ten agreed that his reaction was justified.

"They do a report on the calls and we get that report and they do agree that should have not been catch interference," Durkin said. "It should have been our ball.

"That one's of those [things] that you're glad at least upon looking at it, they do see it right and agree with you on it. But then again, when you get the report on Sunday, it doesn't do you much good."

It was one of a "several questionable calls in that game" that Durkin said he received a ruling on from the Big Ten. While he didn't go into the specifics of the others, Durkin said it was time to move on and get his team ready for Saturday's game at No. 5 Wisconsin.

"For us and coaches and our team, that's not what we're talking about," Durkin said of the calls in the Northwestern game. "That's not something I've talked with the team about at all. It is what it is. Some calls are going to be missed in a game both ways. You've just got to keep playing and find a way to win."

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