Three takeaways from Maryland football’s 23-10 loss to Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — Maryland football played its ugliest game of the season in a 23-10 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday.

From the Terps losing the battle in the trenches to another missed opportunity to crack the Associated Press Top 25 poll, here are three takeaways from a dreadful afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium.


Maryland lost the battle at the line of scrimmage

With the poor weather conditions, winning at the line of scrimmage was essential, and Maryland failed to deliver.

The Terps had no answer for Wisconsin’s running game, which totaled 278 yards. Led by running backs Braelon Allen (23 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown) and Isaac Guerendo (12 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown), the Badgers wreaked havoc in the first half, outgaining the Terps 211-34 on the ground.


While Maryland’s front seven struggled against the Badgers’ offensive line, Wisconsin was able to break loose for three big runs that decided the outcome. In the first quarter, Allen took off for a 46-yard gain before wide receiver Skyler Bell ran for 36 yards on a jet sweep. A few plays later, Allen rushed 9 yards for a touchdown to give Wisconsin a 7-0 lead with 1:21 left.

Wisconsin’s success continued in the second quarter. Guerendo sped down the sideline for an 89-yard touchdown, getting a key block from wide receiver Chimere Dike to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Badgers finished the game with five rushes of more than 10 yards.

“It’s not always going to be pretty,” said Wisconsin interim coach Jim Leonhard, who moved to 3-1 since taking over for Paul Chryst. “You know you’re going to run into some heavy boxes, but just everyone grinding it out, and getting the ball in the perimeter and making some big ones. Making them pay with some long runs. You have to do that. You have to flip the field and put them on their heels a little bit.”

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen (0) carries the ball past Maryland linebacker Ruben Hyppolite (11) during the second half of Saturday's game in Madison.

Wisconsin’s defense frustrated the Terps

While Maryland’s run defense struggled, the offensive line had trouble blocking Wisconsin’s front seven. After allowing four sacks and 15 pressures in a win over Northwestern, the offensive line barely gave redshirt junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa time in the pocket while the Terps averaged just 2.7 yards per carry.

The Badgers had seven tackles for loss and five sacks as Tagovailoa spent more time evading pressure than completing passes. He finished 10-for-23 for 77 yards — the lowest total in his Maryland career — a touchdown and an interception.

Maryland coach Mike Locksley said the majority of the pressure came from Wisconsin’s linebackers. Nick Herbig lived in the backfield, finishing with four tackles (three for loss) and two sacks.

“Our running backs in [pass] protection were not firm enough,” Locksley said. “I’m not singling out the running backs, but a lot of the pressures we got came from the linebacker [and] we usually do a good job at protecting our quarterback.”


As a whole, Maryland’s offense never found a rhythm. In the third quarter, the Terps had 55 yards while Tagovailoa completed just two of six passes for 8 yards. Maryland only had nine first downs in the game and didn’t reach the red zone until the final minutes.

Another missed opportunity

When Maryland faced Purdue last month, the Terps had a chance to enter the AP Top 25 with a win, but ultimately fell short.

With Maryland unofficially ranked No. 28 in the latest poll, Saturday marked another opportunity for the Terps to land in the Top 25 for the first time since 2019. However, they failed to deliver once again.

This weekend might have been the team’s best shot to crack the rankings, as the next two games will not get any easier. Maryland will face No. 15 Penn State on the road Saturday before returning to College Park to play No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 19.

Since the Terps joined the Big Ten in 2014, they have gone 0-29 against league teams ranked in the Top 25.

Maryland at No. 15 Penn State


Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

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