With three weeks left until the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, the standings appear to be sending the same message as the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders -- an uprising by the middle class. In this case, that charge is coming from an unlikely middle grouping made of perennial league front runners Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Since November, Dunbar wide receiver Dae¿lun Darien had his heart set on playing football at Temple. After visiting the campus, he liked what he saw and committed. His parents, however, wanted their son to be sure. They wanted him to see at least one other program, so last weekend Darien took an official visit to Penn State. He flipped his commitment Sunday night.
As a high school star in Western Pennsylvania, one distinction always eluded Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. She never got a chance to play inside Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. But she made the most of a trip to the Nittany Lions' venue as a Terp on Wednesday night, scoring 25 points to lead No. 5 Maryland's 89-53 victory.
When ESPN announced earlier this month that its first "College GameDay" of basketball season was coming to East Lansing, Mich., to hype Saturday's game between Michigan State and Maryland, the Spartans were ranked No. 1 in the country and the Terps were No. 3, with only Kansas between them. To say things have changed since for both Big Ten teams, especially the Spartans, would be an understatement.
They certainly weren't in a position to prove much against a struggling, outmanned team from Rutgers that came unraveled so fast that Mark Turgeon was deep into his bench in the first half. The Terps looked like an NBA team in comparison, but their 88-63 blowout win isn't going to count for much on their resume. Apparently, it will take more than that — or their convincing road victory against a solid Northwestern team on Saturday — to live down their strange performance against Penn
With a team that features four players shooting better than 35 percent on 3-pointers, two at 40 percent or above, it's not difficult to figure out why Maryland coach Mark Turgeon doesn't fret about the Terps launching freely from long distance.
Behind the hot first-half shooting of senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon and sophomore guard Melo Trimble finding his range late in the first half, the Terps led by as many as 22 in the half, by 20 at halftime and cruised to a 72-59 victory.
Through the first three-quarters of its schedule, Maryland has faced its share of dynamic aerial attacks. Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson threw for 491 yards in September. Penn State¿s Christian Hackenberg, a likely top pick in April¿s NFL draft, racked up 315 yards a few weeks ago. In mid-October, the Terps had to contend with Ohio State¿s two-pronged attack of J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.
When interim coach Mike Locksley revamped the Maryland offense ahead of the team¿s matchup at No. 1 Ohio State in early October, he and the coaching staff elevated quarterback Perry Hills to the starting role and made the decision to run the scheme through Hills.
In the week after an inspired Maryland squad pushed Penn State to the brink, the Terps said the atmosphere surrounding the team was different. They were playing confidently under interim coach Mike Locksley, and in relishing the role of the underdog, they felt they could swing an upset of No. 10 Iowa, one of the nation's final remaining undefeated teams.
Greetings from the Midwest! Maryland will play its only regular-season game scheduled in the Central time zone Saturday afternoon against No. 10 Iowa. The Terps lost a close 31-30 contest to Penn State last week, while the Hawkeyes had a bye week. They last beat Northwestern, 40-10, two weeks ago.
Three games under .500 with five to go with bowl eligibility slipping further away by the week, Maryland has firmly entrenched itself as the underdog for the rest of its season. There's been the blowout losses and a coaching change, now-rectified uncertainty at quarterback and injuries in the front seven. With the murderer's row of the Big Ten Conference's East division and two capable opponents in the West as crossover opponents, the wins down the stretch look hard to come by.
Marc Morehouse is the Iowa beat writer for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. With Maryland set to travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on No. 10 Iowa, he was kind enough to answer some questions about the matchup and the undefeated Hawkeyes, one of college football's most surprising stories.
Over the past year or so, Maryland kicker Brad Craddock¿s profile has steadily risen. From Randy Edsall¿s emotional comments about Craddock last season to being nearly perfect and winning the Lou Groza Award to being identified as one of the Terps¿ leaders coming into this season, Craddock has steadily come into the spotlight during his illustrious career.
Amba Etta-Tawo had hit a rough patch in his junior year. The Maryland wide receiver had lost his starting job after a loss to Bowling Green in the second game of the season and had a two-game streak without a catch entering Saturday¿s matchup with Penn State.
Though Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg's production had dipped this season, the Maryland defense knew it still faced a formidable task it lined up across from him Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. So the strategy centered on pressuring Hackenberg and getting him "off his spot" before he could make throws. The Nittany Lions offensive line had been porous, so the Terps knew that there was the chance to fluster a presumed top pick in April's NFL draft.
Maryland interim coach Mike Locksley spent almost two weeks working to get his players to loosen up before Saturday¿s 31-30 loss to Penn State, in which he saw the fruits of his labor. With a matchup at No. 10 Iowa on deck this weekend, Locksley isn¿t worried about getting the Terps¿ mood and mindset to carry over.
After its move to the Big Ten Conference, Maryland gets the opportunity to play in some of the most venerable venues in college football: The Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich.; The Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio; Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley. The massive crowds and history add another dimension to the contests.
The Nittany Lions represent Maryland's only chance to develop a real rivalry in the Big Ten. The geography works and the timing might finally be right for two teams that arrived at this point from very different directions but find themselves at similar competitive crossroads.
It's the start of a new era for Maryland when the Terps face off with Penn State at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Interim coach Mike Locksley will make his coaching debut for Maryland after Randy Edsall's firing almost two weeks ago. The Terps lost their last game at No. 1 Ohio State, 49-28, and they're on a three-game losing streak. Penn State fell to the Buckeyes, 38-10, last week.
When he joined Ron Vanderlinden¿s Maryland staff as wide receivers coach in 2000, James Franklin was a 28-year-old working on the early part of a coaching career that would lead to a notable rise through the profession. During that early part of his career, Franklin turned to Maryland¿s 31-year-old running backs coach Mike Locksley and forged a professional relationship that lasted through both of their careers.
During an illustrious career at Gilman, Penn State offensive lineman Brian Gaia captured three MIAA "A" Conference titles, earned all-state honors three times and was named an All-Metro by The Baltimore Sun twice. But he never had the opportunity to play in the stadium of his favorite team, the Baltimore Ravens. That will change Saturday when Penn State takes on Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium in a Big Ten Conference tilt.
Penn State¿s offense has scuffled through its first six games of the season. In the Big Ten Conference, the Nittany Lions rank 12th in scoring offense, 13th in total offense, ninth in rushing offense and 12th in passing offense. It hasn¿t been pretty in State College, Pa., and in the games in which Penn State has been able to pull away from its opponent, the defense has deserved a decent portion of the credit.
Audrey Snyder is the Penn State football beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With Maryland set to face Penn State this weekend at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, she was kind enough to chat on the phone for a while about the upcoming matchup and answer some questions about the Nittany Lions.
On a slate gray day in State College, Pa., last November, Randy Edsall delivered a message that resonated within the Maryland fan base. The Terps had just defeated Penn State, 20-19, for the program's first victory over the Nittany Lions since 1961 and just its second in 38 tries.
The Maryland offensive line worked all offseason for this stretch of Big Ten Conference games. They worked to bulk up to be able to contend with some of the nation's top defensive linemen such as Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington and Michigan's Chris Wormley and Willie Henry like they did earlier this month.
Last November, the aftermath of Maryland¿s 20-19 victory over Penn State centered less on the Terps¿ fourth-quarter comeback for only their second victory ever against the Nittany Lions and more on the happenings before kickoff. That was, of course, when captains Stefon Diggs, P.J. Gallo and Sean Davis refused to shake hands with Penn State¿s captains, creating a stir in the college football world.
When Maryland began its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference a year ago, it faced a flurry of questions about how it could compete among the nation's college football bluebloods, a group of leaders and legends steeped in tradition. And the Terps more than acquitted themselves to the conference's rigors with a .500 record in conference and its second straight winning season. But the questions and the doubts Maryland seemed to put to rest with its performance last season have popped up
Rivals released its updated rankings for its top 100 and top 250 players for the Class of 2016 earlier this week, and a few high-profile Maryland commits, along with players with offers from the Terps, are featured.
With the release of the Associated Press' preseason top 25 on Sunday, the Terps are looking at matchups with three ranked teams and three others receiving votes. Maryland will face the No. 1 Buckeyes, who were tabbed as the first-ever unanimous top-ranked team in the poll's history, on Oct. 10 in Columbus, followed up a homecoming tilt with No. 20 Wisconsin on Nov. 7 and a trip to No. 5 Michigan State on Nov. 14.
Week in and week out while facing teams with monstrous defensive fronts during its first year in the Big Ten Conference, Maryland's offensive line never relented against the push up front. There was no time for reflection with games against the likes of Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan on the schedule, teams that had spent decades recruiting some of the nation's top talent to the conference's trenches
After three years of providing support as the last line of defense, Maryland's Sean Davis is excited to move from safety to cornerback, a new role that could put him one-on-one against some of the Big Ten Conference's top playmakers on the outside.
Maryland has a number of questions for its second year in the Big Ten. There were some notable departures in the offseason, and now the attention turns to who can step up with the Terps trying to make their third straight bowl appearance under coach Randy Edsall.
Penn State goalkeeper Connor Darcey's death reminded Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala of the loss of his player, Jeremy Huber, in January. Pietramala discussed the painful link between the passing of two young men at a very young age.