COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Michigan’s historic day nearly turned into a nightmare, and when the Wolverines finally earned the program’s 1,000th victory, players stood with signs commemorating the accomplishment.
Suspended coach Jim Harbaugh was absent, of course.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that when we get back to this airport, he’s going to be there waiting for us,” defensive back Mike Sinristil said. “It will probably take 10 to 15 minutes to take another photo.”
Offensive coordinator Sherwin Moore, who took over head coaching duties for the past two games in Harbaugh’s place, had a different idea.
“We need to adjust the coach there,” Moore said. “There is enough technology in the world today that we can accomplish this.”
Blake Corum scored twice in the first half, Senristil intercepted two passes, and No. 2 Michigan became the first college football program to win 1,000 games, beating Maryland 31-24 on Saturday.
The Wolverines (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) remained unbeaten in their final prep before next weekend’s showdown against No. 3 Ohio State, but it hasn’t been easy. Maryland (6-5, 3-5) rallied from a 23-3 deficit in the second quarter and dropped the ball five times on several occasions in the fourth quarter.
The last of those chances came after Tommy Doman pinned the Terrapins on the 1-yard line with 4:10 to play. Taulia Tagovailoa threw incompletely under pressure in the end zone, where the ball was well below where receiver Tai Felton was. Granted officials It is called intentional grounding For the safety that made it 31-24 and gave the ball back to the Wolverines.
“I don’t know if the ball was too short or what happened. I feel like there was a receiver in the vicinity,” Tagovailoa said. “Playing at Maryland, they don’t give us calls like that. “We knew going into the game, you can’t make mistakes like that.”
Corum converted a fourth-and-short drive, and after measuring and reviewing, Michigan was finally able to exhale.
Not for long, of course, with Ohio State emerging.
“We all know what time it is,” linebacker Michael Barrett said. “Once this game was over, we knew where our attention was going to go.”
For the second straight week and fifth time this season, the Wolverines won without Harbaugh on the sideline. The head coach was serving the second game of his suspension for a sign-stealing scheme that has put a greater spotlight on Michigan’s program over the past few weeks. Wolverine too Running backs coach Chris Partridge was fired Friday.
Moore has led the Wolverines to victories over Penn State and Maryland over the past two weeks, and is set to replace Harbaugh at the helm next weekend as well. Harbaugh also served a three-game suspension imposed by the school to start the season in an NCAA recruiting violations case.
Michigan had a defensive touchdown and two picks against Maryland, but the Wolverines allowed more points than they had in a game all season. Michigan’s defense stepped up when it needed to. A Kenneth Grant sack in the fourth quarter forced the Terps into a third-and-18 situation that led to Sainristil’s second interception of the day.
Not only was this a nervous victory, but the Wolverines now have some health concerns heading into next week. Roman Wilson, the team’s leading receiver, was knocked out after a hard hit in the first quarter by Maryland defensive back Dante Trader.
“The coaches ruled him out at the time, which is the responsible thing I think we should do as a medical staff,” Moore said. “They’re always aware of these things, especially when it comes to anything that could be in the head. He was fine… talking and everything. Everything was good. “He was on the sidelines after that.”
Offensive lineman Myles Hinton went down in the second half with a knee injury, but Moore said there was no structural damage. Barrett was also shaken but came back. His left shoulder was wrapped after the game.
There was also a worrying moment for the Wolverines early in the third quarter when Mason Graham was called for roughing the passer. The play was reviewed for targeting, which would have kept Graham off the field for the first half of the Ohio State game, but officials ultimately ruled he was not guilty of it.
Michigan led 23-3 before Maryland scored either side of the half. Backup quarterback Billy Edwards Jr., who sometimes plays in short-yardage situations, scored on a pair of fourth-down sneaks.
In between, the Wolverines were inside the Maryland 10 late in the first half when JJ McCarthy was intercepted at the goal line by Jaishawn Barham.
A Sainristil interception near midfield led to a 13-yard score by Semaj Morgan that put Michigan up 29-17, but another touchdown run by Edwards cut the lead to five late in the third period.
Corum’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his 20th rushing touchdown of the season, tying a Michigan record.
Michigan: The school began playing football with a win over Racine in 1879. The Wolverines had nicer victories than this one, but they got away with it. Last season, Michigan beat Illinois Only two points The week before the Ohio State game but still managed to defeat the Buckeyes as well.
Maryland: It’s been a disappointing season for the Terps thanks to losses to Illinois and Northwestern, but Maryland gave Michigan a fight before falling to 0-34 against ranked Big Ten teams since joining the league.
“The football gods are laughing at us and dropping the ball on the one-inch line for us to win the game,” coach Michael Locksley said. “This is where we must learn how to be able to execute critical situations.”
Playing in the game?
With the outcome still in doubt, Doman’s kick hit the ground inches from the goal line but did not bounce into the end zone.
“That was one of the best games of the year in terms of special teams,” said Boivin, whose blocked kick was another big contribution.
Michigan: The Wolverines face Ohio State next Saturday.
Maryland: The Terps wrap up the regular season at Rutgers on Saturday.
AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/college-football