ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan had bowl eligibility within grasp.
If one sequence in the second half had gone a little better for the Wolverines, Michigan could be looking at a 6-5 record with a nice home win on senior day at the big house.
Self inflicted wounds were once again an issue for Michigan though as the fall to Maryland Saturday night 23-16.
“We just didn’t execute at times when we had opportunities and at times we did,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said afterward. “I also think we had some mistakes in the kicking game that obviously hurt us as a football team.
“And some of those are very aggressive mistakes and you appreciate that kind of effort and that kind of aggression, but at the same point we’ve got to be a little smarter, if that’s the right word for it.”
With momentum in the Wolverines favor and already with a 16-9 lead over the Terrapins, junior Dennis Norfleet finally struck lightning, scooping up the football after a couple bounces and returning a Maryland for a touchdown.
But it wasn’t meant to be, Michigan called for an illegal block in the back. The score would’ve put the Wolverines up two touchdowns.
After the game Hoke seemed eager to get another look at the play in the film room Sunday.
“Some of this is all subjective in what you think is and not seeing the whole thing from the angles maybe you all get,” Hoke said. “I’ll have to wait and see, especially on the block in the back."
Michigan retained possession after the penalty, a drive starting at their own 30 with 7:34 left in the third quarter.
And Maryland took advantage.
Driving down the field and deep into Michigan territory, the Wolverines came up with a stop on 3rd and 12 at their own 17 to force a Maryland field goal.
Terrapins kicker Brad Craddock came on once again putting a field goal through the uprights to make it a 16-12 game. But once again a Michigan penalty proved costly.
Coming off the edge, sophomore cornerback Jourdan Lewis ran right into Craddock, Lewis flagged for a personal foul, roughing the kicker penalty.
The flag put the ball at the Michigan eight, 1st and goal for Maryland as Randy Edsall took the points off the board, looking for more.
And Maryland got it on the first play. C.J. Brown kept the football, rushing in for an eight-yard touchdown to tie the game up at 16.
“On the field goal, guy was trying to make a play,” Hoke said. “He was supposed to be coming hard off the edge and I guess he hit him hard enough for a 15-yard personal foul.”
Drops were an issue once again as well for a Michigan offense struggling with the passing attack, freshman Fredd Canteen dropping a sure touchdown in the first half while junior Devin Funchess couldn’t hold onto a ball on the Wolverines’ final offensive possession.
Michigan (5-6) will hope to get some of these mistakes cleaned up quick as they now head to Ohio State (10-1) next Saturday needing a win to reach bowl eligibility.