COLLEGE PARK, MD – A week after putting up 48 points on Rutgers, Wisconsin regressed back to the mean. It was still good enough to beat the hapless Terrapins.
Wisconsin junior tailback Dare Ogunbowale scored two touchdowns, the Badgers registered a couple momentum-changing special teams plays in the first half and survived a late scare to defeat Maryland, 31-24, in front of 44,678 fans at Byrd Stadium Saturday.
With tailback Corey Clement (soreness) not making the trip, the Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) took a while to adjust without the tailback that scored three touchdowns against the Scarlet Knights a week ago.
Although finishing with 305 yards of offense, UW had only 94 yards on 22 plays in the first half, which included a 57-yard run by Joe Schobert on a fake punt and didn’t include a 98-yard kickoff return by Natrell Jamerson.
After halftime, however, the Badgers got things rolling. Senior quarterback Joel Stave, who looked as if he couldn’t throw a pass into the Chesapeake early, went 8-for-9 for 133 yards in the third quarter to energize the offense.
The Badgers went 69 yards and 71 yards on consecutive drives and finished both off with touchdowns, the latter of which gave UW a two touchdown lead a minute into the fourth quarter and started to send fans for the exits early in the fourth quarter.
Wisconsin’s defense was far from perfect, allowing three plays of at least 40 yards for the first time all season, but gave up two touchdown drives of last than 35 yards when spotty punts put their back against the wall.
They were better in the second half, holding the Terrapins (2-7, 0-5) off the board and limiting them to 138 yards in the second half, but a 27-yard touchdown catch with 2:39 left gave the Terps hope.
Things got dicey for Wisconsin after Maryland appeared to recover the ensuing onside kick, but an offsides penalty on the Terrapins forced a re-kick that UW recovered on its own 44. UW ran out the clock from there.
Following its bye week, Wisconsin will take on Northwestern (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) in the Badgers’ home finale in two weeks.
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4 plays, 32 yards, 2:01 TOP, 9:17 left
Wes Brown 7-yard run (Brad Craddock kick)
Key Play: Will Likely is one of the best returns in the country and UW out-thinking itself is giving the Terps great field position. A poor 24-yard punt by Drew Meyer gave Maryland great field position for the short scoring drive.
Natrell Jamerson 98-yard kick return (Rafael Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Getting key blocks from Derek Watt and Zander Neuville, Jamerson was hardly touched once he hit the 50-yard line. From there, he turned on the jets and outraced everybody
5 plays, 87 yards, 2:34 TOP, 3:56 left
Dare Ogunbowale 21-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: After another lackluster position, head coach Paul Chryst dialed up a fake punt to try and create a spark. It worked perfectly, as Joe Schobert took the direct snap 57 yards down to the 21-yard line.
10 plays, 55 yards, 5:18 TOP, 13:34 left
First QuarterFG Adam Greene 44
Key Play: On a jet sweep, Tanner McEvoy and T.J. Watt failed to recognize the ball carrier, causing an open running lane for Will Likely. That resuled in a 43-yard gain down to the UW 14.
10 plays, 55 yards, 5:18 TOP, 13:34 left
FG Rafael Gaglianone 28
Key Play: Maryland throws the most interceptions in the country, a number that increased with Tanner McEvoy read Peyton Hills perfectly. His leaping pick and 24-yard return set up the prime field position.
3 plays, 33 yards, :23 TOP, :49 left
D.J. Moore 40-yard pass from Perry Hills (Greene kick)
Key Play: Drew Meyer took a stutter step on his punt attempt, causing his timing to be off and a partially blocked punt. The end result was an 11-yard punt and great field position again for Maryland.
8 plays, 69 yards, 3:41 TOP, 5:17 left
Alec Ingold 1-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Misfiring throughout the first two-and-a-half quarters, Joel Stave delivered his biggest completion of the afternoon - a 22-yard pass to Jazz Peavy on third-and-8 that gave UW a first down at the Maryland 25.
7 plays, 71 yards, 3:14 TOP, 14:01 left
Dare Ogunbowale 7-yard pass from Joel Stave (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Stave relied on his trusted weapon to build on the small amount of momentum Wisconsin established in the third quarter. Wide open on a short route over the middle, Erickson turned up field and initially broke away from his defenders, going 30 yards down to the Maryland 25.
9 plays, 76 yards, 1:27 TOP, 2:39 left
Levern Jacobs 27-yard pass from Caleb Rowe (Greene kick)
Key Play: Maryland's hurry-up offense got Wisconsin out of sync, completing passes of 21, 16 and 27 on the drive
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