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Maryland, Illinois attempt to cleanse systems after ugly losses

Maryland and Illinois will look to atone for last week’s missed opportunities when the Big Ten foes meet on Saturday in College Park, Md.

The Terrapins (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) return for their homecoming game after stumbling in a 37-17 loss to then-No. 4 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

Maryland flirted with an upset by scoring the game’s first 10 points and held a 17-10 advantage in the third quarter, but a slew of costly throws from quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa ultimately kept the Terps from their first 6-0 start since 2001.

The redshirt senior threw a pick-6 in the second quarter that gave the Buckeyes their first points before another ill-advised throw cost Maryland a chance at points before the break. The Terps were in field-goal range without a timeout when Tagovailoa threw a checkdown to Antwain Littleton II, who was tackled in bounds as time expired in the first half with the score tied at 10.

Ohio State flipped Tagovailoa’s second interception into a field goal that gave the Buckeyes their first lead at 20-17 before pulling away in the fourth quarter.

“It was just us not doing our assignments to the letter and detail of it, myself included,” Tagovailoa said. “We’ve just got to play harder, and those are the opportunities that we’ve got to come through on.”

The Illini (2-4, 0-3) left a bevy of points on the field in their 20-7 loss to Nebraska last Friday.

Illinois faced third-and-goal from the 1-yard line on its opening drive but was stuffed on back-to-back plays as the Cornhuskers took over on downs. The offense failed on fourth down again on its final drive of the game to cap a frustrating night that featured an interception, a fumble, three turnovers on downs and a missed field goal.

The Illini’s woeful offense spoiled their sturdy defensive showing. Illinois held Nebraska to three points in the second half and forced three straight turnovers in the fourth quarter, but the Illini offense converted none of those takeaways into points.

“You don’t shrug off the pissed-off feeling. The pissed-off feeling fuels the work,” said Illinois linebacker Dylan Rosiek, who tallied a season-high 10 tackles in the setback. “The season’s not over. We have to keep building and keep doing what we’re doing, but we have to be doing it better.”

–Field Level Media

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