Best of Foster Farms Bowl: Maryland falls to Stanford

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Best of Foster Farms Bowl: Maryland falls to Stanford

This wasn’t how Maryland wanted to end its season, getting drubbed by Stanford, 45-21. And this defeat came on the heels of the Terrapins blowing a 35-10 lead in the regular-season finale at Rutgers. It’s the first time Maryland has lost two games in a row this season. It’s also the Terps’ third loss in four games.

BEST OF FOSTER FARMS BOWL

Best play: Trailing 42-7 early in the fourth quarter, Will Likely fielded a kickoff at the goal line and raced the distance for a touchdown. It was his fourth TD of the season, two coming on pick-sixes, one on a punt and one on a kickoff.

Best player: WR Stefon Diggs. His season didn’t go as planned, but he laid it on the line vs. Stanford. Diggs came out flying, catching five passes for 65 yards in the first half. He finished with 10 catches for 138 yards. But the Terps could do little else on offense. Was this the last game for the junior, who could turn pro?\

Best moment: RB Wes Brown capped a six-play, 52-yard drive with a one-yard TD run early in the second quarter to tie the game, 7-7. But it was all Stanford from there, as the Cardinal outscored the Terrapins, 38-14, the rest of the way.

Best stat: There were no great stats for Maryland. If one had to be picked, it would be the 214 yards passing for C.J. Brown, who completed 16-of-28 attempts with a pick.

GRADES

Offense: D. The offense never could get much established, falling behind 28-7 at halftime. Maryland looked to perhaps get a spark in the third quarter when it recovered a Stanford fumble. Maybe this would help flip the switch for a moribund Maryland offense? Nope. The Terps gave the ball right back on a C.J. Brown interception, which the Cardinal promptly turned into a TD to take a 35-7 lead. The Terps had just 222 yards of offense, running 27 times for 17 yards (0.6 ypc). Just brutal.

Defense: D. Stanford dominated all night, imposing its will on a smaller Maryland defense that was no match for this tough Cardinal offense. Stanford finished with 414 yards, showing balance in gaining 208 through the air and 206 on the ground. The Cardinal controlled the ball for 37:12 to Maryland’s 22:48. This was a total mismatch.

Special teams: C. A short kickoff in the first half was run back for a big return by Stanford that set up the Cardinal’s second TD. In the second half, the Cardinal blocked a Maryland punt. The return game produced a 100-yard kickoff run back for a score from Will Likely, but that only cut Stanford’s lead to 42-14 early in the fourth quarter.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It was over when: Stanford scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-7 lead. The Cardinal controlled this game in every facet vs. the Terps, playing physical, bruising football to pound out a lead and runaway with the victory. Stanford did most of its damage with a strong rushing attack, winning the battle in the trenches. Here is all you need to know: Stanford had 206 yards rushing; Maryland had 17.

A look toward 2015: The Terps have some momentum coming off a successful Big Ten debut, finishing third in the competitive East Division. But Maryland will lose QB C.J. Brown and WR Deon Long on offense. And WR Stefon Diggs could turn pro. The line also needs to improve for an offense that never seemed to click consistently in 2014. The defense also will have some key holes with guys like DT Andre Monroe (Maryland’s all-time sacks leader),LBs Matt Robinson, Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, L.A. Goree Cole Farrand, and NT Keith Bowers gone.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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