Maryland faced a top-5 opponent on the road, and it went slightly better than many would have expected.
The Terrapins actually came out of the gate with some momentum. Ty Johnson, who had been rather lackluster in weeks prior, rushed for two quick first downs on just his first three carries.
Bortenschlager, however, would throw and interception on his second pass attempt of the game, leading to a pick-six for Wisconsin.
Maryland’s defense attempted to help the offense, as Josh Woods came up with a key interception on third down during Wisconsin’s first offensive drive. Lees would be brought in to punt, and pinned the Badgers back to their own three yard line.
Jonathan Taylor would then fumble on the first play, giving Maryland first and goal from the five. Nothing came of three attempts, except a questionable no-call on third down, leading to a Maryland field goal.
From there, Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook started to attack the middle of Maryland’s defense. Over the past few weeks, the Terrapins have shown a huge weakness on routes across the middle, especially with tight ends. Hornibrook completed some key third down passes en route to their second score of the game. Taylor ran in from three yards out, giving the Badgers a 14-3 lead.
Wisconsin would continue tacking on the points, getting a 21-3 lead after a goal line pass play. This would precede a Jake Funk return, where he fumbled, and the Badgers recovered with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Kicker Rafael Gaglianone would go on to miss their field goal attempt, ending the half with Wisconsin up 18 points.
Coming into the second half, Wisconsin continued the arial onslaught against Maryland. Hornibrook worked right down the field in less than four minutes, and got a score to make it 28-3 Badgers.
Maryland would then get a nice drive, sparked by a 22 yard Ty Johnson run, and an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Badgers. Bortenschlager would take a third and nine from the 10 yard line, and complete to Taivon Jacobs for the score. A 28-10 game with just over 21 minutes left showed Maryland some light.
The Terrapins defense would get a nice stop, thanks to a third down catch that could not be handled. As the clock winded down in the third quarter, Bortenschlager and the offense drove down the field and managed to get three points. A key fourth down play by Jahrvis Davenport, even after a high and short throw by Bortenschlager, is what kept the drive alive.
From there, Wisconsin would prove why they are a top-five team. The Badgers would march right down the field and answer with a touchdown, extending the lead to 35-13.
Their defensive pressure of Bortenschalger proved to be crucial on the next drive. Wisconsin forced Maryland into many third downs, including a third and 18 that ended their chance to answer.
That stop gave the Badgers possession with a 35-13 lead and just 6:05 left on the game clock. After milking the clock down inside a minute, Maryland forced the Badgers to a field goal.
A 38-13 final is better than many would have thought when looking at where this Maryland team is. Coming in against the highest ranked run defense they’ve faced all year, the Terrapins managed 143 yards, including 83 from Ty Johnson.
Bortenschlager was forced into a number of tough situations, and tallied 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The defense proved to still be the weak point, allowing 440 yards of offense, and eight third down conversions.
This Maryland team can be stout against the big time teams they face. The main issues is getting over the hump and making the key plays.