No. 8 Michigan tunes up for Ohio State, routs Terps 59-18

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – By the time the fourth quarter began, it was OK for Cade McNamara and Michigan to look ahead.

McNamara threw for two touchdowns, Hassan Haskins ran for two, and the No. 8 Wolverines did their part to raise the stakes of next weekend’s showdown with Ohio State, routing Maryland 59-18 on Saturday.

Mike Sainristil made a one-handed catch in the end zone for a second-quarter TD, and Donovan Edwards had 10 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. That all helped make this a relatively stress-free game for the Wolverines – a week before the big one.

“I think we’re ready,” McNamara said. “I mean, it’s hard not to think about that team when you’re so close, but I’m glad that we came out of this game with a win. We did what we had to do.”

The Wolverines (10-1, 7-1, No. 6 CFP) host the Buckeyes next week, and the winner will go to the Big Ten title game. Michigan hasn’t won the conference since 2004 and hasn’t beaten Ohio State since 2011.

“We want to win all the marbles,” Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said. “We’re in the position we want to be in. We’ve been preparing for this, really the entire year, and now bring that preparation to life this week – play for it all.”

If the Wolverines were distracted by that looming matchup, it didn’t affect their play much this weekend. Maryland (5-6, 2-6) didn’t reach the end zone until Michigan was up 31-3 in the third quarter.

McNamara opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Luke Schoonmaker. Then Haskins made it 14-0 with a 1-yard scoring run later in the first quarter.

Sainristil reached out with one arm to pull in J.J. McCarthy‘s pass in the back corner of the end zone, then secured the ball for a 13-yard TD that made it 21-3.

Haskins scored on another 1-yard run in the third, and when Maryland finally scored a touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Taulia Tagovailoa to Carlos Carriere, Michigan pulled off a trick play on the ensuing kickoff. Michael Barrett caught the kick near his own 20 and tossed the ball backward across the field to A.J. Henning, who ran all the way down the sideline for a TD to make it 38-10.

“They do that cross-field kick once or twice a game,” Harbaugh said. “Our plan was, the first time they did it, we’d activate the throwback.”

Tagovailoa ran for a 17-yard touchdown, but Michigan answered with a 77-yard scoring strike from McNamara to Edwards. Then DJ Turner intercepted a pass and ran it back 42 yards for a TD to make it 52-18 – and give the Wolverines touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in a span of 4:04.

McCarthy closed out the scoring with a 5-yard TD run in the fourth.

THE TAKEAWAY

Michigan: So, here the Wolverines are again. They’ve won 10 games in a season when not much was expected of them, and now they’ll try to break through against Ohio State. The Buckeyes hardly ever lose when they’re on their game – and recently, they always seem to be on their game against Michigan.

Maryland: The Terps have had several chances to show they could match up with the top teams in the Big Ten, and they clearly weren’t ready to do that. Maryland will now face Rutgers in its regular-season finale next weekend, with the winner becoming bowl eligible.

“I told our team we can’t hang our heads,” Terps coach Michael Locksley said. “We have to flush this one pretty quickly because we still have a lot to play for next week going up to New Jersey with the opportunity to win six, which we haven’t done since 2016.”

MILESTONES

Haskins ran for 78 yards, surpassing 1,000 for the season.

Tagovailoa broke Maryland’s single-season record for completions. He had 19 on Saturday to bring his total to 287, one more than John Kaleo had in 1992.

“Great with the ball and a good teammate,” Carriere said. “The biggest thing has been his leadership and the energy he brings to the whole team. He’s going to continue to grow and get better and the sky’s the limit. I’m excited to see what he’ll do in the future.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 7 Michigan State handed Michigan its lone loss this season, but now the Spartans have two defeats after losing to Ohio State in blowout fashion on Saturday, so the Wolverines Will Likely move up.

UP NEXT

Michigan: Hosts Ohio State on Saturday.

Maryland: At Rutgers on Saturday.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.