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Mistake-prone Maryland overpowered 52-7 by Wisconsin; Gordon runs for 3 TDs

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MADISON, Wisconsin — Maryland coach Randy Edsall spoke briefly and got right to the point.

There wasn't really much to analyze after the Terrapins got overpowered 52-7 on Saturday by Wisconsin.

"We didn't play well. We didn't coach well, you know — bottom line," Edsall said.

Melvin Gordon rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, and Wisconsin's restocked defense stifled mistake-prone Maryland on homecoming weekend.

Gordon had his three scores in the first half, when the Badgers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead. Joel Stave threw for two scores in the second half.

The Big Ten rookie Terrapins (5-3, 2-2) will likely want to forget about their disastrous first visit to Camp Randall Stadium. All that momentum from the 38-31, come-from-behind win over Iowa the previous week is gone.

"To have the confidence coming in ... and come up and put that performance on record, it's definitely disappointing," quarterback C.J. Brown said. "This one definitely hurts."

The dual-threat Brown faced pressure all afternoon from the blitzing Badgers, who were fortified on defense with the returns of top tackle Warren Herring and run-stopping linebacker Marcus Trotter from injuries.

Maryland avoided a shutout on Stefon Diggs' 21-yard touchdown catch with 57 seconds left in the game.

Otherwise, Wisconsin brought Maryland's five-game road winning streak to an emphatic end. The Terps were held to 175 yards of total offense, 227 below their season average. Most of the yardage came late in the blowout loss.

"We haven't been completely healthy the whole year, but I feel like everybody is coming back," said outside linebacker Joe Schobert, who had five tackles, a sack and forced a fumble.

"We showed today what we could do today on defense at Wisconsin," Schobert added. "We were being explosive and playing assignment-sound football."

PHOTO: Wisconsin cornerback Peniel Jean (21) tackles Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Wisconsin cornerback Peniel Jean (21) tackles Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Fresh off a bye, the Badgers even dusted off a couple trick plays, including punter Drew Meyer's floating pass to open tight end Troy Fumagalli over the middle for a 17-yard gain on fourth-and-9 from the Maryland 36. It set up a 36-yard field goal that gave Wisconsin a 10-0 lead at 3:46 of the first quarter.

"Everyone — defense, offense, special teams — did their roles," a proud Trotter said. He finished with six tackles and a sack.

Maryland fumbled the ball away on its next drive after a handoff bounced off running back Brandon Ross' chest. Linebacker Vince Biegel pounced on the ball, and Gordon barreled in from a yard out six plays later for a 17-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

The next series exemplified the Terps' trying day.

Brown hit Deon Long on first down for a 22-yard gain to the Wisconsin 49 before two straight penalties pushed the Terps back 10 yards.

Trotter tackled Ross from behind for a 3-yard loss. Fellow inside linebacker Derek Landisch easily snuffed out a short pass to Ross for a 4-yard loss. Under yet more pressure on third-and-27, Brown tossed a long incompletion.

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot, especially in the beginning," Brown said.

The sure-tackling Badgers contained Maryland's skill players and diagnosed read-option plays. Maryland had just 3 yards in total rushing at the half and finished with 46 on the day, limited by a strong performance — especially from Wisconsin's linebacking corps.

Brown finished 13 of 29 for 129 yards passing, with 14 yards rushing on 13 carries. Ross had 6 yards on seven carries, and Maryland was just 3 of 15 on third-down plays.

For Wisconsin, the offense found success with its two-quarterback system. Stave finished 9 of 15 for 155 yards in his second straight start, taking the majority of the snaps. Dual-threat quarterback Tanner McEvoy had a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The vaunted running attack finished with 311 yards on 49 carries, torching a defense that was giving up an average of 198 on the ground a game.

"Give credit to Wisconsin. We got outcoached. We got outplayed today, and didn't do a real good job," Edsall said. "And that's on me as a head coach."

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