The Maryland Terrapins were the victims of double jeopardy in the first half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. The Terrapins were specifically the victims of a fumbled punt on a fair catch where they also lost their starting punt returner and slot cornerback in Will Likely, III.
Likely muffed a fair catch call in the first quarter, a play that was especially costly as he fumbled inside his own 20-yard line. The turnover gave the Golden Gophers instant field position inside of the redzone due to the unfortunate miscue.
Maryland is now rotating players at the slot cornerback position in Likely’s absence, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus. Head coach D.J. Durkin and the defensive staff are opting to run with a committee for the rest of the game to replace Likely, who has been a key interior cornerback and kick returner this season as the school has now encountered a notable absence for the rest of the Saturday afternoon Big Ten matchup.
Maryland is currently down 17-0 midway through the third quarter as the 4-1 Terrapins are crashing down to earth in conference play. Without Likely, it will be interesting to see if Maryland can create a spark on special teams as they might need a big return to get back into this one against the Golden Gophers.
Prior to encountering the Golden Gophers, the Terrapins took down the likes of the Purdue Boilermakers, Central Florida Knights, Florida International Panthers and Howard Bison. Maryland was coming off their lone loss of the season, however, which came at the hands of the Penn State Nittany Lions.