The Maryland football team couldn’t replicate its 79-point performance against Howard two years ago, but a 62-0 victory on Saturday night will do just fine.
Junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was efficient once again, as he went 22-for-27 for 274 yards and three touchdown passes. Offensively, Maryland got the ball to a handful of players, as eight Terps scored a touchdown.
Penalties continue to irritate Maryland coach Mike Locksley, as the Terps committed six penalties for 55 yards. Maryland had a pair of offside penalties and an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction during a punt return.
Locksley used the game against the overmatched Football Championship Subdivision opponent to look at the young players on the roster. Freshman running backs Colby McDonald and Roman Hemby each picked up their first career touchdowns. Sophomore running back Isaiah Jacobs had been dealing with turf toe, and Locksley wanted to rest him before the Big Ten road matchup against Illinois on Friday night.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday night’s game at Maryland Stadium:
The Terps got a look at their young defensive linemen.
In the 2021 recruiting class, the Terps were able to add some talent at the defensive line position with players like Taizse Johnson, Andre Porter, Tommy Akingbesote and Darrell Jackson. Johnson, Jackson, and Akingbesote all played on Saturday night. Both Johnson and Akingbesote were four-star recruits coming out of high school.
“A bunch of these guys that we’ve recruited afforded us the opportunity to have more depth, which we have not had,” Locksley said. “The future looks good for us. It was a great opportunity to play a lot of young players and develop our roster.”
Tarheeb Still and Jeshaun Jones alternated as punt returners.
Terps sophomore defensive back Tarheeb Still and junior wide receiver Jeshaun Jones spent time alternating at punt returner. Locksley said the Terps are fortunate to have skilled players like Still, Jones and sophomore wide receiver Rakim Jarrett who can play on special teams.
“Jeshaun is a guy that has returned punts in the past,” Locksley said. “[With] Tarheeb, we’ve seen the ball skills he has. We have Rakim, but he got nicked up early, so we decided not to put him back there.”
Still fumbled his first punt return of the evening, but bounced back with a 28-yard return, which set up McDonald’s 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
“Tarheeb plays a lot of plays on defense for us being a nickel and a corner,” Locksley said. “He’s on a lot of special teams [plays] so, we wanted to get a couple of guys opportunities for in-game experience, and it was good to see Tarheeb get a couple of returns.”
The Terps achieved their goal of running 80 plays.
For the second straight game, Maryland achieved its magic number for offensive plays with 81. Locksley runs a multi-tempo offense, which allows the Terps to play fast, slow down when necessary and ultimately get the ball to as many playmakers as possible.
The Terps had six scoring drives that lasted less than three minutes. Meanwhile, Maryland had 10 receivers record a reception. Jones had three catches for 46 yards after recording just seven 7 yards in last week’s season opener against West Virginia. Senior Brian Cobbs had a 17-yard reception while Carlos Carriere, DeaJaun McDougle and Corey Dyches also made plays.
“If you can get 80 plays, you [can] be diverse with the ball and how you get it out,” Locksley said. “We like to have opportunities for our players to get touches. The more your playmakers touch the ball, the better opportunity you have to score. That goes into how we game plan.”
Friday, 9 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 105.7 FM