Maryland football notes: On record-setting day, loss leaves Anthony McFarland Jr. feeling empty

Anthony McFarland Jr. wore a red beanie with a Maryland logo on his head and a blank look on his face.

Sitting in the visiting media room at Memorial Stadium after Saturday’s 34-32 loss to Indiana, Maryland’s redshirt freshman running back remembered what his father often told him while he was growing up.

McFarland had just rushed 210 yards on 29 carries, breaking the school’s freshman rushing record. In the process, McFarland also broke LaMont Jordan’s freshman season record of 689 yards. McFarland now has 724 yards with two games remaining.

“It really don’t mean that much to me if we don’t win,” McFarland said. “It doesn’t matter how many yards I have, how many touchdowns I have. I care about winning more than anything.

“Even if I didn’t have a good game today, I still wanted to win. Records and stuff like that don’t ever matter to me. My dad always told me, ‘Don’t get into stuff like that.’ ”

Given that no one else carried the ball more than five times was partly because of how effective McFarland was at finding holes and breaking tackles, and partly because two other running backs — senior Ty Johnson and sophomore Javon Leake — left the game with injuries.

“I got the mentality, ‘Next man up,’ ” McFarland said. “If I go down, then it’s next man up and we’ve got to just carry on. That’s our goal in the backfield. Whoever’s in there, just do what you can and make plays. And that’s what I tried to do today.”

No answers about the injuries

Interim coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada did not give any updates about the players who were injured Saturday.

The injury to redshirt freshman quarterback Kasim Hill is certainly the most concerning to the Terps, despite his struggles as a full-time starter.

Hill left the game after being twisted to the ground as he was tackled in the second quarter by linebacker Cam Jones. It appeared on the replay that Hill’s left leg buckled as he fell.

“I don’t know where Kasim’s at. We’re going to have to get him checked,” Canada said. “We’ll have see where he is. I wouldn’t want to speculate on anything. It would be unfair.”

Hill sustained a torn ACL in his right knee in the third game last season. The only positive Saturday was that after being down on the field in obvious pain for several minutes, Hill walked off on his own.

Canada also did not disclose what injuries were suffered by either of the two running backs, except to say Johnson, who had missed the previous 1½ games with a calf injury, sustained a “different” injury Saturday.

Receivers making plays

After being invisible at times this season, Maryland freshman wideouts Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus are starting to show their potential as consistent playmakers.

Jones finished with six catches for 67 yards Saturday, including a 15-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run that briefly gave the Terps a 32-31 lead with a little under five minutes left.

Demus caught a career-best four passes for 98 yards, including a 51-yard reception in the fourth quarter that helped set up Jones’ touchdown.

The touchdown reception for Jones was his fourth in a season that began with him becoming the first freshman since Marcus Mariota to catch, throw and run for a touchdown in his first college game.

Jones did that the first three times he touched the ball against then-No. 23 Texas in a season-opening win at FedEx Field.

After catching two passes for 73 yards that day — including a 65-yarder for a touchdown — Jones had just six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown over the next six games.

Two weeks ago, Jones scored two touchdowns and accumulated 104 yards split between three receptions and three rushing attempts in a 63-33 rout of Illinois.

The 6-foot-4, 202-pound Demus caught just two passes for 14 yards over the team’s first seven games.

Demus, too, showed some potential against Illinois, with two catches for 69 yards, including a season-best 52-yarder.

“Those kids are coming, those young guys are getting better every week,” Canada said of the two receivers. “Again, there are some mistakes out there that they’re going to make and that’s part of the deal.

“You’ve got freshmen playing at wideout. Sometimes they make great plays and sometimes we’re all like, ‘What happened?’ That’s part of having young players play. There are some talented players on this football team.”

don.markus@baltsun.com

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