Terps notes: Ty Johnson runs wild in bowl game

After a promising freshman year, Maryland running back Ty Johnson came into the 2016 season trying to find his role in a crowded, five-man stable. Johnson finished the season as clearly his team's lead back and a potential star.

In a season-ending 36-30 loss to Boston College Monday in the Quick Lane Bowl, Johnson looked like he had a future playing at Ford Field and other NFL venues down the road.


As he has done for most of the season, Johnson put up impressive numbers despite a defense geared to stop him. He gained 159 yards on 15 carries, and scored on touchdown runs of 62 and 30 yards.

It was the fifth time this season Johnson rushed for over 100 yards in a game, and it helped pushed him to 1,004 yards for the season.

In becoming the ninth running back in Maryland history and first since Da'Rel Scott in 2008 to go over 1,000 yards in a season, Johnson credited his offensive line and his fellow running backs while downplaying his own performance.

Asked if thought he had established himself as one of the top running backs in the Big Ten, as well as in the country, Johnson said, "I believe I have bettered myself. Thanks for Kenny [Goins] and Wes [Brown]. You know the seniors are leaving — they really helped pick up my game. I still got a lot of things to work on."

Said Maryland coach D.J. Durkin, "He's done it all year. He's consistently been a big-play guy for us. He does have that ability, he's a young guy and still learning and getting better. We're certainly excited about him and a lot of guys at that position, moving forward."

Johnson's 62-yard touchdown run, which got Maryland on the board after falling behind 16-0, was his 10th this season of 40 yards or more. His 8.7 yards-per-attempt average is among the nation's best for players at Football Bowl Subdivision schools with over 100 carries.

Johnson also missed out on 32 yards when it was ruled he stepped out of bounds on what was initially believed to be a dazzling 61-yard run in the fourth quarter.

"Ty had several [long runs] in this game and he's done that," Durkin said. "I don't know the yards per carry, but if it's not a record, it's got to be up there."

The 8.7 yards-per-carry trails only Chet Hanulak of the 1953 national championship team among Maryland players with at least 75 rushing attempts. Hanulak averaged 9.78 yards per carry as a senior and 8.13 yards a carry for his three-year varsity career.

Cockerille ruled ineligible: Maryland junior linebacker Shane Cockerille, who led the Terps in tackles this season, was ruled ineligible for Monday's game. An athletic department spokesman announced the ineligibility roughly 30 minutes before kickoff.

No reason was given, but the timing of the news right after the end of the fall semester suggests it is an academic issue.

After struggling to get on the field his first three seasons — moved between quarterback and fullback the past two years after redshirting as a freshman — the former Gilman standout quarterback emerged as a redshirt junior.

Cockerille started every game alongside junior Jermaine Carter Jr., and the two played more than any other member of the defense. Cockerille finished with 108 tackles — five more than Carter — and had double-figure tackles in five of the team's 12 games, including a career-high 15 in a win over Michigan State.

In Cockerille's absence, redshirt freshman Isaiah Davis matched Carter with a team-high seven tackles.


"The great part is that Isaiah Davis went in there and played a great game for us," Durkin said of the younger brother of former Terp and current Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis. "Isaiah's a young guy and has a bright future. He flies around, plays fast and hits people. He went in there and played an awesome game."

End zone: Redshirt junior kicker Adam Greene, who was benched in the fourth quarter of the regular season finale against Rutgers after missing a pair of field goals into a swirling wind at Maryland Stadium, regained his starting job during the month of practice and was successful in his only attempt Monday, making a 23-yard attempt to finish the season 9-of-14. He also made all three of his extra point tries to finish the season 37-of-38.


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