HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN
After coming out flat last weekend against the Temple Owls and going home losers as a result, Maryland talked all week long how they cannot allow the Gophers to start with momentum.
The Terps came out looking sharp and focus from the jump this week and gave Minnesota little breathing space all game long.
It’s been long said how significant it is for Maryland football to establish a recruiting pipeline at local Dematha high school. A school less than 10 mins drive from the campus.
Today’s game against the Minnesota Gophers shows just how fruitful those recruiting battles could become if Maryland can continue to won them.
Former Stags left their foot prints all over this game. Starting from the very first drive Maryland looked determined to run the ball and do so with much more success than last weekend.
The Terps came out on a 2-back set from the get go and fed the ball to its collection of runners.
Former Stag red shirt freshmen Anthony McFarland started the day’s scoring for the Terps with 10:42 left in the first quarter.
The explosive freshmen got the handoff from the Minnesota 26 and ran untouched into the left sidelines and into the end zone for an early 7-0 Terps lead.
It was the red shirt freshmen very first career touchdown and one have to believe of many to come.
McFarland added another rushing touchdown later on in the game this time from 64 yards out and looking every bit of the missile many thought he’ll be when the Terps got him during his recruitment.
Red shirt Junior wide receiver and also former Dematha Stags DJ Turner also caught his first career touchdown. Turner has had some injuries early in his Maryland career but came in as a highly recruited 4-star blue chip recruit from Dematha.
After a Minnesota field goal to make the score 14-3 Maryland, Terps red shirt freshmen quarterback Kasim Hill found turner on a scramble last min pass down the right side lines on a 3rd and short play and the Junior did the rest.
Turner caught the pass with a Gopher defender draped all over him but somehow held on and was able to easily shed the defensive back and took off down the side lines for yet another long Maryland touchdown, his time from 54 yards away.
That score made it 21-3 and the Terps would take that lead into the half.
OFFENSIVE LINE/RUNNING BACKS BOTH HAD A BOUNCE BACK GAME
After getting man handled on both sides of ball last week, both of the Terps lines of scrimmage had a huge bounce back game against Minnesota.
Maryland offensive line made huge holes for the running backs to run through all game and Minnesota simply got over matched on both fronts.
From the start this looked more like the Maryland team many expected to show up against Temple but today they were very dominant.
Terps took an early 7-0 lead and never looked back from there. After a long Gophers punt that pin the Terrapins offense at their own 9-yard line with Maryland only leading 7-0.
The Terps came out in a no wide out sets and power the ball into the end zone taking only 2 plays. On the first play of the drive McFarland got the ball on a quick inside handoff and hit the jets for a quick 10 yard bust to the 19-yard line of Maryland.
However, on the very next play Minnesota failed to lock in on Senior running back Ty Johnson after a series of fake jet sweeps and the senior speedster made them pay severely.
Johnson only had to break one poor safety’s attempt at a tackle and sped down the left sidelines for a long 81-yard touchdown run. It was Ty Johnson’s longest run in a career full of long touchdown runs.
The Maryland quarterback was barely touched all game long and the running backs showed once again why they might be the best group in the entire Country.
Terps ran for an absurd 315 yards on the ground with Ty Johnson and McParland doing most of the damage.
Ty finished with 123 yards on just 11 carries and a touchdown (TD) while McFarland exploded for 112 yards on just 6 carries and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Anthony McFarland also became the first freshmen in school history to have back to back 100 yards rushing performances. He had just over 100 yards last week while being the only bright spot on the team. The kid is a true star in the making like soon to be Heisman hype kind of star.
Minnesota had no answers all game long for either Ty or Anthony.
DEFENSE SHOWED OUT
Maryland defense was on the field a lot last week and got worn down as the game went on.
In this game, the unit was firing on all cylinders and it was a thing of beauty to witness.
Maryland defensive line gave Minnesota true freshmen walk on quarterback Zack Annexstad fits all day long. Coming in, the kid hadn’t thrown an inception in three games however the Terps were able to get to him today for 2 very costly interceptions.
The Terps defense feasted on a Gophers offensive line lacking any depth and were constant in the Gopher’s back field, Not allowing Minnesota offense much breathing room to operate.
Senior corner Ravon Davis like many of the Terps secondary or team as a whole had a rough game last week but he also came out today and had a huge interception in the end zone for a touch back to stall a possible Minnesota drive and come back.
Senior transfer linebacker Tre Watson had an unbelievable interception return for touchdown on the second play from scrimmage after halftime that all but killed any possible momentum that the Gophers might have gained with their half ending touchdown drive.
The game got away from Minnesota from there on out. Maryland’s defense ended their day with 4 sacks and 7 tackles for lose yardage. It was one of Maryland better defensive performances against a Big ten opponent since joining the Big Ten. The defense held the Gophers top star Tyler Johnson to just 2 catches for only 12 yards. The Terps knew they could not allow Johnson for the Gophers to beat them and they simply took him out of the game flow completely. The defense played inspired ball today.
Also wants to add Terps special teams were actually very special today. Senior punter Wade Lees had arguably his best day as a Terrapin and true freshmen kicker Joseph Patrina has not miss yet (field goals or extra points.
Lees had a career high 48.6 on 5 punts including a long of 56 yards, he helped pinned that Gophers offense back all day long.
Maryland is now 3-1 and the all-important 1-0 in the ruthless Big ten after today’s win over Minnesota.
Terps would now head into their bye week with plenty of momentum and they’ll need it.
In two weeks, Maryland will travel to Michigan to face a Wolverines team that spanked Nebraska today in the big house. One must expect a very confident Maryland team to line up in two weeks.
One that could very well be ranked by the time that Michigan game rolls around. Besides that Temple game, this Maryland team has been very impressive so far this season and the coaching staff deserves some major props but mostly this kid should all be recommended for how well they’ve stayed together so far.
Had the Terps beaten Temple last week, Maryland more than likely would’ve been ranked heading into this game today for the first time in 6 years.
That Temple team by the way is looking more and more like the elite ball club that many expected in the preseason. That lose would only get better as the season goes.
Maryland just have to find a way to get all the guys healthy during the bye week try and develop a down the field passing attack. I expect Michigan to load the box in 2 weeks and force Maryland and Kasim Hill to pass.
If the Terrapins are going to reach their fullest potential Kasim and that passing attack must impose fear into opponent as our running game does. A much more balanced Maryland team should be the goal heading into the bye.
Maryland looked today in victory like what many in Terps nation expected them to look like last week in defeat against the Temple Owls.
Like the Owls did to the Terps, Maryland punched Minnesota in the mouth early and the Gophers never recovered. Even when Minnesota looked like they were getting things going Maryland did just enough to stall the Gophers.
Minnesota had no answers for the Terps physicality on both lines of scrimmages just as Maryland had none last week. The Gophers are young but talented and Pj Fleck would have those guys bouncing back in no time.
However today it was ALL MARYLAND. *three Terrapins got their very first Collegiate touchdowns today and 2 of them are just freshmen in red shirt Anthony McFarland and true freshmen Chigoziem Okonkwo who added a late 21-yard touchdown run to put a period at the end of today’s Maryland dominant performance.
MARYLAND 42 MINNESOTA 13.
ISSA BLOWOUT #GOTERPS