In their first game as a member of the Big Ten conference, the Maryland Terrapins handed a beat-down to the Dukes of James Madison, winning by a score of 52-7.
While the game went as expected from a scoring perspective, the Terrapins showed an ability to run the ball effectively, picking up where they left off last season. CJ Brown ran for three touchdowns in the first half helping pace the Terps to a 24-0 halftime lead.
The Dukes didn't help themselves early on, however. Two kick-catch interference penalties set the Terps offense up with plus field position, and a pass interference penalty helped aid in a touchdown in the opening minutes of the game. Georgia Tech transfer Vad Lee struggled throwing the ball down field and was under constant duress with a slew of Terps pass rushers chasing him down.
The second half opened up with a bang, and running back Brandon Ross was the catalyst, plunging into the end zone from eight yards out to collect his first score of the game. Ross finished as the teams leading rusher last season and he picked right back up with that, leading the team with 16 carries and rushing for 86 yards to go along with the score.
While Brown ran for 61 yards and three scores, he struggled with passes down the field. That was until he connected with Deon Long for their first touchdown hookup of the season for 41 yards. Long, who missed a good portion of last season due to injury, returned to action with two receptions for 48 yards to go along with the score.
Stefon Diggs also returned to action for the Terps, and he would finish with five receptions for 53 yards. While the numbers aren't anything to gawk at, Diggs flashed his ability to get open and catch tough passes, something the team greatly missed last season.
Brown would leave the game after his touchdown to Long, but it wouldn't be because of injury. Caleb Rowe took over from there as the Terps were comfortably ahead of the Dukes. Rowe played a respectable game, finishing 7 of 11 for 75 yards and a score. His only black mark was an interception, but the game was well in hand at that point.
As impressive as the offense was for Maryland, the defense stood tall all game, forcing three Dukes turnovers while gaining leverage up front with a dominant performance from the defensive line.
The dominant performance should leave an imprint on what Maryland wants to do as they make their way into the Big Ten conference.