The Maryland football team opened up its 2016 campaign with an absolute thrashing of Howard, beating the Bison 52-13 Saturday at Maryland Stadium. The Terps had no trouble in any aspect of the game, outgaining their FCS opponent by more than 250 total yards.
This marks DJ Durkin’s first win as Maryland’s head coach. To be sure, Maryland was absolutely supposed to cream Howard. The Terps paid the Bison $325,000 for this privilege to come into the game and help Maryland tune up for the season.
Maryland rushed down the field with ease, while Howard could never string more than a couple positive plays together. The Terps led 35-0 at halftime, and the only things left to accomplish were ensuring the shutout and emptying the bench. Howard got on the board with nine minutes left on Kalen Johnson’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Anthony, but Maryland got to use three quarterbacks and a helping of freshmen in garbage time.
As Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell indicated it would before the season, the team relied heavily on the running game, accumulating 315 yards on the day. Ty Johnson was the starter, but there were plenty carries to go around. Maryland cruised through Howard’s defense on its first drive, which Kenneth Goins Jr. punctuated with a 2-yard touchdown run. Virginia Tech transfer running back Trey Edmunds made an impact in his Maryland debut, scoring a rushing touchdown and returning a blocked punt for a score, both in the opening quarter. Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison each weaved through the defense for scores. Jake Funk punched in another one in the fourth quarter to make it 52-6.
Howard’s Kalen Johnson did what he could against Maryland’s defense and strung together some completions in the second half after going 4-of-6 for 27 yards in the first half.
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills went 14-for-19 through the air for 126 yards and no interceptions. He did his job until freshman Tyrrell Pigrome replaced him as the game got even further out of hand in the second half. Hills only had one carry on the day, but with the way the running backs were performing, that part of his game wasn’t needed. Before Max Bortenschlager came and replaced him, Pigrome led the team straight down the field, following up two 25-yard throws to DeAndre Lane with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 42-0. His speed and agility are just electric.
Howard didn’t get its first first down of the day until its sixth drive, and Maryland didn’t have to punt until its sixth drive of the day. This one was over quickly. You probably stopped watching in the second half. It’s OK. Howard added a second touchdown with 14 seconds left in the game, and most of the fans didn’t stay to watch it.
Three things to know
- This just wasn’t fair. Maryland just plays on a different level than Howard does. This was really never going to be close, and fans should keep that in mind. Howard doesn’t have anywhere close to the same resources as Maryland does. Considering the fact that Boston College, a team with one of the worst FBS offenses, beat Howard 76-0 last season, none of this was too much of a surprise.
- Perry Hills and looked solid. Yes, it was against Howard, but Hills was unmistakably on target with most of his throws. He only completed 12-of-21 passes in last year’s opener against Richmond. Saturday, he was absolutely better than that. We’ll see if he can continue this performance against an FBS team.
- DJ Durkin has his first win as Maryland’s head coach. This win is a milestone no matter who it’s against. Maryland did exactly what it had to do against an overmatched opponent, and everyone got to play. From here on out, it won’t be quite so easy.