Maryland football played its most complete game of the season this past Saturday, never trailing en route to a dominant 44-17 victory over Indiana.
Taulia Tagovailoa led the offense with six total touchdowns, and the defense recorded a takeaway for the fourth straight game as the Terps improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2001.
The Terps were near-perfect Saturday, but they’ll need to be better than perfect next weekend if they want to beat No. 4 Ohio State.
Here’s how every Maryland position group performed against the Hoosiers.
Tagovailoa’s first pass found Jeshaun Jones for a 62-yard gain, and the senior play-caller never looked back. Tagovailoa ended the first quarter with 127 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and a 19-yard rushing score.
He finished the game 24-for-34 with 352 yards and five total touchdowns in what was one of the best games of his career.
Is it time to start worrying about Roman Hemby?
Last week, provided head coach Mike Locksley mentioned that Hemby was laboring an injury, Maryland’s lead back managed just 17 yards on 10 carries. Against Indiana, he entered the fourth quarter with just 18 yards on 10 rushes. In garbage time, he was able to rip off 36 yards on four carries to salvage his stats. Meanwhile, Antwain Littleton II totaled 52 yards on just five carries.
Outside of two plays of 22 or more yards, Maryland’s rushing attack looked bleak.
Tai Felton just knew he had to deliver his mother a good birthday present — or at least that was what he cheerfully told media after his seven-catch, 134-yard, three-touchdown performance.
Indiana’s secondary had no answer for Felton, or any other Maryland wide receiver for that matter. Jeshaun Jones added 121 yards on six catches, and Kaden Prather hauled in four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Maryland’s tight ends had a severely diminished role in the game plan Saturday. Corey Dyches and the freshmen trio of Rico Walker, Dylan Wade and Preston Howard each had one catch.
The only touchdown from the unit came on a three-yard grab by Wade — the first catch of his career.
In the passing game, the Terps’ offensive line was outstanding. The unit didn’t allow a sack, and according to Pro Football Focus, it didn’t allow a quarterback pressure or hurry either. Three players recorded a pass blocking grade of over 80: DJ Glaze (89.6), Corey Bullock (86.2) and Mike Purcell (82.1).
No lineman registered a run blocking grade of over 63, though, and it showed.
Quashon Fuller led the defensive front with a sack and a tackle for loss. Taizse Johnson and Christian Teague also both recorded a tackle for loss. Indiana registered just 64 yards in the opening three quarters (Maryland began to rotate players at the start of the fourth quarter) and the Terps’ defensive line was a big reason why.
If there had been more consistent pressure on Indiana quarterback Tayven Jackson throughout, this grade would have been an “A.”
Even without Jaishawn Barham, Maryland’s linebackers had themselves a day. Per PFF, four had player grades of at least 80: Michael Harris (82.4), Gereme Spraggins (81.9), Fa’Najae Gotay (80.1) and Ruben Hyppolite II (80). It should be noted, though, that Spraggins and Harris combined for just 38 snaps.
Even so, Gotay and Hyppolite II were game-breakers. They combined for 10 tackles — eight of those solo — and Gotay added an interception and tackle for loss.
Maryland’s secondary didn’t come up with three interceptions like it did last week, but it was still solid.
Beau Brade and Corey Coley Jr. each had a pass breakup as Indiana ultimately managed just 205 yards through the air.
The biggest concern is that Tarheeb Still had to leave the game early, with his status unknown for next week’s game at Ohio State.
Punter Colton Spangler putting forth a spectacular performance while Jack Howes looks like a different kicker every time he steps up is becoming a weekly occurrence.
Spangler pinned the Hoosiers inside their own 20-yard line on each of his three punts.
On the flip side, Howes hooked an extra point wide on his fourth attempt of the day. Then, he nailed a 44-yarder. He followed that up by seeing another 44-yard attempt blocked.
Maryland was the better and more prepared team from the opening kickoff. Locksley let Tagovailoa slice his way through Indiana’s defense, and the defense constantly had Jackson looking uncomfortable.