The Maryland football team opened Big Ten play with an absolute shellacking of Purdue Saturday at Maryland Stadium. The Terps got up early, taking a 29-0 lead into halftime before ultimately winning 50-7, and the Boilermakers were helpless just about the whole time.
It was Maryland’s first Big Ten test, and it came on homecoming against what’s probably the conference’s worst team. But this performance was encouraging, and Maryland is 4-0.
As has been the case all season, the ground attack powered the Terps. Lorenzo Harrison evaded the whole defense with a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Wes Brown wasn’t needed much in his season debut, as the team spread out its rushing attack evenly. Harrison and Johnson combined for 282 yards on only 13 carries, escaping Purdue defenders for runs of 62, 56 and 76 yards between the two of them. Purdue, though. Oh, Purdue was a different story. The Boilermakers had -2 rushing yards at the end of the third quarter.
Quarterback Perry Hills wasn’t needed much. He finished 8-for-13 with 87 yards on the day, and gave way to Tyrrell Pigrome in the third quarter. Maryland’s longest passing gain came on a 20-yard catch-and-run by Brown, who made his season debut after sitting out the first three games due to suspension.
Like Maryland’s first two games of the season, this game was over before halftime. This one carried some more significance.
Hills threw his first interception of the season on his first throw of the day. Purdue’s Markus Bailey stepped in front of Hills’ first pass of the day, but the Boilermakers were unable to convert that red zone opportunity into points. Hills rebounded well, taking the Terps down the field and hitting Teldrick Morgan to get Maryland on the scoreboard. A trick-play 2-point conversion put the Terps ahead 8-0.
The Terps’ front seven swarmed Purdue quarterback David Blough all day, finishing with six sacks. Purdue came into the game with the No. 1 passing downs sack rate in the country, making this an even more impressive feat. But that pales in comparison to what the Terps did against the run. They technically held Purdue to 10 rushing yards, though that total is influenced by sack yardage.
Maryland started a bit slow in the first half, but Purdue started significantly slower. So much slower, in fact, that the Boilermakers didn’t score until there was 13:30 left in the game, and by then it was 36-7. Things would continue to get worse.
Maryland takes on Penn State in Happy Valley next week, and that game is looking increasingly interesting.
Three things to know
- Maryland’s one step closer to bowl eligibility. The Terps needed this win. Their schedule gets considerably harder starting with Penn State next week, and doesn’t let up much until the season finale against Rutgers.
- Purdue isn’t very good. This must be noted. The Boilermakers are probably significantly worse than any team Maryland will play for the rest of the season. Still, The Terps did exactly what they had to against an inferior opponent. Maryland was favored by only 10.5 points and absolutely obliterated Purdue.
- Wes Brown is back, but Ty Johnson isn’t going anywhere. Harrison had garnered more attention before this game, but Johnson had a career day, finishing with over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Purdue’s defenders couldn’t bring him down, nor could they catch up to him.