Maryland football is 4-0 after thrashing Purdue 50-7 in Saturday’s homecoming game and Big Ten opener. Apparently, whatever was in that “Big Ten water” worked wonders for the Terps, who have already matched their conference win total and surpassed their season win total from 2015. We’ve had some time to digest what happened in this ballgame, so here’s what stood out to us, for better and worse.
RB Ty Johnson. The sophomore ran the ball seven times. One rush went for 76 yards. Another went for 56. Another went for 48 and a touchdown. He also scored from the 8-yard line. The final tally: 204 yards, two scores and an incredible 29.1 yards per carry. Johnson is now 15th on the school’s all-time single-game rushing list; again, he only had seven attempts. For perspective, Lorenzo Harrison’s 219 yards in the first three games actually led the team. Harrison had a 62-yard breakaway touchdown of his own, but Johnson now holds a 335-297 yardage lead over the freshman.
WR Teldrick Morgan. Five of Maryland’s nine completed passes were to Morgan, who finished with 46 yards and his first two scores as a Terp. The New Mexico State transfer had easily the team’s most impressive catch, a diving grab in the corner of the end zone.
And @TerpsFootball strikes first on a diving TD grab. More video >> https://t.co/jJmAUSFVSx https://t.co/vQ2loPXYG8— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) October 1, 2016
Morgan’s second touchdown was essentially a run. He took a shovel pass from Hills and zipped to the goal line for the 5-yard score. He’s now tied with D.J. Moore for the team lead with 13 receptions, although the explosive Moore still holds the edge in yardage.
DE Roman Braglio. He got his first two sacks of the season and had 2.5 tackles for loss. Braglio broke his left hand against Howard and played the next two weeks with a cast on it, but in Saturday’s game he was able to use both hands. The results speak for themselves. A more mobile Braglio will be a tremendous help to Maryland’s pass rush as the schedule gets tougher.
QB Perry Hills. He wasn’t great in the rain, but he didn’t have to be. Hills ended the “no turnovers” narrative with his first pass, which was picked off by Purdue’s Markus Bailey. He also fumbled in the third quarter, but that was because two running backs tried to take a handoff at the same time. Hills went 8-of-13 for 87 yards; he rushed for a touchdown and threw for two more. He left the field healthy and with the game well out of reach.
RB Wes Brown. In his return from a three-game suspension, Brown recorded two yards on five carries. That’s not good, but it’s still to early to gauge how the senior fits into Maryland’s rushing attack.
RB Trey Edmunds. He carried the ball twice, the lightest workload of all six backs, and finished with just two yards. Unlike Brown, the Virginia Tech transfer has a posititve track record that suggested he would have fared better: Through the first three games, Edmunds was the team’s second-leading rusher with 148 yards. However, there’s no reason to believe he’ll be dropped from the rotation any time soon. His stock may be down, but it can come back up pretty quickly.
Purdue. This is a cheap shot, sure, but Saturday’s game was not supposed to be a 50-7 romp. The Boilermakers’ passing attack, running game, defense and special teams all fell short of whatever expectations were in place. If Darrell Hazell was on the hot seat before kickoff, that seat is currently simmering.