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Perry Hills threw his first interception against Purdue, but Maryland football kept on rolling

Hills wasn’t phased, and got to watch the fourth quarter from the sidelines for the third time in four games.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago, Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell said he couldn’t wait for quarterback Perry Hills to throw his first interception, just to see how he’d respond. In Saturday’s win over Purdue, Hills responded pretty well.

He threw that pick on his very first pass of the game, a gimme right to Purdue linebacker Markus Bailey.

Maryland was having an outstanding — and probably lucky — zero-turnover start to the season, but Hills was going to throw a pick eventually. There was nothing else he could do except play a mostly error-free game the rest of the way, and he did. His day was made easy by Maryland’s running game, which torched the Boilermakers to the tune of 400 yards on the ground and routinely got the team into the red zone. Runs of 62, 56, 76 and 48 yards made the day much simpler for the Terps’ passing game. It was 29-0 at the half, and what was left was mostly garbage time.

Hills had a couple of solid performances against Howard, FIU and UCF, and he did exactly what he needed to do, again, against Purdue.

Left Middle Right All
20+ yards 0/1 0/0 0/0 0/1
15-19 yards 0/0 0/0 1/1, 16 yards 1/1, 16 yards
10-14 yards 1/1, 11 yards, 1 TD 0/2, 1 INT 0/0 1/3, 11 yards, 1 INT
5-9 yards 0/1 0/0 0/0 0/1
0-4 yards 0/0 1/1, 15 yards 0/0 1/1, 15 yards
Less than 0 yards 0/0 2/2, 14 yards, 1 TD 3/3, 31 yards 5/5, 45 yards, 1 TD
All 1/2, 11 yards, 1 TD 3/5, 29 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 4/4, 47 yards 8/12, 87 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

(Note: Hills had one throwaway, which isn’t included above but will show up on the stat sheet.)

Just as in his first game, the majority of Hills’ throws were concentrated in the area immediately near the line of scrimmage. He only threw 13 passes. It’s almost weird to be analyzing this.

Let’s look at Hills’ last “pass” of the day, a shovel to Teldrick Morgan that put the Terps up 36-0 halfway through the third quarter.

Maryland ran this play once earlier in the game, also to Morgan, for a nine-yard gain. This one worked out perfectly, as the defense didn’t pick Morgan up when he came in motion. First, Levern Jacobs (No. 8) came inside from the slot to deliver a key block. Purdue defensive end Galen Robinson (No. 13) didn’t have the jets to catch up to Morgan, then Avery Edwards (82) took the outside defender right out of the play while Wes Brown patrolled the area for anyone who tried to catch up. Easy.

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/
Catch Rate Success Rate Target
D.J. Moore WR 5'11, 215 SO 20 13 224 2 17.2 11.2 65.0% 50.0% 23.5%
Teldrick Morgan WR 6'0, 190 SR 16 13 175 2 13.5 10.9 81.2% 68.8% 18.8%
DeAndre Lane WR 5'7, 175 SR 12 8 98 0 12.3 8.2 66.7% 41.7% 14.1%
Ty Johnson RB 5'10, 205 SO 5 5 44 0 8.8 8.8 100.0% 60.0% 5.9%
Malcolm Culmer WR 5'11, 192 SR 5 2 10 0 5.0 2.0 40.0% 20.0% 5.9%
Levern Jacobs WR 5'11, 185 SR 5 1 7 0 7.0 1.4 20.0% 20.0% 5.9%

After D.J. Moore appeared to be far-and-away Maryland’s best receiver through the bye week, Morgan was the team’s standout performer against Purdue. He was the only Terp with multiple catches, snagging five for 46 yards while Moore, Wes Brown, Lorenzo Harrison and Jake Funk each came out of the game with one. Maryland’s rushing attack ran the day, and the Terps didn’t need to do much through the air anyway.

Living in Purdue’s backfield

Purdue finished Saturday’s game with 10 rushing yards.

I’ll let you digest that a little longer.

Good? Let’s continue.

Purdue almost didn’t have a choice but to abandon the run for long stretches. After Maryland got out to a giant lead, the Boilermakers ran only 10 times in the second half for -6 yards. The Terps got past Purdue’s linemen with ease for 11 tackles for loss, led by Jesse Aniebonam and Roman Braglio, who had 2.5 apiece. Limiting the Boilermakers’ run game early made them even more one-dimensional and easy to defend, which enabled the Terps to really concentrate on rushing the passer.

Purdue came into the game with the No. 1 offensive passing downs sack rate in the country, but Saturday’s performance dropped the Boilermakers all the way down to 37th. Maryland blitzed safeties and corners, and Purdue couldn’t take the heat. Here’s linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. getting around the end to sack David Blough, one of the six times the Terps got to Purdue’s quarterback.

Maryland came into the day averaging 2.7 sacks per game, and the Terps equaled that in the first half. Roman Braglio had two sacks, with Azubuike Ukandu (1 sack) Jesse Aniebonam (1.5) and Shane Cockerille (0.5) joining in on the fun.

Even when Purdue receivers got open, Blough often overthrew them with Maryland defenders breathing down his neck. Pressure made Blough’s day significantly less fun, and he finished 18-for-41 with 132 yards passing. That’s a paltry 3.2 yards per pass attempt.

This was an all-around domination on homecoming at Maryland Stadium. It’s true, the Boilermakers are bad, but Maryland played really well.