Maryland football moved to 3-1 on the season, following a 31-24 win over Minnesota to open Big Ten play.
The Terps had a strong showing in a largely back-and-forth road game. After a rough outing against UCF, this bounce back performance was just what the doctor ordered. Here’s where the Terps’ stock stands following the win:
Quarterback Max Bortenschlager
Bortenschlager was a largely unknown commodity coming into game, but he was clearly the better quarterback on the field through the first half. He put the Terps’ first points on the scoreboard with a seven-yard designed quarterback draw up the gut for a score.
He impressed through the air, as well. While Maryland’s play calling skewed run, he made the most of his 28 attempts, completing 18 for 154 yards and two scores. With a week of practice running with the starters, Bortenschlager turned in a career day, and was able to lead the Terps to their first conference win.
Kicker Henry Darmstadter
Darmstadter should share this one with the coaching staff’s clock management, which set up the senior’s 51-yard attempt at the end of the first half. With the Terps clearly looking to air it out with a running clock, Minnesota was forced to stop the clock and Walt Bell went to work. With six seconds to go, this run by Ty Johnson set up the kick:
Darmstadter followed it up with the Terps’ longest field goal of the year, nailing it from 51 yards out. It’s Maryland’s first kick of 50+ yards since Brad Craddock drilled one in 2014.
Unbelievably good clock management leads to a 51-YARDER going into the half. pic.twitter.com/vHwy5OA96Y— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) September 30, 2017
Darmstadter won the starting job after coming around the beltway from Georgetown as a grad transfer. This kick assured he’ll stay atop the depth chart for a while.
If hitting your teammate on the head with the Excessive Juice sign isn't the definition of Excessive Juice, I don't know what is. pic.twitter.com/hV68Ft2DWx— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) September 30, 2017
Maryland’s “Presidential Backfield”
Maryland’s running back tandem of Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison had a great day, combining for 205 rushing yards on 35 carries. Johnson outgained Harrison 130-75, though he just barely out-touched Harrison 18-17, with the difference being the 34-yard game-winning touchdown run.
Maryland was able to use its backfield duo to perfection, even against a Minnesota defense that came into the game ranked No. 15 in the country in S&P+.
Wide receiver D.J. Moore
Moore’s continuing his spectacular season, moving up to fourth all-time for in Maryland history with his 14th career receiving touchdown. It’s only fitting that he tied former Terp Stefon Diggs for the lead in Minnesota, with Diggs in attendance. Bortenschlager and Moore linked up for score in the second quarter on this play.
Moore finished the day with eight catches for 90 yards and a score, and also added another 24 yards on the ground. He’s been the Terps top playmaking receiver this season, and this game was no different.
Punter Wade Lees
Lees didn’t have a whole lot of work Saturday, only needing four punts the entire game. After winning the Ray Guy award of the week for his performance against UCF, he averaged just 34.8 yards a punt in this one. He nearly had a punt downed inside the five-yard line, but wide receiver Jacquille Veii lost his footing and the punt bounced harmlessly into the endzone for a touchback.
Minnesota rushing defense
The Gophers’ rushing defense ranked first in the nation coming into the game, allowing just 59 yards a game on the ground before Maryland ripped them for a whopping 262 yards on 47 attempts and two scores. Last season, the storyline of this matchup was how successful Minnesota was on the ground, but the Terps reversed the roles on Saturday.