After a head-scratching loss to Temple last week, Maryland bounced back with a 42-13 win over Minnesota to open Big Ten play. The Terps outplayed the Golden Gophers in nearly every facet of the game, using an explosive offense and solid defense to dominate from the opening minutes. We did takeaways for the first three weeks of the season, but we’re switching it up with a stock report this week. Here’s where Maryland stands.
Anthony McFarland. The redshirt freshman keeps getting better and better. After his first career 100-yard rushing game last week, McFarland ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries. Both scores were dazzling, as he took a carry down the left side for a 26-yard touchdown in the first quarter and then another down the right side for a 64-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Like Ty Johnson, the Hyattsville native is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
Maryland’s running game. When Jeshaun Jones took a jet sweep 27 yards on Maryland’s second play of the game, it foreshadowed a great day for the Terps’ backfield. Maryland ran for 315 yards and 37 carries and never entered the red zone because the rushing attack was so explosive. McFarland and Johnson both ran for 100 yards, and having Derwin Gray and Terrance Davis back on the offensive line meant more wide open lanes and big-play potential than the week before.
Kasim Hill. Following the worst start of his young career, Hill did what he needed to do to keep Maryland’s offense clicking. Going 10-of-14 for 117 yards and a touchdown doesn’t seem like much, but he looked much more comfortable in the pocket and used his feet to make plays.
Maryland’s pass rush. Several players were all over Zach Annexstad on Saturday afternoon. Antoine Brooks and Jesse Aniebonam got to him early, Tre Watson crushed him unblocked off a blitz in the third quarter and Byron Cowart had a strip sack and fumble to open the fourth quarter. Even when blitzers didn’t get to the quarterback, they still made things happen, as Brooks’ pressure forced a weak throw on Watson’s pick-six in the third quarter.
Defense. The only problem with the offense scoring so quickly was that the defense tired as the game went on. Minnesota had four drives of over 50 yards, and Maryland started to miss more tackles in the second half. The Terps also lost safeties Darnell Savage and Antwaine Richardson to injuries, and were already playing without starting nose tackle Adam McLean. If those three can’t recover, Maryland’s depth will be tested against teams with more talent on offense.
Clean play. Once again, Maryland shot itself in the foot with 10 penalties for 118 yards. Five led to Minnesota first downs, and the Terps’ defensive backs struggled in particular, getting called for four passes interferences and one hold. Not many teams are going to gift Maryland wide-opening running lanes and back-breaking turnovers like the Golden Gophers did, so the Terps will have to be better going forward.
Fun. After Tre Watson returned an interception for a touchdown early in the third quarter, Mbi Tanyi was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after pretending to take a picture of his teammate.
Mbi Tayni pretending to take a picture of his teammate here is a penalty bc college football is amazingly dumb pic.twitter.com/KuPjfRdKgk— Ryan Connors (@RyanConnors_) September 22, 2018
It’s the second weird unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Terps this year, as Derwin Gray was penalized for high-fiving fans following a touchdown. Players look forward to gameday every week. The referees should at least let them enjoy themselves
Which is less deserving of a penalty? (No, both is not an option)
This poll is closed
Pretending to take a picture of a teammate.