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Why it took Maryland almost 3 quarters to zoom past Bowling Green, and how the Terps exploded in the second half

What a weird experience.

maryland football-bowling green-stats-highlights-score-recap Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football was a 16-point favorite heading to Bowling Green, yet the Terps found themselves losing at 14-10 halftime. And that was *after* Joseph Petrino converted a field goal as time expired.

Maryland shouldn’t have been trailing at halftime, and only had itself to blame for some early struggles.

As the teams trotted toward the locker rooms, the stats told a very different story from the one on the scoreboard. The Terps were averaging 7.3 yards per play, while the Falcons were only getting 4.2.

But sloppy play was holding Maryland back. Nine penalties for 79 yards in the first half helped end a few Maryland drives and or get a few others from rolling. And when Maryland needed one more stop to thwart a Bowling Green drive, a crucial coverage mishap gifted the home team a wide-open score.

Maryland’s passing game wasn’t accomplishing much in the rain, as Kasim Hill was only 5-for-11 through the air for 46 yards. Once penalties got Maryland into a hole on any particular drive, there was no digging out of it.

Maryland stopped committing as many penalties and started finishing drives in the second half.

The yards-per-play margin got even worse in the second half, with Maryland ending the game averaging 8.2 to BGSU’s 2.9. What made even more of a difference was that penalties stopped halting drives. After the Terps’ first possession of the half flopped following a personal foul on Lorenzo Harrison, Maryland was able to finally take the lead on its next drive.

An unsportsmanlike penalty on center Johnny Jordan inside the 10-yard line still threatened to rob Maryland of a chance at a touchdown, but a Jahrvis Davenport spin move solved all that.

The penalties subsided by the fourth quarter. And once that happened, it paved the way for Maryland to launch into full rampage mode on the ground.

The Terps’ rushing game ignited, and Bowling Green had no semblance of one.

Rushing yards at the end:

maryland football-bowling green-stats-highlights-scores

How Maryland got to that total:

  • Ty Johnson: 124 yards on 12 carries
  • Tayon Fleet-Davis: 102 yards on 15 carries
  • Lorenzo Harrison: 86 yards on 8 carries
  • Anthony McFarland: 69 yards on 8 carries
  • Javon Leake: 42 yards on 3 carries
  • Tyrrell Pigrome: 15 yards on 2 carries
  • Jeshaun Jones: 11 yards on 1 carry
  • Kasim Hill: -2 yards on 2 carries

Meanwhile, Bowling Green’s offense was getting nothing. The Falcons finished with 158 total yards, with only 33 of those coming after halftime. Bowling Green couldn’t run all night, and didn’t have any success when passing was the only option.

This game served as an example of what can happen if Maryland is sloppy, and what can happen if Maryland’s ground game is rolling.

It was a rainy, weird road environment that seemed spooky enough for an upset. After all, what we’d seen of Maryland in Week 1 was promising, but that was a one-game sample size. This game is promising and foreboding at the same time, but any win by 31 points has to lean more toward the former.