COLLEGE PARK — In so some ways, Maryland football’s 34-27 victory over SMU on Saturday night time at Capital One Field served as an ideal depiction of what makes this workforce nice and what’s going to maintain it again in opposition to Big Ten Conference competitors.
The Terps’ offense dazzled, totaling 439 yards behind spectacular performances by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and operating again Roman Hemby. Tagovailoa, a redshirt junior, completed 17-for-23 with 214 yards and two touchdowns, whereas Hemby, a redshirt freshman, rushed for 151 yards and a landing on 16 carries and caught 4 passes for 62 yards.
Both sides of the ball delivered in a pivotal fourth quarter to lead the Terps to a 3-0 begin for the second straight season. After sophomore security Dante Trader Jr. picked off SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai with 12:19 remaining, Tagovailoa threw a 5-yard landing move to redshirt sophomore tight finish Corey Dyches to give Maryland a 34-27 lead with 7:30 to go.
But to get to the purpose the place the house crowd erupted after Tagovailoa’s landing move, then grew louder after Mordecai’s move to Rashee Rice on fourth-and-1 fell incomplete with 49 seconds left, you may need wanted an aspirin.
Maryland dedicated 14 penalties for 151 yards, with most of them coming in essential conditions. Tai Felton fumbled a kickoff return that led to an SMU subject aim. Starting linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II exited with an unspecified damage. And regardless of the interceptions from Trader (McDonogh) and junior security Beau Brade (River Hill), the Terps’ secondary appeared shaky, permitting Mordecai to throw for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns whereas Rice continued his latest tear with 193 yards on 11 catches.
“We didn’t play our greatest football in the present day,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley stated. “But I acquired lots of respect for the best way our guys fought and the resiliency they confirmed being down.”
Penalties have been a significant drawback for the Terps, and it was evident in opposition to the Mustangs. Maryland was penalized 5 occasions in the primary half, all coming in essential conditions. The Terps’ offensive line picked up three false begins, all on third or fourth down, whereas Jones was referred to as for a blindside block that negated Tagovailoa’s 13-yard scramble late in the second quarter.
But the Terps’ first drive of the third quarter, in which they have been penalized 4 occasions, was maybe essentially the most irritating of the night time. Tagovailoa’s 6-yard landing move to redshirt senior Jeshaun Jones with 12:14 to go was nullified by a holding penalty, and an unsportsmanlike conduct name on Jones backed the Terps up to the 31-yard line. Tagovailoa scrambled for 8 yards on third-and-goal, however Maryland was compelled to accept a 41-yard subject aim by graduate switch kicker Chad Ryland that tied the sport at 20.
Midway by way of the third quarter, Mordecai made Maryland pay for its errors when he threw his third landing move of the night time, a 7-yard completion to Moochie Dixon, to give SMU a 27-20 benefit with 6:42 left.
“My rule is that we do not speak to the opposite workforce or the officers,” Locksley stated. “When you get a penalty for throwing the ball at a man’s face or responding as a result of a man stepped in your foot on goal, you bought to present maturity.”
Maryland’s egregious quantity of penalties might’ve ruined an inspiring night time, but the Terps confirmed sufficient self-discipline to enhance to 9-1 in nonconference video games underneath Locksley.
After Dixon’s landing catch, Hemby broke unfastened for a 34-yard acquire earlier than making a 14-yard reception to shut out the third quarter. The former John Carroll standout would begin the fourth by marching into the tip zone for a 1-yard rating to tie the sport at 27.
Mordecai examined Maryland’s secondary early, beginning 8-for-16 for 116 yards. However, Maryland made a pair of stops on third down, forcing the Mustangs to accept 27- and 43-yard subject objectives to take a 6-3 lead. Even after Mordecai threw a 51-yard landing to RJ Maryland to give SMU a 13-3 lead in the second, the Terps answered with an 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive that ended with operating again Antwain Littleton II leaping into the tip. zone for a 1-yard rating that reduce the deficit to 13-10 with underneath six minutes remaining in the primary half.
After Brade’s interception with 4:46 to go, Jarrett caught a 48-yard landing move for a 17-13 benefit.
“We did not play to our commonplace for the complete recreation,” Hemby stated. “But we got here up with a win on the finish of the day, and we’ll get it cleaned up.”
But in the end, Tagovailoa showcased his capability to deal with clutch conditions. Facing fourth-and-9 on the SMU 45-yard line with 10:55 to go, he discovered Dyches over the center, and the tight finish fought by way of a deal with to decide up the primary down. After 5 straight carries by Hemby moved the Terps to the Mustangs’ 5, Tagovailoa faked a handoff, rolled left and flipped a brief move to Dyches, who corralled it with one hand and dove into the tip zone for the game-winning landing.
“It reveals that in clutch moments that we stepped up to the plate and did not shoot ourselves in the foot,” stated Brade, who totaled 15 tackles and a compelled fumble in the third quarter that stopped a promising SMU drive in the purple zone . “But 15 [penalties] is so much so we acquired to determine that out.”
NOTE: Maryland junior cornerback Tarheeb Still performed Saturday after lacking final week’s win over Charlotte due to a reduce finger. Locksley stated Tuesday that Still had surgical procedure to restore a tendon in his finger after a “freak accident” in the locker room and wouldn’t play. Still was not listed on the workforce’s depth chart earlier than the sport.
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