Aerial Assault Carries Maryland Past Indiana


Sep 27, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs (1) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins football team had yet to put together a complete game on both sides of the ball this season.

Maybe all that they needed was to face a Big Ten team as the Terps played well on both sides of the football on Saturday afternoon.

Despite losing quarterback C.J. Brown at halftime due to a wrist injury, backup Caleb Rowe tossed a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Terps to a 37-15 win against Indiana in Bloomington.

It was the first game this season that star wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Long both had big days. Diggs hauled in six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, while Long caught nine balls for 105 yards.

The offensive flow was there for Maryland from their very first possession. Brown got the ball to Long on two occasions, and running back Brandon Ross had a pair of carries for 15 and 13 yards respectively. The Terps did end up settling for a field goal, which kicker Brad Craddock drilled from 48 yards out.

On their third possession of the game, Brown helped orchestrate a 13-play drive that ate 5:59 off the clock. It ended with a 5-yard touchdown from Brown to put Maryland on top 10-3.

On the very next drive, Maryland struck again. On just the third play of the drive, Brown hesitated, but was still able to connect with Diggs for a 29-yard touchdown with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter.

The Terps and Hoosiers traded field goals late in the first half, and Maryland took a 20-9 lead into the break.

Brown take the field at all in the second half, but Rowe responded on his first drive under center. Rowe hit a wide-open Ross for a 36-yard touchdown reception with 8:00 remaining in the third quarter. Ross’ touchdown grab gave the Terps a 27-9 lead, and really put the game out of the reach.

As impressive as the Terps were on the offensive side of the ball, they were just as strong on defense.

Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld only threw for 126 yards, and Maryland’s linebackers were primarily responsible for that. Guys like Cole Farrand and Yannick Ngakoue were in Sudfeld’s face all game. Farrand was arguably the best player on Maryland’s defensive unit.

Despite getting the news before the game that cornerback Alvin Hill will miss the rest of the season, Maryland’s secondary completely shut down Indiana’s playmakers. Nick Stoner was Indiana’s leading receiver with only 40 yards through the air. Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson was remarkable in coverage, and William Likely passed the test on deep balls quite often. Likely also added another interception to give him three on the young season.

With Ohio State looming next on the schedule, Maryland made a statement to the Big Ten on Saturday.

NOTES — C.J. Brown was seen sporting a cast on his left wrist in the second half. Per Roman Stubbs of The Washington Post, Brown has a sprained wrist. It’s unclear when exactly Brown suffered the injury as he took an abundance of tough hits in the first half. Brown could very well return next week to face the Buckeyes.

Freshman Juwann Winfree hauled in his first career catch, which happened to be a touchdown. Winfree took advantage of being covered by a linebacker, and caught a 30-yard touchdown from Rowe. Despite having wideouts like Diggs, Long, and Marcus Leak, it’s great to know that Winfree is up to play under the bright lights in conference play.