Maryland Football: Three takeaways from Towson win

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Maryland football team made headlines across the country for their victory over Texas in their season opener.

The Terrapins followed their tremendous performance with an equally impressive one on Saturday. Maryland topped Towson 63-17 behind a mind-numbing six rushing touchdowns and quarterback Kasim Hill tossed two more through the air.

Maryland obviously wasn’t expected to struggle in this game. However, Towson redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Stover actually played a decent game in the first half as he tossed a touchdown pass.

The Terps were able to extend the lead to 28-7 at halftime. Then the floodgates opened in the second stanza.

Maryland outscored Towson 35-10 in the second half and even got a good amount of the backups playing time in the fourth quarter.

“Running Back U”

It’s been no secret that Maryland has been one of the better running teams in the Big Ten in recent years.

On Saturday, the Terps rushed for 367 yards and six touchdowns against the Tigers. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Maryland running backs averaged 10.2 yards-per-carry.

No single back received double-digit carries in this game. Ty Johnson rushed just five times, but racked up 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

Johnson averaged an absurd 24.8 yards-per-carry on the afternoon. It also helps when a back has touchdown runs of 74 and 46 yards in a single game.

Sophomore Lorenzo Harrison III had just 34 rushing yards, but there will be plenty of instances where he excels this season. Instead, the Terps got production from backs further down the depth chart.

Jake Funk had just three carries, but took one of them for a 25-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Funk took a handoff, was able to find a running lane to the outside, and found the end zone.

In addition, freshman Javon Leake saw his first collegiate action. Leake only had four carries, but broke off a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

He showed burst on the few runs he did have. Some may have expected to see former four-star recruit Anthony McFarland in that spot, but coach D.J. Durkin said after the game that McFarland still isn’t completly 100 percent healthy.

D.J. Moore is an elite wideout

Over D.J. Moore’s first two seasons in College Park, Maryland’s quarterback play wasn’t exactly what you would call steady.

Through two games in 2017, Moore is showing that he’s one of the elite wide receivers in the Big Ten.

Moore hauled in seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in the win over Texas. On Saturday, the Pennsylvania native was just as impressive with seven receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

On the first touchdown, Moore made a very difficult touchdown catch in single coverage from Hill. He had caught a 17-yard pass on the prior play to set up the Terps in the red zone.

Less than four minutes later, Moore found paydirt on a screen pass from Hill from 34 yards out. If you’re familiar with Moore’s high school career, he took quite a few screen passes to the house during his time at Imhotep (Pa.).

Moore is a sensational wideout that really has all the tools. He’s quick, has great hands, and plays through contact.

He had six touchdown receptions as a sophomore, which isn’t a bad number by any stretch. However, the former three-star recruit could blow that number out of the water this fall.

Defense is littered with playmakers

A lot of the talk about Saturday’s game will likely surround the offense and for good reason.

However, Maryland’s defense had quite an afternoon and flexed their muscles quite a bit.

The Terps registered 12 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, and two interceptions during Saturday’s win. Linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. led the team with eight tackles while fellow linebacker Shane Cockerille racked up seven.

One of the most impressive players of the day came in the second quarter. Safety Darnell Savage Jr. was in perfect position to haul in an overthrown ball from Stover and ended up taking it back 75 yards for the touchdown.

Savage’s key play helped extend Maryland’s lead to three touchdowns as halftime drew closer.

With 10:46 left in the third quarter, jack-of-all-trades defender Antoine Brooks continued his reign of terror in the defensive backfield.

Stover lofted a deep pass down the sideline, but Brooks stayed in tight coverage and saw the ball all the way. This comes a week after recording four tackles and being an absolute ballhawk against Texas in the season opener.

Next: Maryland Football: Terps topple Towson

Durkin is really starting to put together a phenomenal defense. While the unit struggled at times last season, 2017 could be extremely promising and this could be one of the more underrated defenses in the conference.