Coming in against Central Florida, Maryland football fans were thinking of possible Top 25 rankings, but a 38-10 slapping by the Knights certainly will end those thoughts.
A back-and-forth game in the first quarter quickly turned horrifying when Maryland saw freshman quarterback Kasim Hill go down with an injury after being hit on a scramble.
“They were the team that was executing and we were not,” coach D.J. Durkin said after the game.
He continued by adding that “consistency dropped off across the board.” For the first half of their matchup, Maryland simply had no control over what was happening on the field.
Max Bortenschlager then took over, and could not connect with his receivers. The Terrapins really struggled on third down, going 0-of-6 in the first half.
Sustaining long drives and keeping the Central Florida offense off the field was a huge key for Maryland to have success.
Because of there being no pass game to worry about, Central Florida also held running backs Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison in check. Maryland ran for just 32 yards in the first 30 minutes of the game.
Maryland trailed 14-3 at halftime after two first half rushing touchdowns from Taj McGowan. Central Florida immediately took a 21-3 in the third quarter and made any comeback an uphill battle.
Durkin shed some light on the adjustments Central Florida made saying “being two dimensional helps [Maryland]” and that they were simply able to load the box once the saw the passing struggles.
The second half did not show much of any promise for this Maryland team. As fans slowly filed out over time, the team continued to be shut down by Central Florida and run over by their offense.
Wide receiver D.J. Moore did snatch a poorly thrown ball out of the air and ran it in for a 20-yard touchdown. His third touchdown of the season came from the third different quarterback Maryland has had to play under center.
Johnson was completely shut down, as he took 11 rushes just 39 yards, but had 14 negative yards to leave him at just 25 for the whole game. Harrison had slightly more success, taking 10 rushes 48 yards including just three negative yards.
Lnebacker Jermaine Carter Jr said after the game that the defense is “expected to make stops no matter what happens on offense.” He also provided his mindset going forward, mentioning that “…at the end of each week, we’re 0-0.”
Maryland travels to Minnesota for their first Big Ten matchup of the season next week.