The Maryland football team was written off by a lot of people after quarterback Kasim Hill tore his ACL last week and was lost for the season.
However, the Terrapins wouldn’t be denied on Saturday as they used a late 34-yard touchdown from Ty Johnson to defeat Minnesota 31-24. Johnson found paydirt with just 1:10 remaining in the game.
Minnesota had some time to try and take the ball down the field. However, quarterback Conor Rhoda was intercepted by cornerback J.C. Jackson to seal the win for the Terps.
Johnson rushed for 130 yards on 18 carries against the Golden Gophers. Lorenzo Harrison also added 75 yards on the ground in the win.
Quarterback Max Bortenschlager had a strong showing just one week after being sacked five times at the hands of Central Florida. Bortenschlager completed 18-of-28 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.
Maryland started off the game by running the football at a very high rate. 10 plays of the drive were of the running variety.
The Terps’ first drive got all the way to the one-yard line before getting pushed back due to a delay of game penalty. On fourth-and-goal, Maryland elected for a fake field goal, but backup quarterback Ryan Brand was stopped at the one-yard line.
After their first drive resulted in no points on a gutsy call, Maryland gambled once again on 4th-and-10 at the Minnesota 30-yard line. Bortenschlager was able to get the ball to a diving DJ Turner for a 22-yard reception to move the chains.
Just two plays later, Bortenschlager ran the ball right up the middle for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Terps a 7-0 lead with 2:44 remaining in the opening quarter.
On the ensuing drive for Minnesota, the Golden Gophers received a pair of 20-plus yard receptions from tight ends Brandon Lingen and Nate Wozniak. Wozniak’s 23-yard catch put Minnesota at the three-yard line and running back Rodney Smith punched it in just two plays later for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.
In the second quarter, Minnesota got the ball down to the Maryland 15-yard line before Rhoda was intercepted by Josh Woods off a deflection.
The Terps made good use of the turnover as they embarked on a 92-yard drive. The drive concluded with Bortenschlager finding star wideout D.J. Moore in the corner of the end zone from 27 yards out.
It was Moore’s 14th career touchdown reception, which tied him with Stefon Diggs for fourth in program history.
The two teams traded field goals to end the first half. However, Maryland’s was a tad more dramatic.
Maryland had the ball with just 58 seconds remaining in the half. The Terps displayed spectacular time management, which was highlighted by a 17-yard run from Ty Johnson.
Johnson slide down with two seconds left at the 33-yard line to set the stage. Kicker Henry Darmstadter connected on a line drive field goal from 51 yards to give Maryland a 17-10 lead at halftime.
After Minnesota tied the game at 17 on a touchdown from tight end Brandon Lingen, Maryland responded with a run-inspired drive. Nine of the 11 plays were on the ground.
On third-and-goal, Bortenschlager rolled out to the right and found running back Jake Funk in the flat for a four-yard touchdown. It was Funk’s first career reception and his third touchdown of the season.
Funk’s touchdown put Maryland ahead 24-17 with 11:11 left in the game.
Maryland won their third game of the season and it was the third different starting quarterback to help put the Terps in the win column. Bortenschlager rebounded from an abysmal performance last week to really gut out a tough victory.
It also didn’t hurt that Maryland was 9-of-16 on third down. Star wide receiver D.J. Moore was a big reason for that as he hauled in eight passes for 90 yards and a sensational touchdown.
The Terps start off Big Ten play on the right foot with a hard-fought road win. Things don’t get any easier as Maryland travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State next Saturday.