COLLEGE PARK – Coming off a stunning 51-41 victory at then-ranked Texas on Sept. 2, the Maryland Terrapins football team scored the most points the program has seen since 1954 (74) as they throttled Towson in their home opener, 63-14.
Head Coach D.J. Durkin praised his team’s energy throughout the game. The starting offense exploded onto the field, scoring on their first three drives while moving the ball down field in seven plays or less.
“I’m happy with our team and the way they came out,” Durkin said. “They really had the right mindset for this game. They came out, started fast and I’m glad we did that. We’re 2-0 and we get a bye early in the season. That’s the way it is and we will take it and continue to work to get better.”
Ty Johnson ran for more than 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game, which is now a new school record. He finished with 125 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries – the fourth time he has scored multiple touchdowns in a game in his career. He also became the fourth Terp to have four straight games with more than 100 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, in his first start, freshman quarterback Kasim Hill showed poise in the pocket, completing 13-for-16 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. With Tyrrell Pigrome out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Hill’s performance and communication with the offensive line was key in keeping Maryland’s high tempo offense moving quickly, Durkin said.
“He has a good understanding of the offense,” sophomore guard Terrance Davis said. “He’s cool and calm and whenever he sees the pressure, he checks to it. He understands his matchups and we get into good positions the majority of the time and that is how we are successful on offense.”
Maryland scored on three of its first four drives in the first half, with each touchdown more dramatic than the next. After wide receiver D.J. Moore caught the first two scores, Johnson broke through for a 74-yard touchdown run to amplify the score.
Towson responded with a 10-yard pass play to wide receiver Jabari Allen, and then forced the Terps’ offense to punt and turn the ball over on downs during their following two possessions.
However, as Towson quarterback Ryan Stover overthrew a receiver, Maryland cornerback Darnell Savage, Jr. intercepted the ball and dodged multiple defenders on his way to a touchdown right before halftime.
“I was in the middle of the field, basically being safety, and I saw the quarterback’s eyes go that way,” Savage, Jr. said. “When I saw him throw the ball, I knew I had a good jump on it. I ran over there and I caught it. And when I caught it, I just saw a lot of black jerseys in front of me and let them lead me to the endzone.”
The offense saw continued success in the second half, scoring five straight touchdowns despite giving younger and reserve players playing time midway through the third quarter.
The Terps’ defense continued to terrorize Towson, limiting the Tigers to just seven yards of offense and picking up another interception by sophomore Antoine Brooks, Jr. in the third quarter. Durkin said he believes the defense’s play as a unit will provide Maryland good results throughout the year.
“I have great confidence in our defense and I think we have shown in two weeks what we are capable of,” Durkin said. “There are plenty of things to clean up and consistency on every drive is what we strive for.”
It is the first time in Maryland football history that the team has scored more than 50 points in back-to-back games. The carryover of momentum will have two weeks to grow before the Terps next game at home against the University of Central Florida on Sept. 23.
Local Notes: Former high school products started for Towson, including Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. grad Antonio Harris. Fellow lineman from Riverdale Baptist Andrew Garnett was listed as the team’s second-string right tackle. Red-shirted senior defensive lineman D’Sean Cummings played his high school career at Frederick Douglass.