Maryland football passed Howard 62-0 in his second game of the season. The Terps scored 38 points in the first half and continued from there. It was a full team effort as Maryland delivered points and kept his energy throughout the game.
Now Maryland has a shorter week en route to Friday’s game against Illinois, its first Big Ten matchup of the season, and will try to build on this momentum from its first two wins. Maryland has not won three consecutive games to start the season since 2016, when it defeated Howard, FIU and UCF.
The Howard game gave Maryland a chance to correct some of its mistakes from the first win against West Virginia and showcase its talent ahead of the conference game.
A great team with attention you know our team for four quarters no matter who is in the game maintained the intensity we wanted and we talked about going into the game with the standard we set said head coach Michael Locksley.
Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from Saturday’s game.
Dontay Demus Jr. again played an exceptional game and remains a constant talent for this team.
Expectations were high for Demus Jr. prior to the season, as he was one of two Terps, along with tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo, who was put on the Senior Bowl waiting list. The senior was also named on the Biletnikoff Award watchlist for the second consecutive year, which honors the nation’s top recipient.
The last time a Terp earned this preseason recognition twice in a row was when Stefon Diggs did in 2013 and 2014. However, as the season begins, Demus Jr. follow in some of Digg’s footsteps.
Within the first five minutes of the game, Demus Jr. his first matchup receipt, after six consecutive games, the wide receiver caught a touchdown. Six games with a receiving touchdown is the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the longest streak in program history dating back to at least 1985.
Demus Jr. finished the first half with 107 yards, making him the first Terp to rack up more than 100 yard receiving games in a row since Diggs in 2013. Diggs had 179 yards against Old Dominion, followed by a 110-yard play against UConn.
Against West Virginia, Demus Jr. a career-high 133-yard performance and he finished the day against Howard with a team-high 128 yards.
The senior from Washington DC has been a fixture for the Terps since his freshman year. Demus Jr. has played in all 34 games over the past four seasons and continues to impress.
He’s been Mr. Consistent to us for the past few years, Locksley said. But what I think you’re seeing now is, you know, the returns of the work he’s done this summer.
Overall, Marylands receiving corps has shone so far this season, giving quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa a plethora of options to dig deep for touchdowns.
Marylands receiving corps is filled with weapons between Demus Jr., Rakim Jarrett, Jeshaun Jones and Brian Cobbs and against Howard, Demus Jr., Jarrett and junior receiver Carlos Carriere all found the end zone.
The leadership of Demus Jr. extends beyond his stats as he was able to lead the host core and play a role in helping to develop this host group.
When I walked in I thought he would have been like, this is my receiving group, no one else can even touch it. But you know, he’s welcomed me, he gave me tips and tools to improve my game and he’s a real team man, Jarrett said of Demus Jr. That’s all you can really ask for in Dontay, he’s also a great player so he’s a special person.
Marylands bank showed his talent.
The advantage of playing a game where a team shuts out its opponent by such a large margin is that the coaching staff can see some of its players who don’t often play on the field.
Against Howard, they were able to do just that and show what the future of Marylands could possibly look like.
With nine minutes to go into the first half, freshman Colby McDonald had his first career rush that quickly turned into his first career touchdown. McDonald took the ball on a handoff from Tagovailoa and ran 11 yards into the endzone for the touchdown that extends Marylands’ lead into the second quarter.
Running back Peny Boone also registered his first career touchdown against the Bison. With about five minutes left in the top half, Boone had a 4-yard rush to the endzone.
With about eight minutes to go into the third quarter, quarterback Reece Udinski entered the game for Tagoviloa. On his first drive as Terp, Udinski marched the ball across the field, 68 yards. He was 4-for-4 and ended the drive with a touchdown pass to Carriere.
Running backs Roman Hemby and Antwain Littleton also showed their potential. Hemby finished the game with 12 carries for 45 yards, a touchdown, and a long 11-yard rush. The freshman running back averaged 3.8 yards per carry. Littleton had eight carries for 29 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry.
Well, I was actually really happy with that group, said defender Tarheeb Still. Those groups actually very full, you know, got a lot of depth. There are many young guys who have shown what they can do. So that was just a glimpse of what those guys can do.
On the defensive side, freshman defensive lineman Taizse Johnson came into play and made a tackle and freshman defensive tackle Darrell Jackson, who ended the game with a tackle.
The future looks bright for us, Locksley said. It was a great opportunity to play a lot of young players and develop a roster.
The defense continues to suffocate its opponents.
While Howard’s offensive isn’t necessarily known for being fruitful, Maryland kept the Bison at just 146 yards and didn’t allow a single run. Dating back to Terps’ first game against West Virginia, Maryland has held opponents to just three points in the last six quarters of the game.
The Marylands defense failed to allow the Bison to convert by a single third deficit as they went 0-for-11. Against West Virginia, Maryland allowed the Mountaineers to convert on just five of their 14 first-down attempts, meaning the Terps allowed only five third-down conversions in two games.
Howard also only made 49 plays compared to Marylands 81, as the Terps were in complete control of possession. Maryland had the ball for more than 37 minutes while the defense kept Howard on offense for just 19 minutes.
This is a theme taken from the West Virginia game. The Mountaineers played 61 games while the Terps played nearly the same number they played against the Bison, 80. In that first game, Maryland also checked the clock holding the ball for 34 minutes, while West Virginia was on offense for 26 minutes.
Another common thread in this matchup was linebacker Jakorian Bennett having an interception, his second of the season. This was the first time a Terp has had back-to-back interception games since linebacker Tre Watson took interceptions against Rutgers and Iowa in 2018.
The Marylands defense closed the game with a total of 37 tackles, with freshman linebacker Branden Jennings and freshman defensive back Dante Trader leading the charge. Jennings and Trader each had four tackles and Jennings had one tackle for a loss of yards.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Deshawn Holt and grad defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu also had some successful plays for the Terps, taking three and two tackles respectfully. Both players also recorded the two sacks incurred by the Marylands defense.
I love football to the death, man, and I respect Howard, Holt said. It was a great, great opponent and like I said, you just have to prepare for next week.
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