COLLEGE PARK — On Saturday afternoon, the Maryland Terrapins football team (3-1) began Big 10 play as they hosted the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1), who also started Big 10 play. Coming off a 35-14 home loss to Temple the week before, the Terps were able to bounce back as they steamrolled the Gophers 42-13 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
“Really proud of our players,” said University of Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada. “They deserve all the credit. Had a tough one last week, didn’t play as well as we wanted to play. Came back, played extremely well today.”
The first score from Maryland came on the first drive of the game, as the eight-play, 75-yard drive resulted in redshirt freshman Anthony McFarland weaving his way for a 26-yard touchdown run, the first of his Maryland career. The Terps led 7-0 at that point.
The Terps found the end zone again in the first when senior running back Ty Johnson raced 81 yards all the way for the score that extended the lead to 14-0.
After a Minnesota field goal that cut the deficit to 14-3, Maryland redshirt freshman quarterback Kasim Hill found himself in some trouble as he got pressured by the Gophers’ defense, but before getting sacked, he released the ball in time and found his receiver, DJ Turner, as the junior scored on a 54-yard catch-and-run touchdown to increase the lead to 21-3.
Just before the half ended, freshman Gophers quarterback Zack Annexstad hooked up with freshman Rashod Bateman to score on a 17-yard pass, which was Minnesota’s only touchdown of the afternoon, to cut it to 21-10.
However, it wasn’t just the Terps’ offense that dominated, the defense also made a major impact. Early in the third quarter, Annexstad’s pass was intercepted by senior linebacker Tre Watson, who returned the pick 36 yards to the end zone to extend the blowout lead to 28-10. Senior cornerback RaVon Davis also got a pick off of Annexstad in the corner of the end zone late in the game.
Minnesota’s final score of the game came on a 41-yard field goal by Emmit Carpenter in the middle of the third. Carpenter went two-for-two on field goal attempts.
However, after that, it was Maryland’s game. On the ensuing possession, McFarland found the end zone once again on a 64-yard scamper. Then, in the fourth quarter, freshman tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo took the handoff on a jet sweep and scored from 21 yards out.
The Terps’ offense racked up 432 yards of total offense, including 117 yards through the air, and 315 yards on the ground.
Hill had himself a day, as he went 10-of-14, passing for 117 yards and a touchdown. Tailbacks Johnson and McFarland both rushed for over 100 yards; Johnson led the way with 123 yards and one score on 11 carries, while McFarland totaled 112 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.
Despite allowing 169 passing yards from the Gophers, Maryland’s defense was able to stop the run, allowing just 94 total rushing yards. The D also forced three turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery. They also held Minnesota to 5-of-16 on third downs.
“Guys just flew around and played with a lot of energy,” Watson said. “We have a dude on this defense who can fly around and make plays at any moment, and you saw that from basically everybody on the defense.”
Next week is Maryland’s bye week, but in two weeks, the Terps will head out to Ann Arbor to face fellow Big 10 opponent Michigan on Oct. 6 at 12 p.m.