Sep 30, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) reacts after running for a touchdown during the first half against the Indiana Hoosiers  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland improves to 5-0 with rout of Indiana

Taulia Tagovailoa fueled the quick-strike offense of Maryland, throwing a career-high five touchdown passes as the Terps rolled to a 44-17 Big Ten win over visiting Indiana on Saturday in College Park, Md.

Tagovailoa completed 24 of 34 passes for 352 yards without an interception. He also ran for a score and facilitated a career performance from Tai Felton, a junior who made his first three touchdown catches this season.

The defense of Maryland (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) also excelled, helping the Terps to their quickest start since 2001. It also is their first 2-0 start in the Big Ten since joining the league in 2014.

Indiana (2-3, 0-2) dominated time of possession, 38:04 to 21:56, but didn’t get into the end zone until the fourth quarter.

The Terps scored on three of their first four possessions and needed just six plays to do it.

Their first touchdown came 25 seconds into the game when Felton caught a 13-yard touchdown pass, two plays after Tagovailoa and Jones hooked up for 62 yards on the game’s first snap.

After a short punt and a penalty on the Hoosiers, it took Tagovailoa and Felton just one play to connect for a 29-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.

A 23-yard punt return by Jones put Maryland back in scoring position and two plays later, Tagovailoa sprinted 19 yards on a read-option touchdown run and a 21-3 lead.

In the final minute of the first half, Tagovailoa threw a 9-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Felton for a 27-3 lead.

Felton nearly had a fourth touchdown grab but his 46-yard reception of an underthrown Tagovailoa pass set up a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Wade for a 37-3 lead.

Felton finished with 134 yards on seven receptions, both career highs. Jones caught six for 121 yards.

Indiana’s Tayven Jackson finished with 17 completions in 29 attempts for 113 yards and one interception.

Brendan Sorsby came off the bench in the fourth quarter for the Hoosiers and threw the first two touchdown passes of his college career. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 84 yards.

Now comes the hard part for Maryland as three of its next six games come against Big Ten teams who entered Saturday ranked in the top six.

— Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA;  Michigan State Spartans defensive back Chance Rucker (25) chases Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) out of the pocket in the first quarter at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland too much for Spartans

Taulia Tagovailoa passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns and undefeated Maryland took advantage of turnovers to secure a 31-9 win over Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.

Tagovailoa also scored a rushing touchdown for Maryland (4-0, 1-0) in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Spartans starting quarterback Noah Kim completed 18 of 33 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown. He was also picked off twice. The Spartans committed five turnovers.

Michigan State (2-2) has lost twice since head coach Mel Tucker was suspended amid sexual harassment allegations.

Maryland grabbed a 21-3 halftime lead.

Beau Brade picked off a Kim pass on Michigan State’s opening possession. Maryland then drove 45 yards to take a 7-0 lead. Tagovailoa tossed a 1-yard pass to Sean Greeley for the score.

The Spartans moved all the way to the Terrapins’ 1-yard line on their next possession but on fourth down, Nate Carter (97 yards) was stopped for a 4-yard loss by Fa’Najae Gotay.

Maryland then used an 11-play drive to take a two-touchdown lead. Colby McDonald had a 25-yard run to set up a 12-yard scoring pass from Tagovailoa to Tyrese Chambers.

The Terrapins took advantage of another Spartans giveaway for their next touchdown. Carter fumbled and Donnell Brown recovered at the Spartans’ 32-yard line. Tagovailoa’s 22-yard pass to Octavian Smith Jr. set up the quarterback’s 1-yard scoring plunge.

Jonathan Kim put the Spartans on the board with a 37-yard field goal.

Michigan State cut Maryland’s advantage to 21-9 during the third quarter on Noah Kim’s 9-yard scoring pass to Tyrell Henry. Kim had a 33-yard completion to Jaron Glover during the drive and Carter contributed a 19-yard run.

The Terrapins increased their lead to 24-9 when Jack Howes converted a 48-yard field-goal attempt.

Quarterback Katin Houser led the Spartans deep into Maryland territory but was picked off by Tarheeb Still at the Terrapins 9-yard line with 5:48 left.

Tagovailoa hooked up with Smith on a 31-yard scoring pass on a fourth-down play for a 22-point lead.

–Field Level Media

Michigan State's Noah Kim throws a pass against Washington during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

Michigan State hosts Maryland, aims to rebound from on- and off-field woes

The ugliness going on behind the scenes at Michigan State spilled onto the football field last weekend.

The Spartans will try to bounce back from that woeful on-field performance when they open their Big Ten season against undefeated Maryland at East Lansing, Mich., Saturday.

Michigan State served notice on Monday to suspended head coach Mel Tucker that it intends to fire him for cause. Accusations of sexual harassment by Tucker surfaced the previous week.

The Spartans (2-1) were pummeled at home 41-7 by No. 8 Washington last Saturday. Their defense was shredded for 713 total yards, including 536 passing.

“We got our butts kicked,” Michigan State interim coach Harlon Barnett said. “Now, how do we improve from that and get better from that?”

Barnett summed it up in simple terms.

“The word I’ve been focused on this week is discipline,” he said. “If we’re disciplined, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to play a much better ballgame — less penalties, substitution errors, things like that.”

Quarterback Noah Kim was held to 136 passing yards and was intercepted for the first time this season by the Huskies.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has been picked off twice this season but also has completed 66.7 percent of his throws, including five touchdowns. He threw for 342 yards and a touchdown in a 42-14 victory over Virginia last week.

Tagovailoa passed for 314 yards and a touchdown in Maryland’s 27-13 victory over the Spartans last season.

The Terrapins (3-0) have outscored their three nonconference opponents 118-40 this season, but coach Mike Locksley said he hasn’t been overly impressed.

“We made it through our nonconference schedule,” he said. “We did what was necessary, but we also realize the things we did in those three games aren’t sufficient because we’re still a work in progress.”

Maryland gave up two touchdowns to Virginia in the first quarter, then scored 42 unanswered points. The previous week, Charlotte took a 14-0 lead before the Terps won 38-20.

“I’d like to see us get back to our standard of starting fast and finishing strong,” Locksley said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Shaleak Knotts (4) is tackled during the second quarter against the Virginia Cavaliers at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Taulia Tagovailoa throws for 342 as Maryland races past Virginia

Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 342 yards and Maryland intercepted three consecutive passes in a dominant fourth quarter to overcome another slow start en route to a 42-14 thrashing of Virginia on Friday in College Park, Md.

Maryland (3-0) fell behind 14-0 for the second straight week before it cranked out 42 straight points, including 21 in the game’s final 12 minutes, to capture its 11th straight nonconference victory.

Tarheeb Still provided the game’s first turnover when he intercepted Cavaliers freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea in the end zone on the third play of the fourth quarter with Maryland ahead 21-14. The Terps capitalized by moving 80 yards on nine plays to build a 28-14 cushion on Roman Hemby’s 3-yard plunge with 11:10 to play.

Donnell Brown’s juggling pick on Virginia’s next snap set up Antwain Littleton II’s 2-yard touchdown run before Still struck again with his second pick on the Cavaliers’ ensuing drive. Colby McDonald’s 1-yard dive capped the scoring with 5:58 to play.

Tagovailoa completed 19 of 30 passes and put Maryland in front for good when he connected with Jeshaun Jones for a 64-yard touchdown that made it 21-14 with 9:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Jones hauled in five passes for 96 yards to lead the Terps, while McDonald paced Maryland with 75 yards on the ground. Hemby found paydirt twice on nine carries.

Colandrea went 23 of 39 for 263 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in his second straight start for Virginia (0-3). The Cavaliers were expected to start Tony Muskett after the senior missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury.

Colandrea hit Malik Washington down the left sideline on a flea flicker for 49 yards on the Cavaliers’ first offensive snap, and Perris Jones dashed to the left pylon two plays later for a 13-yard touchdown that put Virginia ahead 7-0. Washington caught nine passes for 141 yards.

The Cavaliers kept cooking after Maryland missed a 55-yard field goal, marching 63 yards on seven plays to double their lead after Colandrea found Kobe Pace in the end zone for a 19-yard score.

Maryland responded immediately when Braeden Wisloski raced down the left sideline untouched for a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown that trimmed the Cavaliers’ lead in half with 4:03 left in the first quarter.

The Terps’ defense dug in and forced consecutive punts before Tagovailoa connected with five different receivers throughout a 97-yard drive that Hemby capped with a 3-yard run to even the game at 14-14 entering halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins running back Roman Hemby (24) rushes during the second half against the Charlotte 49ers at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland, Virginia renew old ACC rivalry

Maryland moved to the Big Ten in 2014 and storied rivalries with longtime ACC opponents, particularly Virginia, went by the wayside.

The Cavaliers and Terrapins reconvene for the first time since 2013 when Maryland (2-0) hosts Virginia (0-2) under the lights on Friday in College Park, Md.

A fast start is the focus of the Terps after stumbling out of the gate last Saturday against Charlotte. Maryland entered as a 24.5-point favorite, but trailed 14-0 less than four minutes into the contest, didn’t score a touchdown in the first half and only led by three entering the fourth quarter.

The Terps eventually pulled away with three touchdowns in the fourth, including Roman Hemby’s 15-yard scamper that sealed Maryland’s 38-20 victory.

“Nobody in that locker room is excited about how we played,” head coach Michael Locksley said. “But we overcame some early adversity which kind of showed me we’re the type of team that I thought we could be. We battled back after a slow start and I didn’t see anybody panic.”

Hemby rushed for 162 yards, while Taulia Tagovailoa completed 25 of 36 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

The Cavaliers are recovering from Saturday’s emotional 36-35 loss to James Madison in the team’s first home game since three Virginia football players were killed in a campus shooting last November.

Virginia led 35-24 entering the fourth quarter before a lightning delay halted the game for nearly 70 minutes. The Cavaliers then surrendered two touchdowns in the final nine minutes, including the go-ahead score with 55 seconds remaining.

“This one hurts, and it’s gonna hurt for a while,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said. ” … Do they deserve to win? I believe so, because of the people that they are and what they’ve been through, but, unfortunately, the game of football, it’s not a game of [deserving], it’s about what you earn.”

Freshman Anthony Colandrea connected on 20 of 26 passes for 377 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in place of senior Tony Muskett, who injured his shoulder in Virginia’s loss against then-No. 12 Tennessee on Sept. 2.

Elliott said he expects Muskett will be ready to play on Friday.

Maryland is 45-32-2 all-time against Virginia in a series that dates back to 1919. The Terps edged the visiting Cavaliers 27-26 in the teams’ most recent matchup, their 70th as ACC rivals.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) throws from the pocket during the first half against the Charlotte 49ers at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland catches fire after slow start, tackles Charlotte

Taulia Tagovailoa shrugged off a slow start to throw for 287 yards and a touchdown on Saturday night as Maryland rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to top Charlotte 38-20 in College Park, Md.

Tagovailoa sealed the victory by lofting a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Prather with 8:06 left in the game, three plays after Donnell Brown ended a promising 49ers drive by intercepting Jalon Jones at the Terrapins 26-yard line.

Tagovailoa completed 25 of 36 passes with two interceptions, while Roman Hemby rushed for 162 yards and a score on 19 carries. Maryland (2-0) outgained Charlotte 530-314 and scored 38 straight points until Joachim Bangda’s 1-yard touchdown run for the 49ers with 1:22 left.

Billy Edwards Jr.’s 1-yard TD run with 9:18 left in the third quarter put the Terrapins ahead for good. Teammate Colby McDonald made it 24-14 just over three minutes into the fourth quarter by zipping 23 yards off left tackle for a score.

Jones hit on 8 of 15 passes for 116 yards and ran for a team-high 67 yards on 16 carries for the 49ers (1-1).

Favored heavily at kickoff, Maryland laid a giant egg in the first quarter, enabling Charlotte to take a 14-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. Jones’ play-fake froze multiple defenders, allowing him to find Jairus Mack for a 48-yard touchdown strike.

On the Terrapins’ first snap from scrimmage, Tagovailoa tried a short pass, and Demetrius Knight II picked it off and went 16 yards to the end zone for a pick-6. It didn’t get any better for Maryland the rest of the quarter, as the 49ers had 105 yards to minus-2 for the Terrapins at one point.

But Maryland finally found some footing in the second quarter as Tagovailoa got going in the air. Charlotte did manage to stiffen once the ball reached the 30, forcing Jack Howes to boot 32, 38 and 45-yard field goals. That allowed the 49ers to lead 14-9 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) looks to throw as the action reflects off his visor during the first half against the Towson Tigers  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Taulia Tagovailoa leads Maryland to easy win over Towson

Taulia Tagovailoa tossed for three touchdowns and ran for one as host Maryland cruised 38-6 to a win over FCS foe Towson in the season opener for both teams on Saturday in College Park, Md.

Tagovailoa scored on the first possession of the Terrapins’ season, a 23-yard scramble wide open to his right. He went on to hit three receivers for touchdowns and finished 22-of-33 for 260 yards.

Beginning his fourth season as Maryland’s starter, Tagovailoa became the first player in program history to surpass 8,000 career passing yards. He took a shot during the first drive that appeared to leave him shaken up, but he played through it until exiting late in the third quarter with the game in hand.

Roman Hemby ran for 58 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for Maryland.

The Terrapins’ defense bent but didn’t break, holding Towson’s Nathan Kent to 128 yards on 16-of-31 passing.

Maryland tight end Corey Dyches racked up a team-high 108 yards on six receptions. He also caught Tagovailoa’s first passing touchdown, a 23-yarder with 4:29 left in the first quarter.

Jeshaun Jones caught a pass on a comeback route, shook his defender and had an easy path into the end zone from 24 yards out to make it 21-0 in the final minute of the first.

Keegan Vaughan made a 36-yard field goal for Towson at the end of a 54-yard drive, but with 14 seconds left in the half, Tagovailoa hit Kaden Prather for 13 yards over a defender in the back-right corner of the end zone to give Maryland a 28-3 halftime lead.

Hemby cut his way through the defense for a 9-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. Hemby led a Terrapins rushing attack that finished with 166 yards (4.6 per carry).

Vaughan made a 38-yard field goal to conclude a 16-play, 53-yard Towson drive late in the third quarter, and Evan Johnson replied for Maryland with a 24-yarder in the fourth.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide cheerleaders lead out the players from the tunnel to start the game against the LSU Tigers before the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

German LB Justin Okoronkwo commits to Alabama

Alabama landed a 2024 commitment of linebacker Justin Okoronkwo of Germany on Sunday.

He’s listed as a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, and he had offers from other Power Five schools, including Penn State and Michigan.

Okoronkwo committed to Maryland last Nov. 29 and made an official visit on June 23. But on his U.S. trip, he also attended camps at Alabama, Georgia and Nebraska and apparently reconsidered the Terrapins, decommitting from Maryland on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3 Okoronkwo announced his decision on Twitter on Sunday.

He becomes the 11th commit to the Crimson Tide’s Class of 2024, which is led by five-star quarterback Julian Sayin of Carlsbad, Calif.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley on the sidelines during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the 2022 Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland updates contract of football coach Mike Locksley

Maryland is amending the contract of football coach Mike Locksley after an eight-win season, and he reportedly is getting a big raise.

While Maryland announced his contract will have new terms, the school did not reveal the money.

Locksley signed a new contract last spring that paid him $4 million a year. Under the amended deal, he will earn $5.5 million in base salary with a $300,000 increase every year, per Sports Illustrated.

The $4 million salary was tied for the lowest in the Big Ten in 2022. Michigan State’s Mel Tucker earned about $9.5 million in 2022, according to the USA Today database of coaches’ salaries.

His contract expires after the 2027 season but will have a season added to it if the Terrapins can post a seven-win season in 2023.

Maryland finished the 2022 season at 8-5, the winningest season since 2010. The Terrapins beat North Carolina State 16-12 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl to conclude the season.

Locksley, 53, enters his fifth season at Maryland with a 21-28 record.

–Field Level Media

May 8, 2022; Birmingham, AL, USA;  Houston Gamblers head coach Kevin Sumlin paces the sidelines during the first half at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Maryland hires Kevin Sumlin as assistant

Maryland has hired former head coach Kevin Sumlin as a co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, On3 and InsideMDSports reported Tuesday.

Sumlin spent 2022 as the head coach and general manager of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers.

It’s unclear who the other co-offensive coordinator would be to help replace Dan Enos, who left to take the OC job at Arkansas.

Sumlin, 58, went 95-63 at three stops in 13 seasons as head coach in the college ranks — Houston (2008-11), Texas A&M (2012-17) and Arizona (2018-20). He went 3-7 with the Gamblers in 2022.

He sat out the 2021 season.

It would be Sumlin’s first job as an assistant coach since 2007, when he was co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach at Oklahoma.

The Terrapins set various program records both years under Enos, including quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa breaking all of Maryland’s major single-season and career passing records. In 2022, Maryland ranked fourth in the Big Ten in total offense (401.2 yards per game), third in passing offense (259.8 ypg) and fifth in scoring (28.2 ppg).

Tagovailoa announced last month that he’s returning to Maryland for one more season in 2023.

–Field Level Media