Nov 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) catches a pass as Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) defends during the first quarter at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Ohio State fends off pesky Maryland, 43-30

Dallan Hayden ran for three touchdowns as No. 2 Ohio State held off host Maryland 43-30 in College Park, Md., on Saturday.

Hayden, taking over when TreVeyon Henderson was reinjured, ran for 146 yards on 27 carries for the Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten). Quarterback C.J. Stroud was 18-of-30 passing for 241 yards and a touchdown.

Tulia Tagovailoa was 26 of 36 for 293 yards and three touchdowns for Maryland (6-5, 3-5).

Trailing by three in the third quarter, Ohio State safety Lathan Ransom blocked a punt for the second straight game, giving the Buckeyes the ball at the Maryland 14. Two plays later, Hayden rushed for an 8-yard TD to make it 17-13.

Noah Ruggles added a 47-yard field goal for 20-13 lead and Hayden ran for a 3-yard TD run with 16 seconds left in the third quarter for a 27-13 lead.

Tagovailoa ran for a 5-yard TD and passed for a 2-point conversion to Jacob Copeland to make it 27-21 early in the fourth quarter. After Hayden’s 13-yard touchdown, the Terrapins blocked the extra point and Jakorian Bennett returned it for two points and a 33-23 score.

Maryland pulled to within 33-30 on a fourth-down 1-yard catch by Jeshaun Jones with 9:49 left.

The Buckeyes chewed up 5:12 of the clock and Ruggles kicked a 45-yard field goal with 42 seconds left. Steele Chambers scooped up a fumble by Tagovailoa and scored from 1 yard out for the final score with nine seconds left.

Maryland led 13-10 at halftime on the strength of Tagovailoa’s 16 of 18 for 131 yards and a touchdown, a 1-yarder to CJ Dippre for the go-ahead score with 3:52 left in the second quarter.

Ohio State opened the scoring on their first possession, going 75 yards in six plays, capped by a 31-yard screen pass to Henderson.

Maryland has never beaten Ohio State in seven games since joining the Big Ten in 2014. The last time the series was played at Maryland, in 2018, the heavily favored Buckeyes won 52-51 in overtime when the Terrapins failed on a 2-point conversion.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Bryce Gallagher (32) and Northwestern Wildcats defensive back Rod Heard II (24) sack Maryland Terrapins quarterback Billy Edwards Jr. (9) during the first half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Roman Hemby’s big day, late TD power Maryland past Northwestern

Roman Hemby rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns as Maryland overcame the absence of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to overcome visiting Northwestern in a 31-24 Big Ten win Saturday in College Park.

With the score tied, Hemby scored the game-winning touchdown, bursting off tackle and breaking into the clear on a 75-yard touchdown sprint with 3:22 left as Maryland (6-2, 3-2) clinched bowl eligibility for the second straight year.

The Terps were without Tagovailoa, who entered Saturday as the Big Ten leader in passing yards but was sidelined by a knee injury. In his stead, Billy Edwards Jr. made his first college start, completing 18 of 28 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.

Also making his first college start was Northwestern quarterback Brendan Sullivan, who threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Wildcats built a 17-7 lead.

But Northwestern (1-6, 1-3) couldn’t hold it as Sullivan threw two costly interceptions in the second half. It was the sixth straight loss for the Wildcats.

The Maryland defense rose in the second half. On Northwestern’s opening possession of the third quarter, Dante Trader Jr. set the tone with an interception, which set up an 18-yard, game-tying touchdown run by Hemby.

Maryland took the lead, 24-17, late in the third quarter as Edwards Jr. threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Rakim Jarrett.

Northwestern tied it on a 9-yard touchdown run by Andrew Clair with 3:34 left. But on the first play of Maryland’s ensuing possession, Hemby took it to the house.

Five plays later, Maryland’s Beau Brade helped sew it up with an interception of a long pass by Sullivan, who finished with 18 completions in 24 attempts for 143 yards.

Evan Hull added 119 yards rushing on 20 carries and caught four passes for an additional 31 yards.

Northwestern struck first as Sullivan fired a 46-yard strike to Malik Washington and followed two plays later with a 1-yard quarterback sneak touchdown.

Maryland answered immediately as Edwards directed an 87-yard drive, capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by Hemby.

After Maryland committed pass interference penalties on back-to-back plays, Northwestern’s Adam Stage made a 24-yard field goal.

On their next possession, the Wildcats marched 83 yards. Sullivan scrambled for two first downs in Maryland territory before finding Hull open in the flat on a 10-yard touchdown play and a 17-7 lead.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) throws the ball over Indiana Hoosiers defensive lineman Patrick Lucas Jr. (51) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa carted off field with apparent knee injury

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was carted off the field during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind., with an apparent right knee injury.

Tagovailoa went down in obvious pain when an Indiana defender fell into his knee as he completed a throw to Jacob Copeland.

Freshman Billy Edwards Jr., a transfer from Wake Forest, entered for Tagovailoa with roughly 12 minutes left in regulation and Maryland trailing 27-24 and would finish the drive that ended with a Roman Hemby 6-yard scoring run and a 31-27 lead.

Tagovailoa is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In his third year in Maryland, Tagovailoa entered the week ranked second in the Big Ten with 1,731 passing yards and third in the country with a 74.1 percent completion rate.

He was 25 of 39 for 270 yards and two touchdown passes along with a 3-yard rushing score at the time of his exit.

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) reacts against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland, Indiana look for Big Ten jump-start

Indiana and Maryland will look to put disappointing losses behind them Saturday when they meet in a Big Ten East battle in Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana held then-No. 4 Michigan to 10 points on the first six possessions of last week’s game in Bloomington. The Hoosiers headed into halftime tied and with an upset in their sights. Michigan outscored them 21-0 the rest of the way to win 31-10, handing Indiana (3-3, 1-2) its third straight loss.

Maryland (4-2, 1-2) fell a two-point conversion shy of forcing overtime with Purdue in a 31-29 home loss.

Rakim Jarrett caught a would-be game-tying conversion in the final minute, but lineman Delmar Glaze incurred an illegal-man-downfield penalty. Maryland replayed the try and failed to convert.

Penalties have resurfaced as a problem for Maryland. The Terrapins beat SMU in Week 3 despite 15 penalties for 141 yards. They had just one penalty in a close loss to Michigan but have committed nine in each of the past two games.

“The penalties at inopportune times kept a couple plays or a couple drives alive for (Purdue),” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “For us, again, that goes back to ‘Terps versus Terps,’ and we’ll continue to work through (it).”

Despite the loss, Maryland received four votes in the AP Top 25 poll this week.

Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa ranks second in the conference with 1,731 passing yards, just six behind Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. Tagovailoa has completed 74.1 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Indiana is led by Connor Bazelak, who is third in the conference in passing (1,597 yards), with nine touchdowns and six picks.

Indiana coach Tom Allen said his team’s effort has been consistent, but the Hoosiers’ execution needs to match it.

“It’s that consistency we’ve got to have,” Allen said. “I know we’re trying to play a lot of guys. That’s a challenge to be able to get all those guys on the same page. But when you see when the guys do it — we showed a whole bunch of clips this morning with our guys and said, ‘When we do these things the correct way, this is the result.’”

Allen replaced offensive line coach and run game coordinator Darren Hiller this week with alumnus Rod Carey, who previously was a defensive quality control coach.

The Hoosiers gained just 19 yards rushing against Michigan; they rank 124th out of 131 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in rushing offense (90.8 yards per game).

Maryland won last year’s meeting 38-35 in College Park, Md., but Indiana owns the all-time series lead 7-3.

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley talks to the referee in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State aims for quicker start vs. eager Maryland

Two days after Michigan State suffered its second straight humbling loss, coach Mel Tucker braced himself as he reached the podium for his weekly press conference.

“I see some smiles out there,” Tucker told reporters. “You licking your chops, or what?”

That question might be better put to Tucker’s next opponent. Big Ten foe Maryland (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) figures to have confidence and incentive when it takes on Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten), Saturday in College Park, Md.

The Terps are 0-4 against the Spartans over the last five seasons but appear to be on the rise under fourth-year coach Mike Locksley. After throwing a scare into No. 4 Michigan in a 34-27 loss on Saturday, Maryland is anxious to show it can finally be competitive in now its ninth season in the Big Ten.

Only in 2014, its first year in the league, has Maryland managed a .500 conference record. And they have never won more than seven games overall in a single season since jumping away from the ACC.

Meanwhile, Michigan State is trying to put its once-promising season back on the rails after two straight losses. Coming off an 11-2 season, the Spartans rose to No. 11 in the AP Top 25 Poll after decisive wins over two Mid-American Conference teams.

But horrible starts the last two weeks doomed Michigan State at Washington, 39-28, and at home against Minnesota, 34-7. The Spartans trailed 22-0 in the second quarter against Washington and 17-0 at halftime against Minnesota — teams that are undefeated and now ranked 15th and 21st, respectively.

“It’s a lot easier to coach guys when everything is going well,” Tucker said. “When adversity hits, that’s when the rubber meets the road.”

After the departure of running back Kenneth Walker III, last year’s Doak Walker Award winner who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, the Spartans have struggled to find a rushing attack. In the losses, their 43 carries produced just 80 yards.

Without the running threat, quarterback Payton Thorne struggled to stretch the Minnesota defense, completing 17 of 24 passes for just 132 yards.

Maryland counters with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who pronounced himself “100 percent” on Tuesday even though Locksley called him a “game-time decision” along with wideout Rakim Jarrett. Tagovailoa sustained several big Michigan hits and was briefly knocked out of the game by a monster blind-side tackle as he delivered a pass.

If he’s ready to go, Tagovailoa will face another challenging pass rush this week. The Spartans are tied for the Big Ten lead with 12 sacks, including 5.5 by linebacker Jacoby Windmon, who is tied for the NCAA lead.

“The pass rusher that they’ve put out there on the edge really creates some issues,” Locksley said. “We’ve got to do a great job of making sure that guy doesn’t disrupt our game plan.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) makes a throw during pregame activity against the Charlotte 49ers  at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Efficient QBs headline high-powered battle between Maryland, SMU

Stepping down from elite programs has paved the way to success for two of the more prolific quarterbacks in the Football Bowl Subdivision this year — SMU’s Tanner Mordecai and Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa.

Saturday night in College Park, Md., when former Oklahoma backup Mordecai takes on former Alabama reserve Tagovailoa, it will be a matchup of quarterbacks guiding 2-0 teams that have yet to be tested.

In the third-ever meeting of the teams, expect more offense than in the first two games — a pair of Maryland wins in the 1960s in which the teams scored a combined 27 points.

Mordecai has thrown for 644 yards and seven touchdowns — ranking No. 11 in pass efficiency in the FBS — while Tagovailoa has thrown for 681 yards and four touchdowns to rank 13th in efficiency.

Both lead well-rounded offenses that average more than 500 yards and 40 points per game, though the competition has been suspect.

SMU is off to a quick start under new coach Rhett Lashlee with wins over North Texas, 48-10, and Football Championship Subdivision side Lamar, 45-16. Lashlee took over after former coach Sonny Dykes left for TCU.

“You all have seen our schedule,” Lashlee said. “The preseason’s over. It’s about to get real, both out of conference and in conference.”

Mordecai will look to receiver Rashee Rice, who has 17 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns, and running backs TJ McDaniel and Velton Gardner, who have combined for 237 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season. Gardner missed the season opener against North Texas after ripping one of his contact lenses.

Maryland’s offense features a trio of veteran outside threats. Dontay Demus led the Terps in receptions and yards in 2019 and 2020. Rakim Jarrett led those categories last year. This year, that distinction belongs to another wideout, Jeshaun Jones.

The Terps’ top three running backs — two redshirt freshmen and a sophomore — each average at least 8.9 yards per carry.

“That backfield reminds me of the young group that our receivers were that now have become those veteran players,” Locksley said. “And I think they’ll continue to get better.”

For the second straight week, Maryland will be without starting cornerback and punt returner Tarheeb Still (finger), Locksley said on Tuesday. A platoon of Jones, Deonte Banks and Shadrick Byrd filled in for Still in the return game in the 56-21 win at Charlotte.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley (left) talks with offensive lineman Jaelyn Duncan (71) during the second half of the 2021 Pinstripe Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Struggling Charlotte to host confident Maryland

During his Tuesday press conference, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley congratulated tennis player Francis Tiafoe for his U.S. Open victory the previous night over 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal.

Locksley later compared Maryland native Tiafoe to his team, which also is looking for a breakthrough season. That opportunity will come later this year when the Terps face the meat of their Big Ten schedule.

But this week, Maryland (1-0) will be a decided favorite as it travels to struggling Charlotte (0-2), which has already seen its top two quarterbacks go down with injuries.

On Saturday, the only concern for the Terps might be overconfidence.

“The team you watch on tape isn’t necessarily the team you’ll see on Saturday,” Locksley said. “This is a team that doesn’t have anything to lose, so we’ll get their best.”

Maryland wasn’t at its best in a 31-10 opening-game win over Buffalo, but it didn’t need to be. The biggest positive was the success of running backs Roman Hemby (seven carries, 114 yards) and Antwain Littleton (six carries, 34 yards), who scored two touchdowns apiece.

Charlotte is coming off a humbling 41-24 defeat at home to William & Mary, its first loss to an FCS opponent since 2017.

Third-string quarterback Xavier Williams gave Charlotte a lift with a 67-yard touchdown run, after directing two other scoring drives in the second quarter, as the 49ers rallied to take the lead. But the fourth quarter was all William & Mary.

In a 43-13 opening-game defeat at Florida Atlantic, the Niners lost veteran quarterback Chris Reynolds, who Charlotte coach Will Healy has called a potential conference player of the year, to an upper-body injury.

Then against William & Mary, backup quarterback James Foster suffered an injury to his throwing hand.

Healy isn’t letting on who will be available on Saturday.

“This is a massive opportunity for our university to host this game,” Healy said. “I hate how we’re rolling into it. But I know our guys have worked their rear end off to make sure it’s a difficult place to play.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) rolls out in the first half during the 2021 Pinstripe Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Underdog Buffalo preparing for Maryland’s passing attack

A major point of emphasis in the offseason for Buffalo coach Maurice Linguist was explosive plays — both how to create them and how to stop them.

When heavy underdog Buffalo of the MAC travels to Maryland of the Big Ten in both teams’ season opener Saturday in College Park, Md., the Bulls will get a rigorous test of the latter.

Coming off a year in which he set single-season program records in passing yards (3,860), accuracy (69.2 percent) and touchdowns (26), Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is primed to improve on those numbers.

He will operate an offense that returns nearly intact, including his top two receivers Rakim Jarrett (62 catches, 829 yards) and Dontay Demus Jr. (28 catches, 507 yards).

“The plan they put together … is a very vertical passing attack,” Linguist said. “They can stretch the field horizontally as well.”

In his fourth season at Maryland, Mike Locksley is looking to take another step forward. The Terps went 7-6 last year and are looking to make noise in the Big Ten after another strong year of recruiting.

“The most improved unit on our team is our offensive line,” Locksley said. “I like our young running backs, the power that they run (with) as well as the different skill sets they all bring.”

Achieving that against the strong front seven of Buffalo, led by linebacker James Patterson and tackle Daymond Williams, won’t be easy.

Coming off a 4-8 season, which was Linguist’s first as a head coach, Buffalo also is looking to make more big plays on offense. To that end, Linguist has named Rutgers transfer Cole Snyder the quarterback over incumbent Matt Myers.

In three seasons at Rutgers, Snyder appeared in nine games, throwing one touchdown pass. He’ll have a quality wideout to throw to in Quian Williams, who had 64 catches for 835 yards last year.

Buffalo has only three starters back on offense but the unit is an unknown quantity as several transfers from Power 5 conference schools, in addition to Snyder, will take over starting spots.

Last year’s top rusher Dylan McDuffie (1,049 yards) transferred to Georgia Tech, leaving Ron Cook Jr. as the top backfield threat.

This will be the first meeting of the programs.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Maryland Terrapins tight end Corey Dyches (84) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) during the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland, Virginia Tech rekindle rivalry at Pinstripe Bowl

Two former Atlantic Coast Conference foes will face off for the first time since 2013 in the Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday, as Maryland takes on Virginia Tech at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Maryland (6-6) left the ACC for the Big Ten after the 2013 season and hasn’t seen the Hokies (6-6) since. The Terps are 16-15 all-time against Virginia Tech.

This is the first time Maryland has gone to a bowl game since 2016. The Terps beat Rutgers 40-16 in their regular-season finale to reach .500 and become bowl-eligible. Maryland hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2010 Military Bowl.

As he has done all season, quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa led Maryland’s offense in that win over the Scarlet Knights, completing 21 of 30 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Tagovailoa finished the season with 24 scores through the air and led the Big Ten in pass completions with 308. He also set three program passing records at Maryland.

“It is definitely going to be a challenge to defend the pass against them,” Virginia Tech’s Chamarri Conner said. “But, as a defensive back, that’s what we look forward to. It will be exciting to see if we can stop them.”

For third-year Maryland coach Mike Locksley, he’s putting extra value on the bonus practices the Terps are getting. He’ll aim to use those to prepare for next season.

“The teams that typically go to bowls have a better chance next year to go because of how they’re able to develop with these extra practices,” Locksley said. “We cannot put a price tag on how valuable these are for us.”

The bowl game marks a period of transition for Virginia Tech. Former coach Justin Fuente was fired in November after a 5-5 start in his sixth season. Two weeks later, the Hokies announced the hiring of Brent Pry, Penn State’s former defensive coordinator who was an assistant at Virginia Tech early in his career.

But leading the Hokies in this game will be interim coach J.C. Price, a Virginia Tech graduate who coached the Hokies’ defensive line this past season. He finished the regular season 1-1, getting Virginia Tech bowl-eligible for the 34th time by beating rival Virginia in the regular season finale.

Price will be retained as the coaching staff transitions to Pry’s new regime, and he has focused on development in his practices leading up to the game.

“We wanted to make sure these guys enjoy the bowl experience. It is (a) reward,” Price said. “So, we basically cut things down. We had limited individual time. But I also expressed to them that there’s a certain amount of work you need to put in to win the game. And we have done that.”

The Hokies will be a bit shorthanded in the bowl game. Quarterback Braxton Burmeister has entered the transfer portal after starting in all 12 games for Virginia Tech this season. Also opting out of playing in the bowl for Virginia Tech is defensive end Amare Barno and wide receiver Tre Turner.

Fellow pass-catcher Tayvion Robinson has also entered the transfer portal, leaving the Hokies a bit thin in offensive weapons against Maryland, which put up 437.4 yards of total offense per-game this season.

–Field Level Media