Terps wide receiver D.J. Moore making a play against Towson. Moore scored three touchdowns in the 63-17 win. (Lila Bromberg/The Left Bench)

Terps top Towson in home opener

When starting quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome’s torn ACL was announced, the Maryland Terrapins’ coaching staff and players all said the offense would remain the same.

Then, Saturday afternoon rolled around and Kasim Hill threw six passes on the opening drive including a nine-yard strike on a play-action pass to D.J. Moore as the Terps crushed the Towson Tigers 63-17. It was Hill’s first touchdown pass as a Terp.

On the fourth play of the following possession, Hill hit Moore again — this time on a screen. He made two defenders miss and waltzed into the endzone from 34 yards out.

“It helps the whole team when you have guys you can get the ball to right away and they can break some tackles and gain yardage,” head coach DJ Durkin said.

By the end of the first quarter, Hill was a perfect 8-for-8 passing with two touchdowns. Pigrome threw the ball a total of 12 times in his three quarters against Texas.

The coaching staff made it a point to get Hill some good passes early on in the game, Durkin said.

Not to be outdone, junior running back Ty Johnson scored on the next offensive play for the Terrapins on a 74-yard carry to put the Terrapins up 21-0 with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. He later scored again from 46-yards out.

Johnson finished with 124 yards on five carries in the win. He and Moore, who had 163 all-purpose yards, combined for five touchdowns on the afternoon. Moore also returned a punt for a score but the play was called back because of a Towson penalty.

The Terps showed off their big-play ability that was on display against Texas last weekend, finishing with 9.9 yards per play in the game. Even when they don’t result in scores, these big plays allow the Terps to swing field position, Durkin said.

Although the Terps leaned on passing early in the game, they finished with a dominant performance on the ground, totaling 367 yards with six rushing touchdowns by five different players.

The 63 points scored by the Terrapins is their most since 1954 against Missouri.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Terps were able to consistently pressure Towson quarterback Ryan Stover, although they struggled to bring him down at times, especially during a shaky second quarter Despite Stover’s ability to evade the pass rush, the Terps still finished with four sacks.

“I felt like we could have done a better job we left a couple of our rush lanes,” senior defensive lineman Kingsley Opara said. “We have just got to clean that up in the bye week.”

Still, the Terps held Stover to 210 yards and forced two interceptions, including a 75-yard pick-six by Darnell Savage Jr.

Maryland struggled to contain the Towson rushing attack early in the game, allowing 72 net-yards on the ground in the first half. But they tightened up as the game went on and Towson finished with just 99 yards on the ground.

“We played hard in the beginning but we kind of eased up a little bit,” senior defensive lineman Andrew Isaacs said. “The message in the locker room was just make sure we keep putting the pressure on them and playing hard.”

As a unit, Towson’s offense was held to just six yards in the entire third quarter. Maryland scored 21 points.

By late in the third quarter, Maryland pulled their starters, allowing many young players to earn some in-game experience, something the coaching staff had emphasized the importance of leading into the game.

Hill finished 13-of-16 passing for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He added 41 rushing yards on five carries.

One of those players, freshman running back Javon Leake, took advantage of his chance, scoring a 61-yard touchdown and finishing with 78 yards on four carries.

In the win, the Terps switched up their place kicker, starting Henry Darmstadter in place of Adam Greene. Darmstadter did not attempt a field goal but was perfect on extra points.

Maryland has the week off with a bye before hosting UCF at Maryland Stadium on September 23.

Jake Brodsky

Jake Brodsky

Recruiting Writer at The Left Bench
Jake started writing for The Left Bench during the spring semester of his freshman year. He is from Rockville, Maryland and loves all things sports related. He is a fan of the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and Orioles and has been following them closely since he was young. In addition to sports, Jake enjoys photography. He is currently a freelance photographer who works mostly Maryland and local high school sports. He is a journalism major.
Jake Brodsky

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Jake started writing for The Left Bench during the spring semester of his freshman year. He is from Rockville, Maryland and loves all things sports related. He is a fan of the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and Orioles and has been following them closely since he was young. In addition to sports, Jake enjoys photography. He is currently a freelance photographer who works mostly Maryland and local high school sports. He is a journalism major.