This story has been updated.
After upsetting a nationally-ranked opponent in Texas, Maryland found itself as double-digit favorites on the road against a team coming off a blowout loss to another ranked opponent.
A matchup before the Terps’ first game at College Park, the circumstances were ripe for a trap game.
That looked to be the case through one half, as Maryland found itself down 14-10 against the Bowling Green Falcons, courtesy of nine penalties for 79 yards.
But over 400 rushing yards helped the Terrapins to come back and eventually blow out Bowling Green, 45-14.
“Obviously, when the penalties started dying down, we started focusing up,” said redshirt senior defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, who registered his first sack of the season at Bowling Green. “That’s when we really started getting our momentum going, so that was really good for us.”
Maryland had success running the ball from the start of the game but penalties wiped out long gains and a would-be touchdown run from junior running back Lorenzo Harrison in the first quarter.
After a 3-yard touchdown pass from Bowling Green quarterback Jarret Doege to senior wide receiver Scott Miller gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead, Maryland tied the game with a 5-yard touchdown run from Harrison.
A defensive breakdown resulted in a wide-open 29-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Quinton Morris, but a 40-yard field goal from freshman placekicker Joseph Petrino cut the Bowling Green lead to four heading into halftime.
Following the intermission, Maryland played a smoother brand of football, only committing five more penalties. Interim head coach Matt Canada placed even more emphasis to the run game, and Maryland scored five unanswered touchdowns — two of which came from sophomore running back Tayon Fleet-Davis — en route to the victory.
After giving up 143 rushing yards to Texas last week, the defense contained Bowling Green, only allowing the Falcons to get 28 rushing yards. Maryland rushed for 444 yards; four different backs scored a touchdown.
“We got a very good group of running backs,” Canada said. “I was excited for (Harrison) to get in there, he had some big runs. Anthony McFarland had some big runs. (Fleet-Davis) had some big runs, obviously Ty did.”
Maryland now heads back to College Park for a home game against Temple on Sept. 15, the Terrapins’ first game of the season at Maryland Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.