This story has been updated.
One week after gaining just 195 yards in a 35-14 loss to Temple, Maryland (3-1) responded with 432 yards in a 42-13 win over Minnesota (3-1).
Led by running back Anthony McFarland, who recorded the first two touchdowns of his career and a new career-high 112 rushing yards, Maryland knocked off previously unbeaten Minnesota in the conference opener for both teams.
On Maryland’s first drive of the game, the offense went on an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended in a 26-yard run from McFarland. A 2-yard run from quarterback Kasim Hill on 4th-and-2 from the Minnesota 36-yard line kept the drive moving.
“You kind of are who you are. You’re either aggressive or you’re not,” interim head coach Matt Canada said of the fourth-down call.
Two drives later, an 81-yard touchdown run from running back Ty Johnson pushed the lead to 14-0. The score was the longest of Johnson’s career. The senior finished with 123 rushing yards on 11 carries.
A 33-yard Minnesota field goal from Emmit Carpenter in the second quarter brought the Maryland lead to 14-3. On the drive, a defensive facemask penalty on defensive end Byron Cowart on a fourth-down attempt extended Minnesota’s drive.
The Terps added to their lead with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Hill to wide receiver DJ Turner on 3rd-and-5. Hill stepped up in the pocket to avoid Minnesota’s pass rush and rolled to the right before he found Turner, who shook off a Minnesota defender and ran the score in. It was the first career touchdown for Turner.
After completing just seven of his 17 pass attempts for 56 yards last week, Hill went 10-for-14 with 117 yards and the sole touchdown pass to Turner.
“I think with any game, you want, obviously, to get out to a fast start, trying to get that momentum going,” Hill said. “Especially coming off of last week as an offense, we were focused on starting fast and really just going out and playing and having fun.”
Minnesota cut into the lead before the end of the half, executing a four-play, 71-yard touchdown drive in 40 seconds. Cornerback RaVon Davis was called for pass interference, then a 29-yard reception from wide receiver Rashod Bateman placed the ball in the Maryland redzone.
Two plays later, true freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Bateman to bring the Maryland lead to 21-10 as the teams went into halftime. That would be the first and last time Minnesota found the endzone.
On the first drive of the second half, linebacker Tre Watson intercepted Annexstad’s pass and returned it 36 yards for the score to extend Maryland’s lead to 28-10. The interception was the first of the season for Annexstad and one of two that Maryland forced.
“As far as the pick, [Minnesota] had been running that zone pop play on us a few times,” Watson said. “They hit it on us on the boundary earlier in the game. But it was something we weren’t going to let happen again. And then I’m pretty sure that pick is all for Antoine Brooks. I mean, he’s been lighting the quarterback up all season … He lit [Annexstad] up and then, the ball is in the air, it’s gotta be mine.”
A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Maryland forced the team to kick off from its own 20-yard line and Minnesota got quality field position from their own 40. They used the good positioning to go on a 14-play drive, but Maryland’s defense held firm and Minnesota had to settle for a 41-yard Carpenter field goal to make the score 28-13.
The very next drive, a 64-yard touchdown run from McFarland, his second of the game, gave Maryland a 35-13 lead.
A defensive pass interference penalty brought Minnesota to the Maryland 28-yard line and the Golden Gophers got as close as the 8-yard line. On 4th-and-2, Cowart strip sacked Annexstad and Maryland took over at their 15-yard line.
Minnesota would get back inside the Maryland 10-yard line, but Annexstad forced a pass between two Maryland defenders and Davis came away with the interception, the first of the senior’s career.
A late 21-yard touchdown run from freshman tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo gave Maryland a dominant 25-point win.
Maryland will have its bye week and play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 6. Kickoff is set for noon.