By Logan Hill
Rakim Jarrett caught a quick slant, turned up field and found paydirt from 36 yards out and extended Maryland’s lead to 45-0 early in the third quarter, ending the night for Maryland’s starting offense.
The Terps picked up right where they left off against West Virginia, finding the endzone eight times and knifing through the Howard Defense like butter from start to finish in an utterly dominant 62-0 victory over the visiting Bison.
“I was happy with the way the offense and defense executed,” coach Mike Locksley said. “The defense was able to get off the field the way we like, and I thought offensively, scoring touchdowns in the red [zone], which we didn’t do last week, was good.”
Taulia Tagovailoa and Dontay Demus Jr. hooked up for the second time this season on Maryland’s opening drive, as Demus Jr. caught a slant and muscled his way into the end zone. His second touchdown on the season gave Maryland an early 7-0 lead.
“[Dontay] is really a team guy,” Rakim Jarrett said. “That’s all you can ask for in Dontay, he’s a great player too. He’s a special person.”
Howard’s offense sputtered out of the gates to the tune of three three-and-outs, and struggled to put much together offensively. While Howard’s offense struggled, Maryland’s did not.
First, the Terps doubled down on their opening score, driving quickly down the field once again. Tayon Fleet-Davis finished the job, scoring from 17 yards out for his first touchdown of the season. Halfway through the first quarter, Maryland led 14-0.
Howard was able to get something going as the first period drew to a close, thanks in part to a 32-yard catch from A’Jae Boyd. However, after stalling out in Maryland territory, Faraji Woodson’s 45-yard field goal attempt came up just short, keeping the Bison off the board.
Maryland responded well to the missed field goal, adding their third score of the game just 39 seconds into the second quarter, as Tagovailoa found Tight End Chig Okonkwo in the back corner of the end zone, making it 21-0.
Following a long punt return by Tarheeb Still, Maryland added their fourth touchdown of the night to extend their lead to 28-0. Freshman running back and St. Johns High School alum Colby McDonald reached from 11 yards out, scoring on his first ever collegiate touch.
“It was actually a lot of fun, not just for starting guys but for guys who don’t get to play much,” Still said. “Getting in there, getting to show what they can do, getting a chance to make plays, it’s always fun.”
Mcdonald wasn’t the only Terp to get the first touchdown of his career. On Maryland’s next drive, Peny Boone battled in from four yards out, the third running back to record a touchdown in the game. Boone’s four yard run was Maryland’s fifth of the first half, as they opened up a 35-0 lead.
After a Jakorian Bennett interception, his second in two games, Joseph Petrino added a 38-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, stretching Maryland’s lead up to 38-0. In a simply dominant first half, Maryland’s offense flexed its muscles early and often on the ground and in the air.
The script stayed pretty much the same for Maryland in the second half. With Tagovailoa and many of the other starters still out there, the Terps marched down the field once again. Facing fourth-and-two from Howard’s 36, Tagovailoa connected with Jarrett, who took the slant pass the rest of the way for another touchdown, ballooning the lead to 45-0. Tagovailoa finished the game 22-27 for 274 yards and three touchdowns, giving him six touchdown passes in two games.
Maryland’s reserves would finish the game, adding 17 points the rest of the way, stretching Maryland’s lead out to 62-0.
On the day, Maryland compiled 574 total yards of offense, having their way from start to finish. It was a good tune up game for a Terps team that will look to continue their early consistency as they kick off Big Ten play next Friday against Illinois.
“The more games we play, the more it slows down for next time,” guard Mason Lunsford said. “We got to smooth it out a little bit [against Howard], offense was clicking at times, we just got our confidence together.”
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