By: Ethan Cadeaux
For a second straight week, the Maryland Terrapins scored over 50 points, the first time in Terps’ history they have opened the season with such a feat.
Although this week’s victory was not nearly as impressive as knocking off then-No. 23 Texas in Austin a week ago, the Terps didn’t let up in a 63-17 beat down of FCS opponent Towson. It was the Terps first 60-point game since 2010 and the most points they have scored since 1954.
In his first career start, Maryland quarterback Kasim Hill picked up exactly where he left off against Texas. The true freshman completed his first 11 passes, two of which were touchdowns. He finished 13-of-16 on the day, with 163 yards and the pair of touchdowns before Maryland turned to its bench in the blowout.
“I don’t think anything surprised me,” offensive lineman Terrance Davis said on Hill’s solid performance. “Kasim, he’s been cool and calm since he got here. When [Tyrrell Pigrome] went down, we knew he was going to step right in and do the job well.”
Wide receiver D.J. Moore, for a second week in a row, had himself a game. The junior finished with seven receptions for 97 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also added a 21-yard rushing touchdown which he broke a handful of tackles before crossing the end zone.
The Terps scored touchdowns on their first three drives, opening up the game with a 21-point lead.
“We came out and started really where we wanted to,” Terps head coach DJ Durkin said. “We had great momentum right from the start. I thought Kasim [Hill] did a great job of taking the team down the field that first drive and making good decisions with the ball.”
Towson answered with a touchdown, cutting the lead to just two scores early in the second quarter. But just as the Tigers started to get a little momentum, quarterback Ryan Stover floated a wobbly pass well above his intended receiver, which Terrapins cornerback Darnell Savage Jr. caught like a punt and returned 75 yards to the end zone.
“I was in the middle of the field. I saw the quarterback’s eyes move that way,” Savage said on his interception. “When he threw the ball, I knew I had a good jump on it. I ran over there and I caught it. When I caught it, I [saw] a bunch of black jerseys, so I just let them lead me to the end zone.”
The Terps would take the three-touchdown lead into the half. After forcing a three-and-out on the Tigers opening possession of the third quarter, Maryland running back Ty Johnson scored from 46 yards out on the first play of the ensuing drive.
Johnson only had five carries on the game, but he sure made them count. The junior finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns, marking his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, dating back to last season. This was the first time a Terrapin has accomplished that feat since 2001.
A pair of rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, one by sophomore Jake Funk and one by Moore, would give the Terrapins a 49-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Backup quarterback Max Bortenschlager scored on a quarterback sneak on the next Terrapins drive, extending the Terps lead to 49. After Towson scored just its second touchdown on the game, Terrapins backup running back Javon Leake answered with a 61-yard touchdown of his own.
From start to finish, the Tigers never really stood a chance.
In the past few seasons, Maryland’s student section would clear out by halftime, if it was even full to begin. Most times would be because the Terps would be down big.
In the Terps’ opener, the students still left well before the game ended. But this mass exodus of Terrapin students was not a sign of disrespect towards the team, rather, it was because Maryland had the game wrapped up since the opening minutes.
The Terrapins have a bye week next weekend and they don’t return to action until Sept. 23 when they host UCF.
“Coach Durkin always says, the best thing about being 2-0 is the chance to go 3-0,” Savage said. “We just want to come in and prepare each week, no matter who the opponent is, and make sure we are ready to play, no matter who we play.”