By Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_301)
The first statement win of D.J. Durkin’s young tenure in College Park is here.
Although they were favored by over 10 points, the Terps dominated Purdue in all three phases, winning 50-7 in Maryland’s homecoming game – starting off Big Ten conference play on the right foot.
The homecoming atmosphere started off shaky; conditions were wet and rainy. But the electrifying Terps’ offense quickly brought the stadium to life.
“An exciting game, great homecoming for us,” said Terps head coach D.J. Durkin. “I’m real proud of our guys of how they came out. I think the most important thing to me was the enthusiasm and energy that we came out with and played with.”
Through the first four games, the Terps (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) have scored 173 points – a school record. They have already surpassed last year’s win total, and could potentially be ranked for the first time since early 2013.
They should be ranked.
Despite an early interception from quarterback Perry Hills, the Terps offense put together a dominant performance – especially on the ground.
Sophomore running back Ty Johnson had a career day – rushing for 204 yards on just seven carries. He turned in rushes of 56- and 76-yards before housing a 48-yarder in the fourth quarter.
The Terps finished with 400 rush yards, compared to the Boilermakers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) 10. Ten different Terps finished with at least one carry. Besides Hills’ 10, no Terps had more than seven carries.
“It helps a lot, it’s like a full head of steam to have a guy come out and have another guy come in and then not stop there, keep going forward without any drop off,” said Johnson. “So, it’s a really great feeling to have one of the freshman go in, they do their thing, and then you have Wes [Brown], Kenny [Goins Jr.], or Trey [Edmunds] go in and do their thing. It keeps rotating like clockwork.”
The Terps took a 29-0 lead into the locker room, and outgained the Boilermakers 293-66 in the first thirty minutes. Things didn’t get much better for Purdue.
Hills was nothing spectacular, but he didn’t have to be. The senior finished 8 of 13 for 87 yards with two touchdowns and just one interception.
Records Were Broken
In the first quarter, freshman running back Lorenzo Harrison scored his fourth touchdown in as many games. Harrison became the first Terp in school history to accomplish such a feat.
The 173 combined points that the Terps have scored over their first four games is the most ever in school history.
— Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_301) October 2, 2016
Durkin’s Best Three Lines
D.J. Durkin had some very interesting things to say following his team’s blowout victory. Here are his best three lines:
- Maryland was penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties – one was a sideline warning, and the other was the team celebrating after senior Alvin Hill’s fourth quarter interception.When asked about those penalties, Durkin said “I’ll take those gladly.”Durkin explained that he does not like dumb penalties or selfish penalties where an individual puts himself in front of the team, but he is willing to accept penalties for celebrating with a lot of emotion and energy like the Terps did after Hill’s interception.
- When asked on the 4-0 start, Durkin said he’s not surprised.“We know any team on our schedule can beat us,” said Durkin. “And we know we can beat anyone on our schedule.”After winning just three games all of last season, it looks like Durkin has started to turn things around in College Park. He’ll put this theory to the test in the next couple weeks, when they face Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State.
- Running back might be the deepest unit the Terrapins have. Ten different Terps had at least one carry today.“What we’ve been able to do is create competition at [running back]. When you recruit a roster and you get what you wanted, that’s what you have. Competition says a thousand words.”“Whenever there is a guy at a position that says, ‘I’m the starter, but this guy is very good. So if I take the day off practice today or I don’t play well, all of a sudden he becomes the starter.’ When you have that in a room, everyone buys it. Everyone improves each other. I think that position is the best competition we have right now on the team.”
The Terps travel to Happy Valley on Saturday to face rival Penn State. The Nittany Lions are 3-2 and 1-0 in Big Ten play.