The Terps have now won their 13th season-opening game in the last 14 years behind a stellar performance from Tagovailoa. The reigning All-Big Ten Quarterback threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score on the ground en route to a 38-6 win.
“Our quarterback is our strength,” said Head Coach Mike Locksley. “I thought Taulia played really well.”
After jumping out to a 21-point lead before allowing a completed pass, the Terps looked unstoppable, but a handful of dropped balls made the offense look stagnant.
Following almost a full quarter of scoreless play after the hot start, Tagovailoa and co. trotted onto the field with just four minutes remaining in the first half in hopes of taking back momentum before heading into the locker room.
The offense did just that, executing a 15-play, 91-yard trip to the endzone, leaving almost no time on the clock.
Newly acquired West Virginia transfer Kaden Prather capped off the drive with a 13-yard score; his first as a Terp.
“Adversity doesn’t make you, it builds who you are. If you let one drop get to you then you’re weak-minded,” said Prather. “Taulia is a confident quarterback, I dropped a ball and he came right back to me.”
Corey Dyches turned heads today as well, recording a career-high 108 receiving yards to go along with a touchdown. The junior tight end has emerged as Maryland’s top pass-catching threat.
“Over the course of our summer camp, Corey has been one of those guys that we’ve identified as a playmaker,” said Locksley. “What we saw Corey do today are things that he’s done all camp long… he had a big day.”
The Maryland defense also had a big day, allowing just 276 total yards and no touchdowns.
“We held them and contained them without giving up big plays,” said Locksley. “Our defense, when they needed a stop, got the necessary stops.”
The second half featured limited starters for Maryland with the game already out of Towson’s reach. By the time the Tiger offense found some of their footing, the game was already over due to the Terps’ quick start.
“That’s always the emphasis with our offense. That if we get the ball first, we want to start fast and get our team going,” said Tagovailoa. “Our defense really builds off of that.”
The Terps will look to make it 10 straight wins against non-conference opponents when they host Charlotte next Saturday.
“We have to turn the page on this one after 24 hours,” said Locksley. “Usually you see your biggest jump from week one to week two, so I’m looking forward to getting us prepared to do that.”