With the score 28-0 in the first quarter, you had a feeling where this one was going. Maryland walloped FCS opponent Howard 79-0 on Saturday in the season opener and Mike Locksley’s debut as the Terps’ head coach.
Blowouts can be snoozefests, especially when the game gets out of hand early. But there were still plenty of reasons to keep watching Saturday’s game.
Here are six reasons that kept Maryland’s win over Howard interesting from start to finish.
The new turtle tunnel
A new tradition was unveiled on Saturday as the Terps entered the field through the new Mark L. Butler tunnel. What makes this tunnel special you ask? It’s shaped like a turtle shell.
Here come the Terps pic.twitter.com/Q3qIDlYIMP— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) August 31, 2019
Now you can fear the turtle while watching the team rub a turtle inside of a turtle shell.
Jackson made his debut under center for the Terps and he had a heck of a day. After a slow start in which he completed only one of four passes, he finished the game with 15 completions on 24 attempts, 245 yards and four touchdowns...in the first half.
Yes, everything the Terps did has to be taken with a grain of salt given the opponent, but it was a good debut.
Maryland’s defense destroying Cam Newton’s brother
Caylin Newton was the MEAC Player of the Year in 2018. He helped lead Howard to the biggest upset in college football history, at least in terms of the spread, in 2017 as a freshman with a 43-40 win over UNLV.
Maryland threw him around like a sack of potatoes.
Newton completed only three of his 11 pass attempts as the Terps’ pass rush was relentless. He was sacked five times on the game giving him a net gain of 10 total yards for the game.
Howard got only one first down in the first half and it came because of a pass interference penalty.
Howard’s punt team
Here's a fun stat: Of Maryland’s 79 points, 30 of those points came because of Howard’s punt team.
Howard’s punt team accounted for four of Maryland’s touchdowns on Saturday. You read that right, four.
Bison punter Isaiah Moore’s first punt went only 14 yards giving Maryland the ball at Howard’s 26. Later in the first, a snap went to Moore’s left which he fumbled giving the Terps the ball on the Bison’s 13. Moore shanked his first punt in the second quarter as well sending it a grand total of...three yards. Yes, three. Maryland took over at Howard’s 22. The Terps scored a touchdown on all three resulting drives.
Moore did not get much help when he did get the ball away later in the second as D.J. Turner returned a punt 40 yards for a touchdown just when things were starting to get really ugly. Maryland added a safety off a punt block in the third quarter. Moore also fumbled another punt in the third, but there was little pressure from Maryland’s return team with the score already 65-0.
Moore did manage to kick a 72-yard punt in the game though so at least there was that.
Heading into Saturday’s game, the program record for most points scored in a game was 80. The Terps set a school record in the first half of Saturday’s game with 56 points, the most the team scored in a single half in program history. That half put 80 points well within reach.
With the score 79-0, the Terps drove the ball all the way down to Howard’s 7 yard-line but elected not to kick a field goal on fourth down and instead allowed the ball to be downed for a one-yard loss and a turnover on downs.
One point and seven yards. That’s how close Maryland was to making history.
I want to take a second and recognize this guy. Whoever you are, I salute you. pic.twitter.com/U7uSc8x577— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) August 31, 2019
I salute you, sir.
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