Syracuse came to College Park on Saturday ranked, but it was Maryland who looked like one of the top teams in the nation with a dominant 63-20 win.
WIth the win, the Terps improve to 2-0. Here are four reasons Maryland got the win.
Taking advantage of Syraucse turnovers
Maryland took a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter. The scoreboard said the Terps were dominating, but the big difference was really two Syraucse turnovers.
Quarterback Tommy DeVito fumbled the ball in the first quarter which Maryland recovered at the Orange’s 32 yard line. Five plays later, Anthony McFarland punched the ball into the end zone on a three-yard run for the touchdown.
In the second quarter, DeVito tried to force the ball along the sidelines, but his receiver was not even looking. Jordan Mosley was, however, and he hauled in the interception. It took just two plays for McFarland to again put six on the board with a 20-yard run.
It was a 28-7 lead for the Terps, but 14 of those points came off of Orange turnovers.
McFarland was, by far, the best player on the field on Saturday. On 14 carries, McFarland rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He also added two catches for 45 yards and another touchdown.
His best play came late in the first half when he hauled in a pass from Jackson, turned on the jets and weaved his way through traffic for a 39-yard gain, setting up a six-yard touchdown pass the very next play caught by...McFarland.
Another big day for Jackson
It was hard to know just what to make of Jackson’s Maryland debut last week. Yes, he looked impressive, but it came against Howard. Against a much tougher opponent on Saturday, however, Jackson was again dominant.
Jackson completed 21 passes on 38 attempts for 296 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Tyrrell Pigrome came in briefly in the first half as head coach Mike Locksley wanted to keep the quarterback tandem, but it was short-lived. Locksley wisely decided to stay with the hot hand and put Jackson back in later on the same drive.
The rush defense
Syracuse’s strength on offense is its run game. At the end of the first half, the Terps defense had held Syraucse to just 44 yards rushing. With the score 42-13 at halftime, the Orange had no choice but to try to throw the ball in the second half to try to get back into the game. That did not bode well for the offense or Syracuse’s chances for a comeback.
The Orange finished with 70 yards on the ground. Maryland’s ability to bottle up the strength of Syracuse’s offense played a big role in the dominant win.