NCAA

Virginia Tech’s loss has proven to be Maryland’s gain as the Terps have found a quarterback in Josh Jackson

Virginia Tech’s loss has proven to be Maryland’s gain as the Terps have found a quarterback in Josh Jackson

Be careful what you wish for. Josh Jackson was never really embraced by the fans at Virginia Tech. After leaving Blacksburg as a graduate transfer, at least in the early season it appears the Hokies’ loss has been Maryland’s gain.

Jackson helped lead the Terps to a dominant 63-20 blowout win over No. 21 Syracuse on Saturday and appears to have finally brought stability to the quarterback position in College Park.

There is not much you can learn from Maryland’s first game against Howard. Sure, Jackson was great, but it came against an FCS opponent that could not seem to punt the ball effectively and who the Terps ultimately put up 79 points against. You have to take the stats from that game with a grain of salt. Week 2 gave us a much better glimpse of what the Terps are and the results are pretty darn impressive.

Through just two games, Jackson has a 58.1-percent completion percentage, 541 passing yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception.

Jackson started as a redshirt freshman for Virginia Tech in 2017. He threw for 2,991 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions to help the Hokies to a 9-4 season. Yet, despite his success, the Hokies fan base was not satisfied after Jackson struggled in the last four games of the season. An injury cut his season short in 2018 and Jackson saw himself passed over by Ryan Willis.

Now with Maryland, Jackson obliterated Howard’s secondary in just one half’s worth of work. In his first game for Maryland, he completed 15 of 24 pass attempts for 245 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half. On Saturday against much tougher competition, Jackson looked even better.

Against a Syracuse team that relied on its defense in a Week 1 shutout over Liberty, Jackson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He has the offense clicking as Maryland has scored 142 points in just two games.

Losing quarterbacks has become something of a tradition in College Park. In the past five years, Maryland has had seven different quarterbacks throw at least 45 passes in a season. Part of the issue has been horrible injury luck, but the Terps also have not had a firmly established quarterback for several years. After just two games, that no longer seems to be the case.

Jackson now is firmly entrenched under center and suddenly a daunting Big Ten East schedule for the Terps is looking a lot more manageable.

Smith scores 17 to help No. 6 Maryland beat Fairfield 74-55

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Smith scores 17 to help No. 6 Maryland beat Fairfield 74-55

Jalen Smith had 17 points and eight rebounds, and No. 6 Maryland used depth and balance to wear down Fairfield in a 74-55 victory Tuesday might.

The Terrapins (4-0) took the lead for good at 9-8, increased the margin to 14 at halftime and cruised to the finish.

Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 12 points to pass James Gist and move into the Top 20 on Maryland's career scoring list with 1,424.

Sophomore Ricky Lindo Jr. contributed a career-high 13 points, and Eric Ayala also scored 13.

Landon Taliaferro scored 15 for the Stags (1-4). Twelve of Fairfield's 18 baskets were from beyond the arc.

Coming off an overtime loss to Loyola Maryland in which they committed 21 turnovers, the Stags had 16 against the Terrapins -- at least one by nine different players.

Fairfield cut a 15-point deficit to 55-46 before baskets by Cowan and Smith began a 12-3 spurt that made it 67-49 with 6:12 left. The highlight of the run was a resounding dunk by Smith off an alley-oop pass from Hakim Hart following a Fairfield turnover.

The Stags made only one field goal over the final 8 minutes.

Nine players scored in the first half for Maryland, and the Terrapins overcame an early deficit to take a 41-27 lead at the break.

Fairfield went 7 for 11 from beyond the arc before halftime, but committed 10 turnovers and was whistled for 12 fouls.

Maryland led 13-12 before a 3-pointer by Ayala and a dunk off a steal by Darryl Morsell sparked a 12-2 run that put the Terrapins up by 11.

Despite getting off to another slow start, the Terrapins completed the opening 20 minutes with their largest halftime lead of the season.

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Diakite, No. 7 Virginia hold off Vermont, 61-55

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Diakite, No. 7 Virginia hold off Vermont, 61-55

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Mamadi Diakite scored 19 points and No. 7 Virginia withstood a 3-point shooting display by Anthony Lamb and beat Vermont 61-55 on Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers (4-0) trailed before Diakite's basket gave them a 50-49 lead with 5:12 left and sparked a 9-0 run. Jay Huff scored twice in the spurt and Braxton Key hit a 3-pointer as Virginia held the Catamounts scoreless, and forced four turnovers, in a nearly four-minute span.

Lamb scored 30 for Vermont (4-1), including 25 in the second half, to nearly match the point total of the Cavaliers' first two opponents of the season, who each managed just 34 points. Stef Smith added 11 points, but Virginia turned Vermont's 13 turnovers into 20 points.

Kihei Clark scored 15 points and Key had 14 points for Virginia.

Virginia led 24-18 at halftime, but Vermont used a 10-2 run to start the half to take its first lead since the early going. Lamb had seven points in the run, including the last five, and tacked on his team's next 12 points with four 3-pointers as the score was tied five times.

BIG PICTURE

Vermont: The Catamounts hang their hat on defense, too, and came into the game with a 107-9 record since the 2011-12 season when holding their opponents to 60 points or fewer

Virginia: The Cavaliers' defensive excellence has been essential early in the season as they still are struggling to find an offensive rhythm. Highly regarded freshman guard Casey Morsell came into the game having made just 2 of 21 field goal attempts and was 1 for 6. Virginia has made 21 3-pointers in its first four games and allowed 31, including 12 by the Catamounts in 33 attempts.

UP NEXT

The Catamounts face Central Connecticut State on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

The Cavaliers face Massachusetts on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

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