Three quarterbacks took the field for Maryland as the curse of the quarterback continues to plague the Terps. Virginia's Coastal Division lead lasted one week after a bad loss to Louisville. In happier news, Penn State blew apart Michigan State and Navy won off a last-second field goal.
Here’s a recap of the week’s local action.
Penn State 28, Michigan State 7
Tight end Pat Freiermuth caught a career-high three touchdowns to bring his total to seven for the season. He had seven receiving touchdowns total in the 2018 regular season.
Penn State was not able to complete the shutout as Michigan State managed to snap a relatively long scoring streak. After the Nittany Lions shutout the Spartans in the first half, they finally got into the end zone in the third quarter on a short run set up after a 49-yard pass from Brian Lewerke. The steak snapped a scoreless drought of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 2 seconds.
Michigan State faced a gauntlet of a three-game stretch with Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State. With the Nittany Lion’s blowout win, the Spartans lost all three games by a combined score of 100-17.
Minnesota 52, Maryland 10
Freshman quarterback Tyler DeSue threw the first touchdown pass of his career connecting with Tayon Fleet-Davis for a 59-yard touchdown.
Maryland was thought to have the edge in the rushing game. They have averaged more yards this season (207.1 vs. 187.9), Anthony McFarland was returning from injury and Minnesota was without leading tackler Kamal Martin. It was the Gophers, however, who ran all over the field on Saturday.
Minnesota running back Rodney Smith rushed for 103 yards which by itself was more than all of Maryland’s rushers combined. The Gophers rushed for a total of 321 yards while Maryland managed only 79.
McFarland rushed for 38 yards in his return.
The third quarter really encapsulated what the entire game was like for the Terps’ offense as Maryland ran a grand total of six offensive plays for nine yards.
Oh quarterback spirits, have the Terps done to anger you so?
Tyrrell Pigrome started the game but exited with a left knee/leg injury. Josh Jackson missed the past two games with a high-ankle sprain, but was thought to be healthy. He played one series in the first quarter, a three-and-out in which he missed a wide-open Dontay Demus. DeSue finished the game after Pigrome’s injury.
Here are the final passing stats for each quarterback (warning, the following stats are graphic and should be considered offensive):
Pigrome: 6 completions on 9 passes, 43 yards and 2 interceptions
Jackson: 0 completions on 2 passes, 0 yards
DeSue: 4 completions on 12 passes, 88 yards, 1 touchdown
Louisville 28, Virginia 21
Bryce Perkins had the play of the game in the first quarter when he turned what looked like a disaster into a big gain. On third down, the snap went off of Perkins’ hands and into the air. He grabbed the botched snap and heaved the ball downfield to Hasis Dubois who caught it for a 39-yard gain.
Nash Griffin kicked the longest punt in the FBS this season as he belted a 78-yard bomb to pin Louisville deep.
Virginia’s offensive line is a major weakness. Though the Cavs did get two rushing touchdowns from from Wayne Taulapapa, the offense could only muster 78 total rushing yards for the game. THe problem is that the offensive line can’t open up the run game which forces Perkins into more passes and designed quarterback runs. The offensive line is also getting gutted in pass blocking as well and can’t protect the quarterback.
Basically, Virginia’s offense can’t run the ball which forces the ball into Perkins’ hands more, but the poor blocking is also resulting in him taking more hits.
Perkins left the game briefly with an injury. He was able to return, but the wear and tear may be getting to him.
This has been an issue for most of the season, but Perkins is a good enough player that he can bail the offense out. The longer the season goes and the more punishment Perkins takes, however, the less he will be able to make up for the team’s deficiencies on the offensive line and we saw that on Saturday.
UVA took control of first place last week with a blowout win over Duke. That lead lasted one whole week as Saturday’s loss drops their conference record to 3-2 putting them in a tie with North Carolina. Virginia Tech and Pitt both lurk just a half-game behind as well at 2-2.
Navy 41, Tulane 38
Jamale Carothers went off in this game for 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns to lead the Midshipmen in a night where Malcolm Perry was relatively bottled him, by his standards anyway.
Freshman kicker Bijan Nichols kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired to give Navy the win as time expired. The win gives was the sixth of the season making the Midshipmen bowl eligible.
The game never should have been that close. Navy squandered a 24-0 lead as Tulane quarterback did everything he could to bring his team back. He would score five total touchdowns on the night.
Diego Fagot returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown. It was notable as it is the first pick-six for the Midshipmen this season. In fact, it is Navy’s first pick-six since all the way back on Nov. 26, 2016.
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