College Park, Md.—Terps Coach Mike Locksley wanted to get off to a fast start not have a repeat performance they had against Charlotte last weekend.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa passed for 342 yards and a touchdown, the Terrapins came back from to beat Virginia (0-3) 42-14 on Friday night at SECU Stadium in the teams’ first match-up in a decade. The Terps turned the game into a blowout at the end, forcing four turnovers in the fourth quarter.
It marked the sixth straight loss for Virginia dating back to last season and their first 0-3 start since 2016. The meeting with Maryland was also the first one since both schools joined the ACC in 2013.
Cavaliers quarterback Anthony Colandrea’s pass was intercepted by Terrapins defensive back Tarheeb Still and their hopes of a comeback were evaporated early in the fourth quarter.
Colandrea threw for 263 yards, 141 of which were to wide-out Malik Washington.
“He’s trying to make a play,” UVa coach Tony Elliott said about Colandrea. “That’s a young man that wants to win a football game.”
Maryland fell behind 14-0 early before rallying to win by double digits — they beat Charlotte 38-20 the previous weekend in the same fashion.
UVa gave up 119 yards on the ground with 77 of those rushing yards coming in the second half. The Terrapins registered four plays of 15 yards or longer in the fourth quarter as well. Tagovailoa escaped pressures to extend plays late in the contest.
“I think I have enough proof that we’re a team that’s built to overcome adversity, and I don’t think I need to see us down 14-0 anymore to know that we’re capable,” Locksley said. “Our defense did a tremendous job — shutout the last three quarters, getting the ball back to our offense with those turnovers.”
“That’s the hard part,” Cavaliers running back Perris Jones said. “We know we’re shooting ourselves in the foot, so it’s like, ‘Dang, we’ve got to give ourselves a chance by not beating ourselves,’ and that’s the frustrating part.”
Later in the series, Colandrea was able to convert another third-and-long to give the Cavaliers a chance to knot the score. Washington turned a routine reception on third-and-23 into a 25-yard gain by running past the Terrapins’ defense to the 12-yard line to end the third quarter.
“That’s probably the best way I could say it,” UVa offensive coordinator Des Kitchings said, “just because there was tight coverage. But the immediate response when [Colandrea] came off the field was that he knew and said, ‘I should’ve ran it. It was wide open.’ It’s just growing. He’s a true freshman and it’s unfortunate we had that moment tonight.”
Maryland pushed across three rushing touchdowns in the final frame — one for Roman Hemby, one for Antwain Littleton II and one for Colby McDonald — to make the score lopsided after three competitive quarters.
“He’s going to have moments where he’s going to have to learn on the field,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said. “In that situation, you instruct him in the huddle, ‘Hey, if it’s not there, throw it away. We got points.’”
The next UVa possession ended with Colandrea rolling to his left behind the line of scrimmage and toward the sideline only for the right-handed thrower to fire across his body to find running back Kobe Pace, who was wide open on the other side of the field after slipping out of the backfield. It was a 19-yard touchdown and two-score advantage while marking the second straight game Colandrea has thrown to Pace for a touchdown.
Maryland went in front immediately after the break on Tagovailoa’s 64-yard touchdown pass to Jeshaun Jones, and the Cavaliers never threatened until Colandrea’s stab at a tying-touchdown throw.
“You just tell him, ‘Learn from your mistakes,’” Elliott said, “and you say, ‘Look, that’s where you’re going to get better. Keep your head up,’ because we’re not in that football game if it’s not for Colandrea.”
Virginia: The Cavaliers play another Friday night game next week, at home against N.C. State.
Maryland: The Terps open Big Ten play at Michigan State next Saturday.