College Park, MD.—Maryland had to regroup after taking a 43-3 beating from Northwestern.
The Terrapins are hoping this young quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will be the answer for the next few years for them. Tagovailoa has proven that when the game is on the line, he can turn it up another notch.
The overtime opened with Tagovailoa scrambling 2 yards to the right and punching it in for the touchdown. Kicker Joseph Petrino converted the ensuing extra-point attempt.
Maryland started off with 21 of the game’s first 28 points, the Terps struggled a little in the second half, but then scored the final 17 points in regulation to beat the University of Minnesota, 45-44, in overtime Friday night in a Big Ten match up at College Park.
Minnesota came right back and scored, wide receiver Seth Green scored from 2 yards out. But redshirt sophomore kicker Brock Walker pushed the extra-point attempt wide right, sealing the victory for Maryland in which the elated players ran from one end zone to the other.
“I wasn’t expecting him to miss that, but he missed it, and I’m glad he did because this is a big ‘W’ for us,” Lawtez Rogers said. “Everybody was doubting us, but we didn’t doubt ourselves.”
The victory helps the Terps avoid opening the season with back-to-back losses for the first time since 2003 when the program belonged in the Atlantic Coast Conference and lost to Northern Illinois and Florida State. The team dodged dropping to 0-2 in the conference for the first time since 2015 when that team opened the season with losses to Michigan and Ohio State.
The Maryland defense was a little shaky, Minnesota tallied 451 yards with Mohammed Ibrahim totting the ball 41 times for 207 yards and four touchdowns, scorching the Terps on every carry.
The Golden Gophers offense went through Ibrahim, who ran crazy on Maryland defense that allowed three consecutive scores from Ibrahim on the goal-line to put the Terps down 28-21 at the break.
Fifth-year senior running back Jake Funk rushed for a career-high 221 yards on 21 carries, scored on a touchdown run, and recorded his first touchdown catch since Sept. 30, 2017, a span of 1,126 days.
“That was a great character win for us,” coach Mike Locksley said. “It was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but we got great play out of our offense, we got great play out of our defense when we needed it the most, and then our special teams came through as well. So it was a great complementary win where I thought all three phases contributed to the win.”
Tagovailoa went 26-of-35 for 394 yards with three touchdowns and one pick. He also rushed eight times for 59 yards and two scores. He became the program’s first 300-yard passer since Oct. 12, 2013 when Caleb Rowe threw for 332 yards against the University of Virginia.
In the second half, quarterback Tanner Morgan hit with redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell on a 39-yarder for a touchdown with 11:54 left in the third quarter to extend Minnesota’s advantage to 35-21, The Terps then drove 84 yards to the 1-yard line. Then freshman running back Peny Boone was hit hard by junior safety Jordan Howden in the backfield and fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line. The ball was recovered by Justus Harris in the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
After Minnesota kicked a field goal, Maryland ended a scoring drought of 34:10 when Tagovailoa spotted Demus on a 15-yard slant route from the right side with 13:14 left in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 38-28.
That play energized the Maryland offense. First, Petrino converted his 51-yarder, and then Funk rushed twice for 50 yards on a three-play, 56-yard march completed by his 19-yard run off right tackle and into the end zone to knot the score at 38-38 with 3:38 left in regulation. The Terps gave the ball back with plenty time on the clock.
Another defensive stop gave Maryland the ball again, this time with a chance to win it. Tagovailoa hit with receiver Brian Cobbs for 30 yards to get it Minnesota’s 39-yard line, but a pass-interference penalty put Maryland way behind the sticks. Facing a 3rd-and-25, Tagovailoa checked it down to Funk for 10 yards before letting the clock bleed into overtime, where the Terps sealed the deal to complete its stunning victory.
“Not one time did they flinch when we were down 17 in the fourth quarter,” Locksley said. “We just kept playing. We preach that to our team, that we’re not gonna be a team that watches the scoreboard.
MARYLAND@NO. 18 PENN STATE
Next Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
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