Game Reaction: Terps overcome a slow start and roll in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, OH — The Terps improved to 2-0 after a 45-14 win at Doyt L. Perry Stadium. The Terps got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing 14-10 at halftime, but rallied back to score 35 unanswered points in the second half to route the Falcons.

In the first quarter, the Bowling Green fans had the stadium rocking as they welcomed a Power 5 Conference opponent for the first time since 2014. In the first few drives, the Terps’ offense looked explosive, but continued to sabotage themselves with mental mistakes leading to penalties. In the first half alone, the Terps were penalized nine times for 80 yards. On the other hand, the Falcons were taking full advantage of the physical mismatch on the outside. The Bowling Green offense boasted two distinct size advantages with receivers Quintin Morris (6’3′ 230) and Deric Phouthavong (6’5′ 205). In the first half, the Falcons had two touchdown drives, one 14-play, 89-yard drive which ended with a touchdown pass from Jarret Doege to Scott Miller. The other was a drive that ended with a broken play 29-yard touchdown pass from Doege to Morris. At halftime, the prediction’s of a “let down” game looked to be shaping up as a real possibility.

The second half was where the defense really came alive. The defensive line looked explosive firing off the ball, and absolutely dominating the smaller Bowling Green offensive line. Isaiah Davis, Antoine Brooks and Byron Cowart, led the Terps defense with a combined 3.5 and five tackles for loss. After giving up 161 total yards to the Falcons offense in the first half, the Terps defense only gave up seven combined yards in the second half.

After the game, Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks said:

”They physically kicked our tails on both sides of the ball, up front offensively and defensively.”

As the defense absolutely dominated in the second half, Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada committed the Terps to the power run game. The Terps rolled on the ground for the next two quarters racking up a grand total of 444 yards on the ground. They averaged more than eight yards-per-carry, and carried five touchdowns into the endzone. Ty Johnson led the stellar running back group with 124 yards and a touchdown. Tayon Fleet-Davis added 102 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Johnson moved into Maryland’s top 10 all-time rushing list with his performance.

This Maryland football team scored 38 unanswered points to beat a Bowling Green team who were itching for an upset bid. Despite a rocky start, the Terps cruised to a 45-14 win behind a bone-crushing run game and stout defensive front.

OPINION

After a super emotional win against a highly touted Texas Longhorns team, this game had all of the inklings of a potential let down. The game even started with those same feelings, as he Terps ripped off some explosive runs only to shoot themselves in the foot on simultaneous drives. Coach Canada really needs to work with his guys on the mental mistakes. They were able to recover against a lackluster Bowling Green defense, but when BIG10 play opens up, these are the types of mistakes that will cost the team a game. Certainly 14-penalties for 139 yards is completely unacceptable.

The offensive and defensive line looked like real BIG10 units on the field Saturday. They were big and physical, absolutely dominating the smaller front of the Falcons. The running back group, who was stymied in Landover last weekend, showed up in force. They had two players ellipse 100 yards, had four runs for over 30+ yards. A group that needed to show up finally did. Kasim Hill played a solid game completing 50% of his passes for 121 yards and a touchdown through the air.

The Terps looked ugly in the first half, but Coach Canada must have said the right things to get his men focused. All three units came out firing on all cylinders, imposing the brute strength advantage the Terps had. Hopefully, the Terps can keep the freight train power run offense rolling as they welcome a mediocre Temple team to College Park next Saturday at 12PM.

 

 

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