Maryland stole the spotlight from Tom Herman in his much-anticipated Texas coaching debut last week, but it came at a heavy cost. Sophomore quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome was lost for the season with a torn ACL, leaving freshman Kasim Hill to lead the team when in-state FCS foe Towson visits on Saturday.
With Maryland nearly a three-touchdown underdog playing against 88,000 Longhorns fans, Pigrome played the best game of his young career, passing for 175 yards and two scores on just 12 attempts and running for 64 yards and another score in the 51-41 triumph. The defense chipped in by forcing three turnovers and returning a blocked punt for a TD as the Terrapins posted their first win over a ranked opponent in seven years and first on the road in nine seasons. “You try to measure these things and you like to say you know where your team is, but you don’t really know until you get out there and get in the fire,” Maryland second-year coach DJ Durkin told reporters after the game. “It was good to see our guys respond that way. We’re certainly going to have a lot more moments like that throughout the season and we’ve got to build on that. And now we can say we’ve been there before and responded the right way. That’s a great thing to have — experience.”
TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: None
ABOUT TOWSON (1-0): The Tigers forced four turnovers - securing three interceptions in the first half - in shutting out Morgan State 10-0 in its home opener last Saturday. Towson needed the turnovers to set up its scores as the offense generated only 102 yards of total offense, including 17 on the ground. Ryan Stover (5-of-12, 44 yards) and Morgan Mahalak (8-of-19, 41 yards, 3 Interceptions) split quarterback duties for an offense that generated just two plays longer than 15 yards all day.
ABOUT MARYLAND (1-0): Ty Johnson rambled for 132 yards on just 12 carries as the Terrapins churned out 263 yards on the ground for a 6.1 per carry average. D.J. Moore caught seven passes for 133 yards and a TD and Taivon Jacobs added a 46-yard scoring reception and 103 kickoff return yards after missing 2016 with an injury. Hill stepped in late in the third quarter and completed all three of his passes for 44 yards and scored on a three-yard run to provide the Terrapins a 44-34 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left.
1. Despite being separated by only 50 miles, this is just the second meeting all-time between the teams. Maryland won 28-3 in 2011.
2. Terrapins DE Jesse Aniebonam, who led the team with nine sacks in 2016, is out for “several months” after fracturing an ankle against the Longhorns.
3. Maryland beat No. 21 North Carolina State at home in 2010 for the last triumph over a ranked team and No. 20 Clemson on the road in 2008.
PREDICTION: Maryland 56, Towson 7