It took most of the game, but Maryland’s one-two (and now three) punch of running backs Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison III and Tayon Fleet-Davis finally knocked out Bowling Green 45-14 Saturday at Doyt L. Perry Stadium in the Falcons’ home opener.
The Terrapins (2-0) struggled through a mistake-filled first half, finishing with 14 penalties for 139 yards, before taking command thanks to a ground game and a suddenly suffocating defense. Maryland churned to 444 rushing yards, with Johnson leading the way with 12 carries for 124 yards, while Harrison added 86 yards on eight rushes.
Quarterback Jarret Doege spotted Bowling Green (0-2) to a 14-10 halftime lead with two first half touchdown passes on his way to going 17 of 27 for 143 yards. But it was all Maryland in the second half, the Terrapins taking their first lead with 4:31 left in the third quarter when Kasim Hill hit Jahrvis Davenport for a 22-yard score to make it 17-14.
Fleet-Davis had a 9-yard run to make it 24-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Johnson added a 1-yard score with 9:52 remaining. Fleet-Davis finished with 15 carries for a career high 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Maryland committed nine penalties and a lost a fumble in a sloppy first half but finally put together a 77-yard drive that culminated in Harrison’s 5-yard scoring run at 2:34 in the second quarter to even the score.
But Doege, working out of the Falcons’ hurry-up attack drove the ball 67 yards and hit Quintin Morris for a 29 yard score 1:13 before the half.
Doege’s 3-yard slant to Scott Miller, who caught a pass in his 27th straight game, had put Bowling Green up 7-0 late in the first quarter. Doege hit on 12 of 16 first half passes for 113 yards. The Terrapins closed the halftime gap on freshman Joseph Petrino’s 40-yard field goal with just three seconds left.
The Falcons finished with just 15 yards rushing and 158 total yards, including only 33 yards in the second half.
Bowling Green hosts Eastern Kentucky next Saturday, while the Terrapins will play their true home opener against Temple. Maryland defeated No. 23 Texas last week, 34-29, at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
—Field Level Media