COLLEGE PARK, Maryland – Making his first start following a season ending injury to starting quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, Kasim Hill led the Maryland offense over the Towson Tigers on Saturday afternoon, 63-17.
Hill, a true freshman from Washington, D.C., passed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, before he was pulled in the fourth quarter after the game was safely put away.
All week long, Towson coach Rob Ambrose remained confident in the Tigers ability to travel down I-95 and come home with a win.
But the Maryland offense picked up where it left off a week ago in Austin, driving 62 yards for an opening drive touchdown.
On the next drive, Kasim Hill drove the Terps 60 yards in 99 seconds, culminating in a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Maryland’s running game followed up a 263-yard performance against Texas with a 367-yard day, including a 74-yard touchdown run by Ty Johnson on the Terrapins third possession of the game.
With 5:56 left in the first quarter, the scoreboard read 21-0 Maryland.
After Maryland’s third touchdown of the game, Towson put together a sustained 11 play, 81-yard drive, capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Stover to Jabari Allen that cut the Terps lead to 14.
Stover, making his first career start in place of injured starter, Morgan Mahalak, made two critical mistakes that left Coach Ambrose incensed on the Towson sidelines.
On Towson’s next possession, the freshman from Pennsylvania threw a pass down the right side of the field that was intercepted by Maryland’s Darnell Savage Jr., who returned it 75 yards for a touchdown, increasing Maryland’s lead to 28-7.
Stover later missed a wide open tight end Joe Green in the end zone on a pass he admitted to rushing after Maryland’s defense broke through the Towson offensive line.
While the Tigers front seven struggled to stop Maryland’s running backs all afternoon, Towson’s pass defense improved from a week ago when they gave up 185 yards through the air to Morgan State.
After the game, Coach Ambrose who said he was, “on a different continent than happy,” did express his admiration for the offense’s ability to move the ball, something they struggled to do against Morgan State.
Ambrose was also pleased with punter Pat Toomey, who averaged five yards more a kick compared to a week ago, including a 65-yard punt in the fourth quarter.
Prior to the game, Maryland coach DJ Durkin demoted placekicker Adam Greene over his struggles to start the season, replacing him with graduate transfer, Henry Darmstadter, who converted all nine extra point attempts.
The home crowd at Maryland Stadium trickled in throughout the first quarter, but the student section was full before kickoff for the first time in years.
Noon starts usually signal poor student attendance which hinders Maryland’s home field advantage, as the student section is strategically located behind the visitor’s bench.
It remains to be seen if Maryland’s blowout victory will be enough to catapult them into the AP Top 25 on Sunday, but Towson coach Rob Ambrose believes if they aren’t, they’ll be there soon.*
- Towson QB Morgan Mahalak was scratched with an upper back injury. Coach Ambrose told media after the game he knew Thursday afternoon his red shirt junior quarterback would not play against the Terrapins.
- Towson defensive coordinator, Lyndon Johnson, made his return to College Park where he served as an assistant coach the last five seasons.
- Maryland wide receiver Jacquille Veii and backup placekicker Danny Sutton both transferred to College Park from Towson.
- Maryland wide receiver Avery Edwards was ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
- Maryland: Bye Week. The Terrapins return to action September 23 at home against Central Florida.
- Towson: The Tigers travel to St. Francis (PA) next Saturday night to take on the 2-0 Red Flash in Loretto, PA.
*Updated 10:30 p.m. September 10, 2017: Maryland remains out of the Top 25, coming in 31st (AP) and 32nd (Coaches).