Rapid Reaction: Maryland can't hang with BGSU in second half
Final: Bowling Green 48, Maryland 27
Telling stat: Bowling Green’s 692 total yards
The Maryland defense couldn’t stop a thing in the second half. We knew that Matt Johnson wasn’t going to be intimated by a Power Five offense after what he did against Tennessee last week, but nobody could’ve predicted how good he looked against Maryland. The Terps top two defenders’ William Likely and Sean Davis didn’t have an answer to contain the high-powered BGSU passing game. I didn’t think they would allow a 200-yard receiver all season, much less in the second game of the season.
Key play: Perry Hills INT on 4th and 5 with Maryland trailing 7 in fourth quarter
The dagger that ended Maryland’s day was a costly interception to Dernard Turner. On fourth down, it was a do-or-die scenario and the Terps died on that play. Three plays later, Bowling Green capitalized on a 44-yard touchdown and that was all she wrote.
-Hills struggles, then replaced
We knew it might be a little rough early on for Maryland and quarterback, but those issues surfaced earlier than expected. Against the same Bowling Green defense that allowed 59 points to Tennessee last week held Hills to 50-percent passing and picked off a pair of his passes. Hills did have 82 yards rushing on six carries in the first half, but that covered up his struggles throwing the ball. Even worse, Caleb Rowe came in relief in the fourth quarter and threw an interception on his first play. Randy Edsall is going to have to answer quarterback questions all week.
-Will Likely is still ridiculous
Why did they punt to him? Didn’t they see him rip off a Big Ten-record 233 punt return yards last week? Well, Likely took advantage of a poor decision by BGSU and broke off an 85-yard touchdown return, which was the second longest in school history. He flashed his lethal ability to make tacklers miss and gave the Maryland offense an early boost. Without he and Brad Craddock, the Terps would’ve been in even worse shape Saturday.
What it means: Maryland has major defensive issues
This was a game that the Terps were going to make a statement under new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski. Instead, the Terps struggled across the board. They couldn’t get pressure on Matt Johnson and let the Falcons do whatever they wanted in the second half. With all the issues the Terps’ inexperienced offense is having, they need that to be the backbone of this team. On Saturday, it was what sank any chance of 2-0.
What’s next: vs. USF
Just like Bowling Green, USF will come into its showdown against Maryland having just played a loaded squad. The Bulls were tied against No. 11 Florida State at halftime until the Seminoles rolled in the second half. Needless to say, there’s a lot the Terps need to fix before the Bulls come to town. Settling on a quarterback might be one of them.