Rapid reaction: Maryland bounces back with win vs. South Florida
Final: Maryland 35, South Florida 17
Telling stat: Maryland’s 297-60 passing yards advantage
Caleb Rowe didn’t make it look easy at first. He did throw an interception on his second pass of the game. But for a guy making his first start in the season, he responded in a big way. He settled down and got the Jacobs’ brothers involved. The Terps, meanwhile, got back to their stout defense against the pass. Sean Davis picked off two passes and contained the Bulls all afternoon.
Key play: Rowe’s fumbled option pass, Brandon Ross picks it up for score
Maryland had the chance to make it a two-score game at the end of the first half, and it looked like it wasn’t going to happen when Rowe delivered a failed option pass. Instead of the Bulls recovering the fumble and going into the break with a one-possession deficit, Ross made sure that didn’t happen. He picked the fumble up and took it into the end zone to give the Terps an all-important two-possession lead going into halftime. Momentum. Swing.
-Rowe is first Maryland QB to throw for three TD passes in three years
Rowe ended the day with four touchdown passes filling after replacing Perry Hills as starter. Considering the guy had three interceptions in his first five passes of the season, that’s not a bad turnaround. He did throw three interceptions in this one, which will have to be improved. But still, for a team that looked lost in the passing game, it needed Rowe to make throws like he did on the 70-yard touchdown to Taivon Jacobs. Randy Edsall might just have his guy.
-Avery Edwards gets first career TD catch
Have a day Mr. Edwards. He scored his first career touchdown pass, then one-upped it with another score to put it away in the fourth quarter. This team has the least experienced group of pass-catchers in the Big Ten. The freshman tight end hadn’t been much of a threat in the passing game coming into Saturday, but he could be a safety blanket for Rowe.
What it means: The Terps can respond
Keep in mind that this was a South Florida team that was tied with No. 11 Florida State at halftime last week. The Terps needed to show up for this one and they did. Not only did the Terps get back on track with a win, but they did so convincingly. This group still needs to improve on the ground to have success in the Big Ten, but Saturday had to be a positive sign for a group that needed a confidence boost after last week’s fourth quarter meltdown.