Rapid Reaction: Maryland overcomes 17-point deficit vs. Minnesota, scores first win of 2020
Final score: Maryland 45 Minnesota 44
Quick recap: The second week of the B1G season is off to a spooky start. Maryland got off to a hot start on the arm of Taulia Tagovailoa, building a 14-0 advantage early and leading 21-7 at the end of the 1st quarter. But the middle two quarters belonged to Minnesota. The Gophers scored 21 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and took a 28-21 advantage into the locker room. The Gophers added 10 more points to their lead in the 3rd quarter, leading 38-21 and seemingly putting the game away. But the Terrapins mounted a furious 4th quarter comeback and scored 17 points in the final 15 minutes to force overtime. Tagovailoa scored the first TD in overtime, giving Maryland a 45-38 lead. Minnesota answered on a TD run from Seth Green, but Brock Walker missed the PAT, resulting in the Terrapins’ first win of the season.
Key moment: As strange as it sounds in a game that reached the mid-40s in point totals, The 51-yard field goal make by Joseph Petrino kept Maryland’s hopes of a comeback alive. Trailing 38-28, The Terrapins were in a 4th-and-22 situation and needed to make it a one-possession game. Petrino got just enough leg and got Maryland within a possession — which it later took advantage of.
Key player: It’s hard to argue against Taulia Tagovailoa. He started off hot and finished even hotter. That murkiness in the middle essentially gets thrown out the window. Tagovailoa ended the night throwing for 394 yards and 3 touchdowns on 26-of-35 passing, while also rushing for 64 yards and a pair of scores, including the game winner.
Key stat: Maryland’s offense piled up 675 yards in the win on Friday night, eviscerating the Gophers for most of the evening. Even though the Terps struggled at times to get into the end zone, the Minnesota defense couldn’t get key stops when it needed it most.
What it means for Minnesota (0-2): Things are bad in Minneapolis, and they’re probably not getting better anytime soon. The Gophers have some serious special teams issues (as seen on the field PAT attempt) and can’t get stops defensively. Maryland was easily the worst team on the Gophers’ schedule in 2020. It doesn’t mean Minnesota can’t bounce back and have a nice season, but it certainly looks unlikely at this point. There’s a real shot that P.J. Fleck and Co. fall all the way to the bottom of the B1G West a year after finishing 11-2.
What it means for Maryland (1-1): Nobody in the B1G needed a win more than Mike Locksley. Give a lot of credit to Maryland, after getting laughed off the field by Northwestern a week ago, the Terrapins managed to start the game off hot, building a 21-7 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. And when they trailed by 17 in the final quarter, the Terps found a way to battle back. Maryland still has a ton to clean up on both sides of the football, but Friday’s win gives Locksley’s team some much-needed confidence moving forward.