Instant Reactions: Maryland 37, Rutgers 0

Maryland was barely challenged against Rutgers on Saturday as the Terps cruised to a 37-0 win in the final game at SECU Stadium. The win gives Maryland its fourth win in the last five tries against Rutgers as the Terps finish the regular season 7-5 (4-5). Breaking down our instant reactions from. SECU Stadium:

Offense Has No Issues with Star Player Sidelined 

Maryland was without WR Rakim Jarrett against Rutgers due to a knee injury, but the offense had no issues spreading the ball as Taulia found eight different receivers for at least one completion. Maryland found success on its first drive as they drove just outside of the redzone, but a fumble from TE CJ Dippre gave Rutgers the ball back in what would be the first turnover of the game. After a three-and-out on the second drive, Maryland would again show signs of control before a fumble by RB Antwain Littleton halted the Terps’ drive once again. After that, Maryland would settle in and score touchdowns on three of its next four drives as the passing attack continuously found the favorable matchups against a reeling Rutgers secondary.

Senior receiver Jeshaun Jones would nearly find the endzone before stepping out at the one-yard line, setting up RB Roman Hemby for what would be the first of two one-yard rushing touchdowns to open the second quarter. With just under ten minutes in the first half, a 13-play drive would push Maryland into Rutgers territory before Hemby punched in his second touchdown. Maryland’s defense forced a Rutgers punt with just two minutes left in the first half and Chad Ryland joined in on the scoring, knocking through a 33-yard field goal to push the lead to 17-0 heading into the locker room.

But QB Taulia Tagovailoa would have to be helped off the field in the final minutes of the third quarter, prompting QB Eric Najarian to fill in with QB Billy Edwards Jr. not dressed due to a high ankle sprain. Taulia would calm any potential injury concerns, though, and rejoined the starting unit to open the second half. That set the stage for a big play to start the second stanza as Taulia found WR Tai Felton for a 35-yard gain before a 4th-and-3 set the stage for a 25-yard completion to TE Corey Dyches positioned the Terps inside the redzone once more. One play later, Hemby ran it in from eight yards out to push the lead to 24-0.

Maryland’s offense was able to largely move the ball at will as the Terps amassed over 500 yards of offense for the second consecutive game. Senior receiver Jeshaun Jones made the most of his opportunities after finishing with eight catches for 125 yards, both career highs and season highs among any Maryland receiver. His 63 yards after catch also lead all skill players as the Florida native shined in what could be his final game inside The Shell.

With the game already in hand, Najarian returned to action to lose out the final seven minutes of action as the Terps eclipsed 500 yards of total offense for the first time since the week two win over Charlotte. Maryland’s offense also generated 29 first downs, committed just two penalties and was 4-for-4 on fourth down in the win.

Defense Shuts Down Rutgers Offense

A big reason why Maryland’s offense was able to hold onto a big lead was because of the defensive performance against a Rutgers offense with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm. In the end, Rutgers would amass just 120 yards of total offense in the fewest yards allowed by Maryland’s defense since joining the Big Ten. Saturday’s win also marked the first shutout by the Terps’ defense since 2008.

Maryland had several matchup advantages against a struggling Rutgers offense and on Saturday, they took full advantage of that. Rutgers would open with punts on each of its first three drives, amassing a total of 12 yards of offense during the stretch, as Maryland did well to eliminate any potential vertical attack from Rutgers QB Gavin Wimsett. Maryland’s defense would face its toughest test after a fumble from RB Antwain Littleton gave Rutgers the ball at their own 29, but the Terps stood tall on its first fourth down attempt and came away with their first sack of the day to take back over.

That would prove to be the lone Rutgers first-half drive that ended in a result other than a punt as Maryland allowed just 59 yards of total offense through the first half. Rutgers’ longest play of the day? A 27-yard catch and run by TE Johnny Langan for the third Rutgers first down despite 40 minutes of gametime in the books. For comparison’s sake, Maryland amassed 22 first downs at that point in the game. Even still, Rutgers was unable to take the ball inside Maryland’s 30 after a sack by LB Ruben Hyppolite forced another Rutgers punt. Rutgers would make a quarterback change to open the fourth quarter, benching Wimsatt in favor of Evan Simon but the results wouldn’t look much different after Jaishawn Barham’s third down sack ended Simon’s first drive.

Maryland stifled Rutgers’ rushing attack to under two yards per carry and allowed just 41 rushing yards, the fewest since the road win against Indiana last month.

Locksley Earns One-Year Contract Extension

As a result of Maryland’s seventh win of the season, head coach Mike Locksley’s contract triggers an additional one-year extension through the 2027 season. The win also gives Maryland its seventh regular season win for the first time since 2014, while the fourth Big Ten win matches a program record. Maryland also finished 5-2 at home this season with both losses (Purdue, Ohio State) by a combined 15 points.


  • List of seniors honored pregame: DL Tyler Baylor, DL Henry Chibueze, WR Jacob Copeland, OT Jaelyn Duncan, DL Austin Fontaine, LB Fa’Najae Gotay, WR Jeshaun Jones, DL Mosiah Nasili-Kite, LB Ahmad McCullough, DE/OLB Durell Nchami, P Anthony Pecorella, K Chad Ryland, LB Alex Simet, LS Colton Spangler, LB Kobi Thomas, SAF Isaiah Hazel.
  • Following a five-yard catch in the first quarter, WR Dontay Demus became the seventh player in program history to eclipse 2,000 receiving yards.
  • Following a 27-yard touchdown to WR Jeshaun Jones, Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa sets the new all-time record for passing touchdowns in program history (50).
  • Nine catches for 152 yards from WR Jeshaun Jones sets a new career high.
  • NFL scouts from the Dolphins, Commanders and Ravens were in attendance for Saturday’s game.

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