Instant Reactions: Maryland 56, Charlotte 21

Maryland moved to 2-0 with a resounding win at Charlotte on Saturday afternoon. Breaking down the instant reactions from the win…

Instant reactions

  • Whatever rust the passing attack felt one week ago looked to be shaken off in week two. Maryland took advantage early and often after scoring touchdowns on their first five drives. Taulia finished the first half 20-of-22 for 305 yards and four touchdowns and completed at least one pass to nine different receivers. It was Jacob Copeland who was first to break the century mark as he accounted for a pair of early touchdowns, one a 39-yard catch and the next a 45-yard catch. Jeshaun Jones also capped off a pair of drives with touchdowns and the passing attack was reason why Maryland had four of its five scoring drives end in points in under two minutes. Maryland did what it needed to do against its week two opponent, but the chemistry was more evident in week two compared to week one.
  • Taulia finished the day 26-of-30 for 366 yards and four touchdowns and one final rushing touchdown but appeared to twist his ankle at the end of the play. Taulia was able to jog off the field but did not return to the game with a 42-14 lead midway through the third. After getting his injury checked out in the medical tent, Taulia ran along the sideline pumping up the crowd as he showed no signs of lingering pain. Moments later, Taulia relieved Edwards for one play and converted a 25-yard pass to Leon Haughton on fourth down to extend the drive.
  • The rushing attack was led by a three-headed trio in Saturday’s win with another young buck emerging. Antwain Littleton had just one carry in the first half, but that didn’t stop him from turning heads after busting free for a 59-yard touchdown. The score pushed Maryland’s lead to 21-7 then it was Colby McDonald’s time to shine, punching in a 49-yard touchdown on the second play of the late third quarter drive. For the second straight week, the rushing attack showed signs of becoming a room capable of making the home run plays like head coach Mike Locksley often looks for.
  • Miscues continue to be an issue for Maryland. Maryland was called for three penalties inside Charlotte’s 20-yard line but were able to overcome each for eventual touchdowns. Maryland also committed a pair of penalties on defense that led to Charlotte first downs, a concerning sign for the defense, but more on that next.

Buy your tickets for Maryland football here

  • If there were any questions about Maryland after the game, it’s on defense. Charlotte opened its offense with a 15-play drive that ended in touchdowns, one of two touchdowns through the first three series. With nearly 200 yards of total offense allowed in the first quarter, the Terps’ defensive line was abused at the of scrimmage early but managed to settle in during the game. Same could be said for the secondary, who allowed three plays of 15 or more yards on the day. Missed tackles plagued the front seven early while lapses in coverage were prevalent for the second straight week. Another defensive concern? The lack of pressure generated as the defense finished with just one sack, which came in the final minute thanks to Quashon Fuller. Maryland’s front seven was the biggest question heading into the season and one week after showing signs of promise, Saturday’s win generated signs of concern.
  • Even through good, bad and ugly in Maryland’s win, Saturday proved to be another historic day for Taulia through just two and a half quarters. Taulia’s first passing touchdown to Jeshaun Jones moved him pass Scott McBrien into third on Maryland’s all-time career touchdown passing list. Taulia also moved into fifth in career yards and needs just 110 yards to pass CJ Brown in fourth all-time, while his 87% completion percentage is the highest single game mark in program history. His efficiency will be much needed in next week’s showdown vs. SMU,
  • CB Tarheeb Still did not travel with the team today. DT Taizse Johnson and CB Corey Coley were also unavailable and did not travel. DB Glen Miller suffered a first-half injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the game.

Numbers to Know 

617: Maryland finished with 617 yards of total offense in the win, including 193 on the ground. It’s the most passing yards since Maryland’s win over Indiana last year.

-1: After failing to produce a turnover for the second consecutive week, the lone turnover of the day was Taulia’s interception late in the second quarter.

100%: Maryland converted all four redzone attempts in Saturday’s win, each resulting in a touchdown. Maryland finished second-to-last in the Big Ten in redzone conversion one season ago.

13: Thirteen different players caught at least one pass on Saturday. Jeshaun Jones finished with a team-high six catches while Copeland broke the century mark on four catches.

77.9%: Maryland converted seven of their nine third down conversion attempts in the win. Maryland finished eighth in the Big Ten in third down conversions one season ago, converting just 38.2% of their attempts. Maryland finished 4-of-13 on 3rd downs one week ago vs. Buffalo.

Related Links

VIP: Coaches on the Road; 2023 Tidbit (+)

Maryland heating up pursuit of 2024 four-star

Maryland basketball conference schedule released

2024 WR Eric Smith recaps second visit to Maryland (+)