Instant Reactions: Rushing Attack Leads Maryland to 31-10 Win over Buffalo

Maryland opened the season with a 31-10 win over Buffalo in an uneven offensive attack. Roman Hemby shined with a pair of touchdowns, though, to help the Terps move to 1-0. Breaking down instant reactions from the win…

  • Taulia Tagovailoa has an uneven day: Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa finished the game completing 24 of 34 passes and 290 yards. Lia, though, had some throws he wished he had back. On Maryland’s second drive in the second half, he overshot Corey Dyches and the pass was intercepted. He also had some other throws that were off target and a few into tight coverage. He didn’t pass for a touchdown for the first time since his first game as a Maryland quarterback. Lia had a streak of 16 straight games with a touchdown pass.
  • First Half was a little mixed: Maryland was off to a great start, as they caused a three-and-out on Buffalo’s first possession. On offense, Lia completed 3 of 4 passes for 45 yards before Roman Hemby 33-yard rushing touchdown. Afterwards, there were offense had a tough time the rest of the half. Their second drive resulted in a three-and-out, while others were held back by penalties.  The defense also had some issues with Buffalo’s offense despite only giving up seven points. The Terps allowed some drives to continue with penalties and the Bulls gained over 150 yards. There was also a nine-yard run on a bad snap and a first down run third-and-11 cause by the middle of the field being wide open.  However, the defense tighten up in the second half causing four three-and-outs and not allowing another score until the starters came off the field.
  • Running game off to a great start: Maryland finished with 24 carries for 140 yards on the ground. Roman Hemby started off the running game with the 33-yard TD run. It was mentioned that Hemby barely cracked a smile on the sideline after the play. He then started the second half with a run of 70 yards. Antwain Littleton got the Terps second touchdown handily with a 21-yard run to the 2, then finished the job on the next play. He then went over the top of the line in the fourth quarter for his second touchdown. Hemby finished with 114 yards on seven carries, while Littleton had 34 yards on six carries. Both had two touchdowns. Colby McDonald and Ramon Brown also got a few touches but this was Littleton and Hemby’s day of running.

  • Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus are Back: Jones and Demus were playing in their first game back since they both suffering knee injuries last year.At the end of the first half, it was Jeshaun Jones who was leading the Terps in receptions and yards. Jones also had the first two catches on the day. His third catch was a 15-yard catch on third-and-8. Demus had a moment of his own when he converted a third down with a tough sideline catch. Jones finished with four catches for 70 yards, while Demus had three catches for 23 yards. Having both back on the field and fully healthy was the best thing to see though.
  • First Game Mistakes: Jaelyn Duncan had a call for holding and hands to the face that took away some good gains. The holding call forced a punt by the Terps. DJ Glaze called also for holding and Maryland ended the drive with a field goal. Cornerback Deonte Banks called for pass interference that helped Buffalo get across midfield. Beau Brade extended another Buffalo with a holding call drive on a third-and-six. The Terps finished with eight penalties for 83 yards. Maryland turns it over on downs late in the first half on a fourth-and-one. Jakorian Bennett had a tough moment for him as he dropped an interception.
  • Defensive Line Impresses:Maryland’s veteran defensive line did its job all game, causing pressure on the QB and stopping the run. Henry Chibueze had the first sack of the season with Vandarius Cowan finishing it off. He added another in the fourth quarter. Mosiah Nasili-Kite also had a sack on a third-and-four that caused Buffalo to punt from inside the ten. The defense finished with four sacks and seven tackles for loss. While the line didn’t always get home they didn’t allow a run over 20 yards and held Buffalo to under three yards a carry.
  • Special Teams Good and Bad Moments: Transfer Kicker Chad Ryland was perfect on his kicks, making his only field goal attempt from 45 yards and all his extra points. The first one was five yards further after an illegal Snap by long snapper Ethan Gough. He made up for it by helping down a punt inside the five. Ryland also had a free kick out of bounds that set the Bulls up at the 35 but the Bulls turned it over on downs. Cornerback Tarheeb Still had a good day returning punts with a 17-yard punt return that helped set up Maryland’s second touchdown, and a return of 18 on another punt. There was also a Bulls missed field goal that was called back because of an offside. The Terps was able to stop them on fourth down.
  • Young Guys get Some Time:The running backs were not the only young guys to make an impact in this game. Octivian Smith Jr. Had two catches go for first downs in the second quarter. He also returned a kickoff over 40 yards. Tight End CJ Dippre finished with three catches for 30 yards. Caleb Wheatland and Jaishawn Barham were on the field with the first team defense. Kellen Wyatt had a sack in the second half that set up a third-and-21. Gavin Gibson and Lionel Whitaker got some playing time in the fourth quarter. Gibson had some rough moments with a pass interference and a long completion that set Buffalo up inside the 20. He recovered breaking up a pass on a fourth-and-two on the following drive. Whitaker broke up a pass during the same drive that caused the Bulls to settle for a field goal. Billy Edwards took over for Lia with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
  • Injuries:
    • Corey Dyches limped off the field in the fourth quarter.
    • Corey Coley didn’t suit up.
  • Numbers to Know:
    • 5:Number of Pass Breakups by Jakanion Bennett. Bennett picking up right where he left off last year.
    • 16: Straight games that Lia had a touchdown pass before this game. This was the longest active streak in College Football.
  • Up Next: Maryland is on the road in a match-up against Charlotte.