Taulia Tagovailoa rallies Maryland football past Minnesota

Tagovailoa led a formidable rally in the fourth quarter, bringing the terps back from a 17-point deficit to force overtime. In extra time, his two-yard run gave Maryland a seven point lead. The Golden Gophers scored on their first possession in overtime, but Brock Walker’s extra point hovered right at Capital One Field and the Terps had their first win – and Tagovailoa’s first as the team’s starting quarterback.

“I think we showed a lot of grit, a lot of struggle and a lot of perseverance to make such a loss and so our team can just keep fighting,” said Tagovailoa. “… I think it just shows the kind of team we have. Hopefully we can build on that. “

Tagovailoa played with poise and precision at the crucial moment of the game. He opened the Terps’ overtime drive with a 12-yard pass for Jeshaun Jones and concluded it with the scoring run, the fifth touchdown he scored that evening.

Tagovailoa completed 26 of 35 passes for 394 yards with three touchdowns. He also ran eight times for 64 yards and two points. He had an interception with a tipped ball in the second quarter, but navigated effortlessly under pressure all night and played from behind until the last minutes of the second half.

“I think last week was a bigger surprise to us than what we saw this week,” said Maryland coach Michael Locksley, “because this is the same kind of play and throws and energy that he brought to the table has, which is why he. ” deserves the position. It was great to see him jump back. “

The Terps defense fought all night, but the unit rallied two stops to give the team a chance. After Maryland fell 38-21, senior Jake Funk (a career high of 221 rushing yards) finished the game 3:38 with a 19-yard run. But again, the Minnesota defense stopped on the Gophers’ final drive to force overtime.

“Our defenses hit further away,” said Locksley. “They kept fighting. They kept playing hard. We put a few people in there. We got some stops when we needed them there the most late in the game. I thought the energy level continued as they continued on late in the game had little success. ” with leaving the field. “

The game marked the first time in Maryland history that the team had a 300-yard passer and a 200-yard rusher in the same game.

Tagovailoa, who was intercepted three times on his Northwestern debut last week, was sharp from the start. At the start of the game he escaped two defenders and scored a 39 meter run. He later tossed a 76-yard touchdown pass to Jones as Maryland built a 21-7 lead in the first quarter.

Minnesota bounced back, however, when a defender tipped a screen pass from Tagovailoa before ending up in the hands of defender DeAngelo Carter. The Gophers promptly scored a goal, narrowing the Terps’ early lead and starting Minnesota’s 31 consecutive points.

Locksley previously described Tagovailoa’s performance at Evanston as “first-start jitter,” and when Tagovailoa pegged sales against Minnesota, he did not let his performance fall. The terps had to overcome costly mistakes. They finished the game with 10 penalties for a loss of 97 yards.

The Terps attempted a field goal just before half-time, which would have ended the longer, goalless run, but Joseph Petrino’s attempt bounced off the post. Maryland flipped the ball twice and the offensive line allowed a third sack for a 16 yards loss when the Terps entered the red zone 10 points down, approximately seven minutes from the end. But Petrino made a career-long 51-yard field goal to reduce Minnesota’s lead to 38-31.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan tried just 15 passes and completed 10, including a 39-yard touchdown pass for Chris Autman-Bell. On that trip, Maryland put Minnesota in a difficult position with third and 14th place, but then defender Mosiah Nasil-Kite was reported for unsportsmanlike conduct. Two games later, Autman-Bell’s acrobatic attack gave Minnesota a 35-21 lead.

Given that 14 point deficit in the third quarter, Tagovailoa led Maryland through an 85-yard drive. But with the first hit and the goal from the 1-yard line, the freshman running back Peny Boone fumbled around in the end zone and Minnesota got the ball back.

The Gophers kept plowing through Maryland’s defenses, and Minnesota didn’t need Morgan to orchestrate a flashy performance. Mohamed Ibrahim, a former Good Counsel star from Baltimore, made sure of that. He finished the game with 207 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Faced with a strong offensive line, Maryland’s defense, which also battled the hasty attack from the Northwest, had no answer for Ibrahim. The Terps unit started the game well, forcing the Golden Gophers to stab after just six yards. Defense fell back until it found its stance late in the game.

But Tagovailoa’s performance negated the defensive problems that existed for much of the game. With play on the line, he continued to impress until he dived into the end zone when the Terps needed a quarterback who could deliver at the critical moment of the game.