03 September, 2017
Maryland football is 1-0 and it was a total team effort.
It was not supposed to start this way.
After the defense came up big on its next series, stopping the Longhorns on fourth-and-2, the Terps took over at their own 48.
The Texas defense gave up almost 500 yards of offense to Maryland, with Terps quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome accounting for 175 yards passing with two touchdowns and 64 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
This did not go according to plan for Tom Herman. But, it was a loss. Yes, it was the same Maryland that finished 6-7 last season and dropped consecutive Big Ten games to MI and Ohio State by a combined margin of 121-6.
Holton Hill had an interception return and blocked kick return for scores, while Reggie Hemphill-Mapps had a 91-yard punt return for a TD in the defeat.
Shane Buechele passed for 375 yards for Texas (0-1). Moore (133 receiving yards) showed why he is one of the top receivers in the Big Ten, and Pigrome ran the offense well to keep things mixed up.
Texas, meanwhile, gave up a special teams touchdown and missed field goals.
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Just like that, all the issues from the Charlie Strong Era were on full display.
Texas drove again, reaching the Maryland 12 before a holding penalty pushed the Longhorns back to the 29. It began with Maryland starting offensive tackle Derwin Gray blocking a field goal, which was returned 71 yards for a touchdown by starting safety Antoine Brooks.
Suddenly, a blowout turned into a 27-14 game. At this point, it was 14-7 Terps in the first quarter.
Texas now has a long list of areas to work on moving forward, and it will be up to Herman to address each as needed. It was more the kind of performance you would expect from a quarterback coached by Herman. Pigrome finished the game 9-for-12 for 175 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and he also accounted for 64 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 attempts. He got 4 yards on a third-and-3 play in the third quarter.
Later on in the game, the Longhorns made a decision to go for it down three instead of punting.
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But the Longhorns returned the favor when they were down 27-7. The Terrapins built a stunning 30-14 halftime lead and held off a late charge by the Longhorns, who pulled within three points twice in the second half but ultimately imploded.
But, special teams giveth and special teams taketh away. Maryland's defense, which had been such a liability a year ago, came up with three crucial stops in the fourth quarter, including two turnovers on downs, that helped seal the program's biggest win since well before Durkin arrived before the start of last season.