Tagovailoa throws three TDs as Maryland routs Howard 62-0
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Taulia Tagovailoa threw three touchdown passes, and Maryland routed Howard 62-0 Saturday night.
Dontay Demus Jr. had six receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins (2-0), who had little trouble following up their 30-24 defeat of West Virginia with another victory.
Demus caught a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game, and he is the first Maryland player with consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Stefon Diggs in 2013.
“He’s been Mr. Consistent for us the last few years, but what I think you see now is the dividends from the work he’s put in this summer,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “There’s no player in our program that’s probably matured as much and really, really put the work in to have the type of success he’s had.”
Maryland outgained the Bison, 574-146. Howard (0-2), an FCS program, was 0 of 11 on third down attempts.
The Bison didn’t play last fall, then lost their only two games in the spring in coach Larry Scott’s first season.
“I told them it wasn’t about Maryland, it wasn’t about the score, it wasn’t about anything else, it was about us,” Scott said. “We’re starting to see the gains we’re making and truly believing — straining and fighting and playing hard and doing all the fundamental things we talk about doing to build a foundation for a program.”
Locksley opened his Terrapins tenure with a 79-0 pummeling of the Bison in 2019 that fell a point shy of matching the program’s scoring record. This wasn’t quite as lopsided, but it still wasn’t especially competitive.
Tagovailoa orchestrated a pair of efficient drives in the first quarter, capping Maryland’s first with a 14-yard dart to Demus. Tayon Fleet-Davis dove at the goal line for a 17-yard scoring run to cap the Terps’ next possession to make it 14-0. It was the first touchdown for Fleet-Davis since 2019.
From there, Maryland had plenty of time for career firsts. Colby McDonald rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter on his first career carry, and Peny Boone’s 4-yard scoring run the next time Maryland had the ball was the sophomore’s first touchdown. Freshman Roman Hemby scored his first touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Six different running backs received carries, while four quarterbacks took snaps.
“It was a lot of fun, not just for starting guys but guys that don’t play much getting in there and showing what they can do,” sophomore cornerback Tarheeb Still.
Tagovailoa completed 22 of 27 for 274 yards, helping Maryland to a 38-0 halftime lead. He departed after throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Rakim Jarrett on the first possession of the second half.
Maryland cornerback Jakorian Bennett had his second interception of the season. He’s the first Terp with picks in back-to-back games since linebacker Tre Watson in 2018.
Howard: The Bison have beaten an FBS team as recently as 2017, when they stunned UNLV, but they’ve been outscored 193-13 in three games at Maryland since 2016. Even though the schools are located less than 10 miles apart, it’s probably for the best they have no future meetings scheduled.
Maryland: Fresh off a victory against occasional rival West Virginia, the question was whether the Terps would play down to the level of an overmatched foe. They didn’t, improving to 2-0 for the fifth time in six seasons.
NOT QUITE PERFECT
The scoreboard looked good for Maryland, but Locksley still was irked over a few developments.
“These things are so irritating, to have neutral-zone infractions and personal fouls,” Locksley said, whose team was flagged six times for 55 yards. “I’ve had it up to here with those type of penalties.”
Maryland sophomore RB Isaiah Jacobs, who rushed for a career-high 50 yards against West Virginia, did not play because of turf toe.
Howard faces longtime rival Hampton at Washington’s Audi Field on Saturday.
Maryland makes its first-ever trip to Illinois for its Big Ten opener Friday.
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By PATRICK STEVENS