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Terps Move to 4-0 For the First Time Since 2016, Defeat Kent State, 37-16

Story By: Sol Tucker

Photos By: Sol Tucker

College Park, MD–

Tua Tagovailoa Scramble Away from the Kent State Defense in a 37-16 Victory

Its been quite a bit of time since there was a lot to cheer about starting the season for the Terps, but today, they found a way to grind out a solid 37-16 victory to go to 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2016.

So you ask, why is this such a big deal? Well, not only does this finish their final non-conference schedule at 2-0, it sets them up for a huge match-up against Iowa next Friday under the lights.. Guess what, its a ranked team. The last time they knocked off a ranked opponent at home was in the same 2016 year. Time to make it work right? Well today, the victory by the Terps worked, but it will need a tune-up come next week or Mike Locksley’s offense may just not have enough to finish that one the way they have the past two games.

Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa made his mark again today and showed fans for the first time in quite a few years they have a quaterback to command the offense. Tagovailoa threw for 384 yards on 31-of-41 with three touchdown passes. Tagovailoa has thrown for 300-yards in three of four games this season and four of his eight career games as a Terp. 

” I think he understands what his role is and doesn’t do more than he should. He sees the field extremely well and has been able to get some big plays down field,” said Locksley. “This is another quality win for this team. We know what we have to face next week and playing hard today showed these guys they can make anything happen on both sides of the ball.”

Tagovailoa’s 384 yards is the 11th-most in a game in Maryland history, right behind his own mark at 10th of 394 when he threw for a career-high 394 vs. Minnesota (10/30/20). Tagovailoa moved ahead of Scott McBrien’s career-high of 381 in the 2004 Gator Bowl vs. West Virginia. 

Kent State had quite a few opportunities to keep this game within reach, but penalties will be much of what is remembered on that ride back to Ohio.

A game changer almost came when Kent State kicker Adam Glass was able to run in for a touchdown off a fake field goal attempt, only to have it called back seconds later for a holding call. This would result in just another 3 points for Kent State as they took the penalty and tried the kick this time. The 9 points is all they would get going into the 4th quarter, when it could have been just a touchdown that separated the two teams going in the final minutes.

With Tagovailoa clearly finding his way on the field over the past four weeks, it will take lots of defensive pressure from the Hawkeyes to score a win under the lights next Friday. Look for more of the same run and throw that has worked extremely well the past four weeks.

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