May 26, 2018

Maryland wins Big Ten opener at Minnesota, 31-24

Terps running back Ty Johnson in action against Minnesota. Courtesy of Maryland athletics.

Ty Johnson rushed for 130 yards and a 34-yard touchdown with 1:10 to play to lift Maryland to a 31-24 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

Max Bortenschlager completed 18 of 28 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score for the Terrapins (3-1, 1-0) to secure his first career victory as the starting signal caller. Lorenzo Harrison III added 75 yards rushing and Maryland racked up 262 yards on the ground against a Minnesota defense that was ranked No. 1 in the country against the run.

Conor Rhoda was 13 for 26 for 229 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for previously unbeaten Minnesota (3-1, 0-1). Tyler Johnson had three catches for 69 yards, but the Golden Gophers rushed for just 80 yards.

DJ Moore caught eight passes for 90 yards and a touchdown for Maryland. The score marked his 14th career touchdown reception, drawing him even with Minnesota Vikings star Stefon Diggs for fourth on Maryland’s all-time receiving touchdown list.

Johnson, meanwhile, eclipsed the 100-yard rushing barrier for the third time in four games to open the season, and fifth time in his lsat six games.

The Terrapins have already lost two starting quarterbacks — Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill — to season-ending knee injuries this year.

Bortenschlager looked overwhelmed at times last week when he was thrust into surprise duty following Hill’s injury. Given a week to practice as the starter, he looked much more comfortable. He squeezed a throw in between two Gophers defenders on fourth-and-11 from the Gophers 31 in the first quarter. DJ Turner made a leaping catch for a 22-yard gain, setting up Bortenschlager’s 7-yard draw for a touchdown to get Maryland on the board.

He came up big again in the fourth quarter on third-and-goal from the 4, rolling to his right and hitting a wide-open Jake Funk in the flat for a 24-17 lead. It was the first time an opponent has scored against Minnesota’s defense in the second half this season.

The Gophers tied the game midway through the fourth quarter when Shannon Brooks scored with four minutes to play, but Bortenschlager gave Maryland its ninth third-down conversion of the game at the Minnesota 39 and Ty Johnson burst through the line and went untouched for the touchdown to seal the victory.

Maryland will travel to Ohio State on Saturday, October 7 for matchup with the Buckeyes on FOX. Kickoff is slated for 4:00 pm. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.