After quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa helped engineer a late comeback over Illinois to keep Maryland undefeated, the Terrapins will return home Saturday to close out their nonconference schedule against Kent State in College Park, Md.
Maryland (3-0) got by the Fighting Illini 20-17 Friday night on a last-second field goal by Joseph Petrino at Champaign, Ill. The Terrapins trailed by a touchdown until 2:13 to play.
Tagovailoa said the adversity “could do great things for us” as the season develops.
“We played together as a team,” Tagovailoa said. “As an offense we felt like we didn’t play our best game, but I think the one thing that helped us through is our brotherhood and playing for each other.”
It helps the second-year starting quarterback that Maryland boasts two of the Big Ten’s most productive receivers. Dontay Demus Jr. leads the league with 112.7 receiving yards per game, while Rakim Jarrett, a former five-star recruit, ranks sixth at 86.3. Demus and Jarrett’s combined 597 total receiving yards represent the second most of any duo in the Power 5 conferences, according to Maryland.
Demus and Jarrett are dynamic with the ball in their hands, Kent State coach Sean Lewis said.
“They attack you in a lot of different ways,” he said. “The receivers are able to have the speed to get on top, track the deep ball. Both of them do a very good job in their jet sweep game.”
Kent State (1-2) has been battle-tested by trips to two top-10 teams, then-No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 5 Iowa. The Golden Flashes lost 30-7 to the Hawkeyes on Saturday, with Keshunn Abram recording 138 receiving yards and the team’s only touchdown.
“We made that a part of who we are,” Lewis said of visiting tough foes. “It’s part of our culture that every single time we go on the road, we go on the road to compete. We’re going to give it our best effort.
“But it’s kind of like the mailman. We’ve got to go deliver when you get the opportunity to. No one cares about the mailman if not everyone on the block gets their mail.”
–Field Level Media