Durkin Coaches Maryland to Big Win Against Texas
One of the biggest upsets of the weekend, the Maryland Terrapins defeated Texas 51-41.
The victory was a huge win to start the season for the Terps. In coach D.J. Durkin‘s first year, the Terps finished 6-7. Since leaving the ACC, Maryland has been struggling to find its footing the Big 10. Yesterday’s win has the potential to be a watershed victory for the program and a significant win for coach Durkin.
Coming into the game ranked 23rd, Saturday marked a new era for the Longhorns with coach Tom Herman‘s debut game. Texas would score first on a pick six by Holton Hill thrown by Tyrell Pigrome. However, Pigrome and Maryland would bounce back as Pigrome would run and pass for a score, bringing the score to 14-7 in the first quarter.
In a second quarter that saw both teams return blocked field goals for touchdowns, Maryland would go into halftime 30-14. Pigrome would contribute his third touchdown of the day on a 46-yard pass to Tavion Jacobs.
Though winning the possession battle, Texas was unable to score any offensive touchdown until the 3rd quarter on a touchdown pass from Shane Buechele to Armanti Foreman. The touchdown would spark a rally by the Longhorns, as they were able to cut the lead to 37-34 going into the final quarter.
However, they were continually beat at the line of scrimmage as the Terps backfield continued to rack up yardage to put the game away. After an injury to Pigrome, freshman quarterback Kasim Hill would close out the victory for the Terps. Runningback Ty Johnson would finish with 132 yards on 12 carries, and the team as a whole finished with 263 yards compared to Texas’ 98. Maryland would go on to win 51-41, holding off the Longhorns rally and ending their 17-game losing streak to ranked teams.
Big Win for Durkin
The victory has several implications for the Maryland Terps program. Continuing to establish themselves in the Big 10, this victory can uplift the mentality of the team. With in-conference matchups with perennial powers in Ohio State and Michigan, knocking off another blue blood can give the Terps extra motivation as the season progresses.
For coach Durkin, this is the biggest win in his young career. Inheriting a up-and-down program from Randy Edsall, Durkin has been building the program to a level of respectability. A branch of the Jim Harbaraugh coaching tree, Durkin has the wherewithal to change a program.
Speaking on the victory, Durkin said: “I’m proud of our guys for how they hung tough and fought through adversity. There was a lot of adversity in that game. We started our season with a pick six going the other way and no one flinched on the side[line]. There wasn’t anyone who panicked. It was like, ‘Okay, let’s keep going about our business,’ and that was kind of the mentality throughout the whole game. So very proud of that, happy about that. That’s a big step for us.”
You can make an argument that the Longhorns were elsewhere given the affects of hurricane Harvey. Or perhaps Texas was overhyped to start the season. In any event, Durkin has the Terps moving upward. With the potential to going into Columbus undefeated on October 7th, yesterday marks a new era in College Park.