No Maryland quarterback had thrown for this many yards since the Terrapins’ ACC Conference days.
That was a bad match for Indiana and their true freshman quarterback making his first career start.
Taulia Tagovailoa completed 26-of-40 passes for a career high 419 yards and two touchdowns and the IU defense gave up 498 total yards. It was the second straight week the Hoosiers gave up at least that many yards of offense after they were blitzed 54-7 by Ohio State a week ago.
“Really disappointed in our defense,” IU coach Tom Allen said after the game. “We had some stress in our secondary, and we tried to do some things to patch that up but we get exposed and weren’t able to make plays. Too many third downs that we didn’t get off the field on were I thought the difference in the game.”
The Terrapins were 7-of-15 on third downs and won by a final score of 38-35 in College Park. The Hoosiers dropped to 2-6 on the season and their hopes to become bowl eligible appear to have been lost as well.
Third-string IU quarterback Donaven McCulley performed well, but he wasn’t ready to keep up with Tagavailoa’s big day. McCulley completed 14-of-25 throws for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He added 28 rushing yards before adjusting for sacks. McCulley’s total yards through the air were the second most by an Indiana quarterback in a game this season, and he appeared to gain comfort as the game progressed.
“First college start as a true freshman on the road in the Big Ten, that’s tough to do,” Allen said. “He really played the way I hoped he would and expected him to be honest with you. He had a good week of practice, and you can see the talent that’s there obviously. I thought he grew up a whole bunch tonight and gave us a chance.”
The Terrapins jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after scores on their first two drives of the game. Indiana’s defense then tightened and held the Terrapins scoreless for their next six possessions. That allowed Indiana to claim a 17-14 late third quarter lead after Stephen Carr’s 66-yard touchdown run. It was Carr’s second score of the game and the longest run of his career as he outran the Terrapin secondary.
Carr plunged in from one-yard out in the second quarter and the Hoosiers capped off their first half scoring with a 55-yard Charles Campbell field. That kick set the halftime margin at 14-10 Maryland, and it was a career-best for Campbell, and the second-longest in program history.
After IU took the 17-14 lead, Maryland responded with three touchdowns on their next three drives, forcing the Hoosiers to play catch-up in the fourth quarter.
“We got let down by our defense today, for sure,” Allen said.
The Terrapins led by as much as 35-20 in the fourth quarter, but Indiana had a chance to recover an onside kick in the final minute to give themselves an opportunity to win the game.
Indiana (2-6, 0-5) will travel to Michigan next weekend.
- Carr ran 21 times for a career best 136 yards
- Peyton Hendershot caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He became IU’s all-time leader in receiving yards for a tight end in the game after setting the tight end reception mark last weekend.
- Ty Fryfogle went over 150 career receptions with a four catch, 78 yard day.
- Indiana’s special teams had both a blocked punt and ran a successful fake punt.
- Maryland ran the ball 44 times for just 79 yards.
- Devon Matthews had a career best 12 tackles including 10 solo.
- Micah McFadden had eight tackles including a sack and two for a loss.
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