Tagovailoa Leads Maryland To Win Over WVU In Opener

The Terps and Mountaineers went blow for blow in College Park on Saturday. In the end, Taulia Tagovailoa’s 332-yard, 3-TD performance was enough for Maryland to stave off WVU in a 30-24 win to start the season.

Here’s how it went down in College Park.

Maryland opened up the game with a 9-play 47-yard drive that was capped by a 45-yard Joseph Petrino field goal. WVU answered this with an opening drive score of their own. They were able to punch theirs into the endzone on a Jarret Doege 20-yard connection with Leddie Brown, capping a 7-play, 78-yard drive.

The Terps struck right back as Taulia Tagovailoa dropped a dime to Dontay Demus Jr. in stride for 66 yards and the score. This put Maryland on top 10-7 midway through the 1st quarter.

After a flat drive from WVU, Tagovailoa got right back to work for the Terps. This time he capped an eight-play 70-yard drive with an 18-yard TD pass to Chigoziem Okonkwo, as they extended their lead to 10 with 53-seconds left in the 1st quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Winston Wright Jr. broke free and took it 98 yards to the Maryland 2 yard line, as the momentum began to swing. Leddie Brown would punch it in for the score two plays later as the deficit was cut to just three.

Following a quick three-and-out by the Terps, WVU rode that moment on another prolific drive. Brown would again punch it in for the Mountaineers to cap a six-play 74-yard drive, as WVU took a 21-17 lead with 11:30 left in the half.

As the half winded down, things got a bit weird. After a turnover on downs from Maryland, Jarret Doege would be picked off to give it right back to the Terps. Then as their drive stalled, they punted, and it was fumbled by William Wright Jr., and Maryland recovered.

The Terps drove it all the way to the WVU 20-yard line before Tagovailoa took a 13-yard sack. This would force Maryland to settle for a 51-yard field goal that would miss the mark, giving possession back to West Virginia.

WVU would punt after a quick three-and-out following the missed field goal. Maryland was able to close out the half with a field goal on their final drive to make it just a one-point game.

In the 2nd half, both offenses struggled to get anything going, resulting in a scoreless third quarter. However, in the 4th quarter, things started to get interesting.

After a fumble recovery, the terps took over to start the fourth quarter at their own 39-yard line. Tagovailoa would lead Maryland down to the 8-yard line before having to settle for a go-ahead Petrino field goal. This made it 23-21 Terps with 9:20 left to play.

Wright Jr. had a huge return for WVU on the ensuing kickoff to set the Mountaineers up at their 48-yard line. This excitement would be subdued three plays later as Doege was picked off in the endzone.

Tagovailoa would once again get the Terps rolling after the turnover. He would cap a five-play 80-yard drive with a 60-yard bomb to Rakim Jarrett to give Maryland breathing room, leading 30-21 with just 6:25 left to play.

West Virginia would regroup on the following drive as they marched downfield to the red zone. However, they had to settle for a 24-yard Casey Legg field goal to trim the deficit to seven with 2:53 left to play.

Maryland would then take over and were able to get the first downs necessary to keep possession and prevent the Mountaineers from getting the ball back to seal this one.

The Terps will welcome Howard into town next week, while West Virginia will head home to face Long Island University, with both games set for Saturday, September 11th.

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