COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – More than halfway through the fourth quarter, West Virginia’s Winston Wright would return Maryland’s kickoff, after the Terrapins punched in a field goal, to make it a 23-21 game.
Beginning on great field position, the Mountaineers looked to threaten any chance the Terrapins had of holding onto their lead. Jarret Daege tossed it for 39 yards, finding Sam Jones to put them in enemy territory.
With the gold, and blue knocking on the door, Maryland’s Jakorian Bennett came up with some magic at the right time, picking off Daege for an interception in the endzone, switching sides, and giving the Terrapins a chance to put this game away.
It’s hard to describe how electric Capital One Field got after Bennett’s interception, but Jakorian fed off every second of it.
“That was my first game with fans, cause last year was my first year.” said Jakorian, in his postgame press conference. “Honestly, it was just crazy. It was surreal. Just to feel that, and just to make a game changing play like that for my team.”
The responsibility then lied on Taulia Tagovailoa, and the Maryland offense to come up with some points, and quickly.
Enter Rakim Jarrett. In the first three plays of the drive; Tayon Fleet-Davis rushed for nine yards, and then six yards, before Jeshaun Jones was targeted for a six-yard gain. After two incomplete passes, on 3rd and 5, Taulia Tagovailoa would find Rakim Jarrett barreling to the endzone, making this a 60-yard touchdown score, to give the Terps a 30-21 lead.
“We knew that we liked that play in the coverage they were running.” said Rakim, “They were running it all game, and we were just trying to set it up for the perfect time, and I think that was.”
Terps fans would agree. Rakim also made sure to give credit where its due, to running back Tayon Fleet-Davis, who accounted for the first 15 yards on that game winning drive.
“We sealed the game with Tayon Fleet-Davis on the field, so that was big.” said Rakim.
“It was really a team effort.” said Taulia Tagovailoa, in his postgame press conference. “Defense played their butts off, when we needed them most. O-line did their job, everyone just did their job. And no matter what, Coach always talked about adversity, and I feel like us as a team, we handled it well.”
Taulia would finish the night, completing 26 of 36 throws, for 332 yards, and three touchdowns. No turnovers for the junior, in a night where Head Coach Mike Locksley pointed out how proud he was of the Terps, and how they handled adversity.
“I was really proud of the way they faced, and handled the adversity of the ebb and flow of a hard fought game.” said Locksley, “West Virginia, those guys continued to battle as well. So again, I give them a lot of credit.”
Coach Locksley pointed out that some mistakes needed to be corrected, pointing to the second quarter, and the penalties that cost them field position in different situations.
Up next for the Terrapins is preparing for the Howard Bisons, who they will play on September 11th, at 7:30pm.