The Terps were stomped on in the first game of the 2020 Big Ten season as Northwestern walked away with a 43-3 victory, marking the first loss in a season-opener since 2009. Sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa trotted out as Maryland’s starting quarterback and drove the offense down the field on the opening possession, going 6-for-7 for 37 yards before Joseph Petrino knocked in a 33-yard field goal to kick off the game’s scoring.
After that, Maryland’s offense went stagnant as the ‘Cats onslaught began. Northwestern scored 43 unanswered points behind a complete game from quarterback Patrick Ramsey as they tallied 537 yards of total offense under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian.
“We knew they had the ability to go fast. I think probably something that was a little unanticipated was their ability to change, you know the personnel and tempo,” junior linebacker Chance Campbell said following the loss. “I think we adjusted well, it just took a little bit longer than we would have hoped.”
Tagovailoa finished the game with three interceptions, two of which were forced throws on deep balls in double coverage. “I feel like today I made a lot of mistakes that cost us the game,” Tagovailoa said. “But it’s a good thing that it’s early in the season. Obviously not the way we want to start, but you’ve got to give credit to Northwestern.”
Maryland will return to College Park and prepare for their home opener when Minnesota travels to College Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM on ESPN.