Breaking down standout performances from the Terps' thrilling 45-44 overtime victory:
-QB Taulia Tagovailoa: complete 180 performance from the sophomore. A week after he looked uncomfortable and rattled in the pocket, Tagovailoa took advantage of a reeling Gopher defense as he threw 26-for-35 for 394 passing yards and five total touchdowns, finishing the night with a 191.4 QBR. We watched Tagovailoa feel more comfortable as he went through his progression, giving him the underneath routes in conjunction with the deep routes, a chance for him to stretch the field. Thought Tagovailoa did a much better job of settling down to go through his progression and with a deep receiver room at his disposal, he did just that as six difference receivers notched at least three catches. Tagovailoa’s back shoulder completion to Brian Cobbs in the final minute of regulation is a type of throw that, frankly, Maryland fans hadn’t seen in years as the vertical offense was on full display. The offensive line had another sound showing in Week Two but the most impressive adjustment that I noticed on Friday was Tagovailoa’s feel for pressure and his ability to either tuck it or roll out of the pocket to deliver the throw on the run. There’s certainly room for improvement, such as Tagovailoa taking a 16-yard sack on third down, but a lot more to be encouraged about from his and the offensive performance on display.
-RB Jake Funk: the senior eclipsed 100-yards rushing on Friday night for the first time in his career before finishing the night with 221 rushes (10.5 ypc) and a touchdown while adding a trio of catches to his standout performance. Maryland struggled with a balanced offensive attack in the Week One loss and Funk was the back the Terps turned to early and often to establish the ground game. Maryland knew they had a more favorable matchup in the trenches and rode Funk’s success to the end as he notched a pair of touchdowns. Fans saw a heavy dose of Funk with Peny Boone serving as the backup but the strong rushing attack on display is what kept the Gophers’ defense honest in the passing game and is what made the RPO that much more effective. No surprise to see Funk excel against the Gophers, a reference to his game-winning rushing TD back in 2017, but a much-needed performance to keep the offense on track.
-LB Chance Campbell: after notching a career-high 15 tackles in Week One, Campbell yet again led the defense with thirteen total tackles (six solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. While the sample size was small heading into Friday night’s contest, the junior will still likely end the weekend in the top-ten nationally in tackles per game as Campbell has cemented himself as the backbone of the defense. The Terps had a strong returning duo in Eley and Campbell heading into 2020 but Campbell’s awareness and nose has found him around the ball seemingly each play. It was Campbell who snuffed out the Gophers’ wide receiver screen on third-and-four with just under twelve minutes to play, and again, it was Campbell who contained Tanner Morgan when he stepped outside the pocket on third-and-six with five minutes to go. The key plays down the stretch are reasons why he has garnered the attention of offensive coordinators heading into each week.