October 21, 2021 3:44 pm
Petrino’s late FG lifts Maryland over Illinois 20-17

Petrino’s late FG lifts Maryland over Illinois 20-17

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Joseph Petrino kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to lift Maryland over Illinois 20-17 on Friday night. But the Terrapins won (3-0, 1-1 Big Ten) in the conference opener.

A game that was described as bizarre from the beginning to the end, the normally explosive Terrapins had difficulty against an aggressive Illinois defense. Taulia tagovailoa was able to pass for 350 yards (32, but was only able to score one touchdown.

” We believed in Joe,” Tagovailoa stated. He makes those kicks every single day in practice. It was his time to shine.”

Tayon Fleet-Davis carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards for Maryland. Tagovailoa also gave him the touchdown pass. Illinois QB Brandon Peters was efficient but clearly rusty in his first start after being hurt in the first game against Nebraska. He was 10-of-26 passing for 185 yards and had one interception.

Josh McCray was the one who carried the ball eight more times for 60 yardage and ran a 38-yard touchdown for the Illini. Chase Brown carried 14 times for 57 yards. Receiver Casey Washington had a 30-yard touchdown run.

The game got exciting on the first drive in the third quarter. Tagovailoa marched the Terrapins down the field to cap a drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by Fleet-Davis to make the score 10-3 Maryland. Maryland then scored three points and went out. However, Maryland lost the ball at the Illinois 7, which prevented Illinois from scoring.

Illinois put together an eight-play drive that culminated in McCray’s 38-yard touchdown.

McCray, Brown and others would both leave the game with serious injuries in the second quarter.

Illinois Coach Bret Bielema stated that McCray was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, but did not provide any updates on his condition.

The Illini led in the fourth quarter after a series fumbles and turnovers from both sides. Washington recovered Reggie Love III’s fumble and ran 38 yards to the end zone.

Maryland answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Fleet-Davis to tie the score at 17.

Illinois couldn’t string together a drive in the second half, so Maryland used a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Fleet-Davis to tie the score at 17.

GREAT DENSE Both teams displayed impressive defensive play in the first half. Tagovailoa struggled to find open receivers downfield, making the Illinois secondary particularly difficult.

“Credit goes to Maryland. “Obviously they did enough at the end to execute and win,” Bielema stated. “I think our guys did a lot of preparation and got to the point. We did some defensive things in the first period to limit their offensive opportunities. We lost in some areas .”

THE TAKINGAWAY It was an unfortunate loss for Illinois, which is clearly prepared for a better opponent. Maryland should be happy to have won.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts Kent State on Sept. 25

Illinois: Travels to Purdue for another Big Ten matchup on Sept. 25.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25