DETROIT — Maryland sophomore running back Ty Johnson rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, but the Terrapins turned the ball over four times and couldn’t contain Boston College’s defensive front in a 36-30 loss Monday in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field.
Maryland trailed 36-13 in the third quarter but was threatening to make it a one-possession game when quarterback Perry Hills fumbled a snap at the Boston College 2-yard line with 4:02 left to play.
Adam Greene’s 23-yard field goal with 2:55 left accounted for the final score. Maryland got the ball back one final time, at its own 35-yard line with 1:48 left, but three incompletions and the eighth sack of the game by the Eagles ended Maryland’s hopes of a rally.
The loss ends Maryland’s season at 6-7 under first-year head coach DJ Durkin.
Johnson scored on runs of 62 and 30 yards in the first half. Hills completed 15 of 35 passes for 229 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His touchdown strikes of 63 yards to Teldrick Morgan and 52 yards to Levern Jacobs put Maryland in position to win its first bowl game since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
This was the first meeting between the former ACC rivals since Maryland joined the Big Ten. Boston College (7-6) leads the series 9-3.
Five things we learned
- Johnson has a bright future ahead of him. He hits a hole and he hits it hard. He’s not easy to bring down and is quick enough to get to the outside even when defenses seemingly have him bottled up.
- The Terrapins, who trailed 29-13 at halftime, finished the season 0-6 when they trailed at the half.
- Boston College’s defense came into the game ranked 10th in the nation with 39 sacks and 13th with 92 tackles for loss. The Eagles might have won just two games in the ACC, but it wasn’t because of their defense. They finished with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
- Maryland played without junior linebacker Shane Cockerille, who was ruled ineligible, prior to the game. The Terps’ leading tackler was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick this season after making 108 tackles on the season. This was Cockerille’s first year playing linebacker. He previously played fullback/quarterback.
- Maryland’s youth will get better. The Terrapins could have folded in the second half but didn’t. They pushed Boston College all the way.
Hills lost a fumble with 4:02 left to play at the Boston College 2-yard line. The Terrapins could have cut the deficit to two points with a touchdown and extra points but, as was the case most of the game, got beat up front by Boston College.
Could Maryland run against one of the nation’s best rush defenses? Yes, it could. It wasn’t as consistent as the Terrapins would like, but they got big plays when they need them to get back into the game. Those helped open up deep looks in the passing game.
How Durkin build on this season? The Big Ten East won’t get any easier in the coming years.
Maryland’s four touchdown drives totaled 263 yards on just 10 plays. It managed just 94 yards on 59 plays on its other drives.
What it means
The loss shouldn’t diminish the overall gains Durkin and his staff made in 2016. Maryland went from three wins in 2015 to earning a bowl bid this season and getting three wins in the Big Ten.
Final stats: BC 36, Maryland 30 pic.twitter.com/2WK92QjbMt
— Kevin Goheen (@CincyGoGo) December 26, 2016