Published: Sun, September 03, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Maryland football stuns Texas with a wild win to open 2017 season

Maryland football stuns Texas with a wild win to open 2017 season

The lesson being just because you change the head coach doesn't mean much once the games are played, unless you make the adjustments needed. So do the kicking game breakdowns.

The Tom Herman era begins for the Texas Longhorns as they play host to the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Aside from spoiling what was supposed to be a celebratory day for Texas in one of college football's cathedrals, Maryland instead announced itself as a much-improved team - and it did so with considerable resolve. But if Texas can eliminate some of the concerns before Big 12 play opens up, then the Longhorns still have time to prove they really are a better team now under Herman than they were previously under Charlie Strong. "So I told our guys to never get used to this feeling, but that if we all thought that we were going to come in here and in nine months, sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we've arrived, then we're wrong".

Leading by as many as 20 points in the first half and by 16, 30-14, at halftime, the Terps saw the Longhorns cut their deficit to three twice - the second time at 37-34 with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

"We're our own worst enemy right now", Herman said, later adding, "The execution and just the self-inflicted wounds at just the most inopportune time are things that are hard to recover from, if not impossible". Running a conventional offensive, Maryland rushed for 263 yards, getting 132 from Ty Johnson, with a lot coming between the tackles.

"It doesn't feel like a year ago", junior linebacker Malik Jefferson said.

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The Longhorns scored three non-offensive touchdowns: a 31-yard interception return and a 65-yard return of a blocked field goal by Holton Hill; and a 91-yard punt return by Reggie Hemphill-Mapps. He produced 239 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns. Longhorns quarterback Shane Buechele had a productive afternoon with 300 passing yards and a touchdown and 21 rushing yards and a score, but too many poor passes soaring high or behind receivers led to near-interceptions and stalled any progress late in the game for a possible comeback.

Already time for Texas fans to panic? Texas then charged back, setting up a wild second half.

Meanwhile, Maryland cornerback Antwaine Richardson was carted off the field on a stretcher late in the third quarter and didn't return. He was replaced by freshman Kasim Hill.

Darius Tice scored on runs of 1 and 14 yards for the Bulls. "No one knew what to expect", said Moore.

For Texas, the opening loss follows three consecutive losing seasons. The Terrapins also got a 71-yard blocked field goal return by Antoine Brooks for a score while building a 27-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

"It turns my stomach", Jefferson said.

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