Likely, Terps Impressive in 2015 Debut, Routing Richmond 50-21


Sep 5, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Levern Jacobs (8) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Richmond Spiders at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Today is a beautiful day for some football! The Maryland Terrapins kicked off the 2015-16 college football season Saturday at home against the Richmond Spiders of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Maryland jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, behind some solid work on the ground. Reigning Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock got them on the board first with a 34-yard field goal. Then, senior wide receiver Levern Jacobs scored the Terps’ first touchdown of the season on a 23-yard end-around scamper.

Richmond wasn’t going to go away that easy, however. Redshirt sophomore Kyle Lauletta started to find his rhythm after a slow start and led the Spiders down the field. Running back Jacobi Green capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown run. Craddock added another field goal, but the Spiders responded again, as Lauletta reached the end zone on a 4-yard run to take the lead.

And that was pretty much the extent of Richmond’s success for the day. Falling behind clearly woke Maryland up. Perry Hills, who struggled all game long, made one of his better throws on the day, finding Malcolm Culmer for a 37 yard touchdown to regain the lead. The Terps never looked back.

Maryland began to exert their dominance on both sides of the ball in the second half. The Terps pounded the football consistently, churning out chunks of yardage with Brandon Ross and Wes Brown. Ross had a career day, rushing for 150 yards and a touchdown. Brown tacked on 74 yards and he also reached the end zone. Even true freshman Ty Johnson came in late in the game, but still ran for 83 yards and a score. The Terps’ success on the ground really made up for the sub-par performance by Hills. 

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Defensively, Maryland completely shut down Richmond’s offense, holding them scoreless for most of the second half. The charge was led by redshirt junior defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, who recorded two sacks on the day and All-Big Ten cornerback Will Likely, who smothered the Spiders’ receivers all game long.

The latter of those two stole the show, not on defense, but on special teams. We knew Likely was dangerous, but he was lethal today, amassing 296 total return yards. He recorded 233 of those on punt returns, breaking the Big Ten record for a single game, a mark that hasn’t been touched since 1939. After eight amazing returns, Likely finally reached pay dirt on a 67-yard return.

And the rout was on for Maryland. The Terps never looked back, putting a 50-spot on the board to move to 1-0 on the season.

Maryland will face Bowling Green next Saturday at home.

Next: Perry Hills Should Have a Short Leash

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