Taulia Tagovailoa shrugged off a slow start to throw for 287 yards and a touchdown on Saturday night as Maryland rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to top Charlotte 38-20 in College Park, Md.
Tagovailoa sealed the victory by lofting a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Prather with 8:06 left in the game, three plays after Donnell Brown ended a promising 49ers drive by intercepting Jalon Jones at the Terrapins 26-yard line.
Tagovailoa completed 25 of 36 passes with two interceptions, while Roman Hemby rushed for 162 yards and a score on 19 carries. Maryland (2-0) outgained Charlotte 530-314 and scored 38 straight points until Joachim Bangda’s 1-yard touchdown run for the 49ers with 1:22 left.
Billy Edwards Jr.’s 1-yard TD run with 9:18 left in the third quarter put the Terrapins ahead for good. Teammate Colby McDonald made it 24-14 just over three minutes into the fourth quarter by zipping 23 yards off left tackle for a score.
Jones hit on 8 of 15 passes for 116 yards and ran for a team-high 67 yards on 16 carries for the 49ers (1-1).
Favored heavily at kickoff, Maryland laid a giant egg in the first quarter, enabling Charlotte to take a 14-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. Jones’ play-fake froze multiple defenders, allowing him to find Jairus Mack for a 48-yard touchdown strike.
On the Terrapins’ first snap from scrimmage, Tagovailoa tried a short pass, and Demetrius Knight II picked it off and went 16 yards to the end zone for a pick-6. It didn’t get any better for Maryland the rest of the quarter, as the 49ers had 105 yards to minus-2 for the Terrapins at one point.
But Maryland finally found some footing in the second quarter as Tagovailoa got going in the air. Charlotte did manage to stiffen once the ball reached the 30, forcing Jack Howes to boot 32, 38 and 45-yard field goals. That allowed the 49ers to lead 14-9 at halftime.
–Field Level Media
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