Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland aim to dispatch Charlotte

Sep 2, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) looks to throw as the action reflects off his visor during the first half against the Towson Tigers  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland wasted little time getting out of the blocks in last week’s season opener, scoring 21 points in the first quarter on its way to a 38-6 pasting of FCS foe Towson.

The Terrapins (1-0) try for an encore Saturday night when they welcome Charlotte (1-0) to College Park, Md., for another nonconference clash.

Maryland received three touchdown throws and 260 yards passing last week from Taulia Tagovailoa, who passed the 8,000-yard mark for his career. Corey Dyches enjoyed the best game of his career with six catches for 108 yards, while Tagovailoa and Roman Hemby each rushed for touchdowns.

Not to be left out, the defense posted its third straight game of keeping opponents out of the end zone — a streak that dates back to 2022.

“We got off to the fast start that we’d like to get off to,” Terrapins coach Mike Locksley said. “We played a lot of players, which is huge for us because for us to develop our team with the way football is now, we’re going to need them all.”

Oddsmakers expect Locksley will get a chance to employ much of his roster again this week as the Terrapins are a 24 1/2-point favorite. However, Charlotte and its new, feisty coach, former Michigan assistant Biff Poggi, hope to have something to say about that.

The 49ers presented Poggi with a routine 24-3 win over FCS opponent South Carolina State last week, getting 220 rushing yards and permitting just 168 total yards. Poggi, who famously upbraided the media at Conference USA media day because he wasn’t asked enough questions about his team, was thrilled with how the result was achieved.

“The grittiness and toughness of the defense and the running game is who we are,” he said. “We are a blue-collar, gritty football team. We’re not these guys that are going to win a game 55-54.”

Maryland won the only previous meeting of the schools last year in Charlotte, routing the 49ers 56-21 behind 391 yards and four touchdown passes from Tagovailoa.

–Field Level Media

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