Maryland improves to 4-0 with 37-16 win over Kent State

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns, and Maryland remained unbeaten with a 37-16 victory over Kent State on Saturday.

The Terrapins (4-0) have won their first four games for the first time since 2016, and their solid start has added some intrigue to upcoming matchups against Iowa and Ohio State. Maryland wasn’t necessarily dominant against Kent State, but the Terps stiffened on defense when they needed to.

The Golden Flashes (1-3) had the ball in Maryland territory on seven of their first eight possessions, but they managed only nine points on those drives.

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, took everything the Kent State defense gave him, repeatedly finding open receivers in another sharp performance. He went 31 for 41, essentially matching his 75.5% completion percentage coming into the game.

Tagovailoa was intercepted for the first time this season when Rakim Jarrett couldn’t handle his pass in the first quarter. The Golden Flashes took a 3-0 lead, but the Maryland quarterback answered quickly with a 33-yard scoring pass to Dontay Demus.

A 6-yard TD pass from Tagovailoa to Jarrett gave the Terps a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter. Tayon Fleet-Davis added a 3-yard scoring run later in that period.

A holding call on Bill Kuduk nullified a long touchdown throw by Kent State, and although the Golden Flashes reached the red zone on that drive, they lost the ball when Marquez Cooper fumbled.

Kent State had another touchdown called back on its next possession, this one when kicker Andrew Glass appeared to have scored on a fake field goal. Another holding flag forced the Golden Flashes to settle for a field goal, and it was 24-9 at halftime.

Fleet-Davis scored on a 29-yard run in the third quarter, and Tagovailoa added a 9-yard scoring pass to Corey Dyches.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kent State: The Golden Flashes gained 458 yards of offense against a Big Ten team, and they could have certainly made this a closer game if they’d done a better job finishing drives.

Maryland: Coach Michael Locksley won’t be thrilled with his team’s penalties — nine for 120 yards — but Tagovailoa and his talented group of receivers were too much for Kent State.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Maryland was the fifth team in the others-receiving-votes section this past week. A victory against Kent State probably isn’t enough to move the Terps into the Top 25, but they’ll have a chance soon enough to show they’re worthy.

UP NEXT

Kent State: The Golden Flashes host Bowling Green next Saturday. The Falcons are coming off a win over Minnesota.

Maryland: The Terps host No. 5 Iowa on Friday night. Then they travel to play No. 10 Ohio State the following week.

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Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25





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