Maryland’s William Likely breaks Big Ten record for punt return yards

Maryland football’s big opening-day win Saturday was highlighted by a historic performance by William Likely.

A junior cornerback, Likely had 233 punt return yards, breaking a Big Ten record set by Iowa legend Nile Kinnick prior to World War II.

Likely provided several highlights on the day, but the biggest was his 67-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

Likely finished the day averaging 29 yards per punt return. He also had another kickoff return of 47 yards, as the Terrapins beat Richmond 50-21. 

For more perspective, Likely has already exceeded his total for all of last season when he had 210 yards and his average of 11.1 yards per return was third in the conference. He also had a touchdown on a punt return last season, when he tied for the Big Ten lead in interceptions with six.

Kinnick piled up 210 punt return yards for the Hawkeyes against Indiana on Oct. 7, 1939. He won the Heisman Trophy that season.