Maryland beats Howard 52-13 to make Durkin's debut a success
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) DJ Durkin enjoyed a lopsided victory in his debut as Maryland's coach, overseeing a dominant performance that carried the Terrapins past Howard 52-13 on Saturday.
Perry Hills went 14 for 19 for 126 yards, Trey Edmunds scored two first-quarter touchdowns and Maryland (1-0) allowed only 53 first-half yards in taking a 35-0 lead.
Durkin left his job as Michigan's defensive coordinator in December to guide a team that went 3-9 in 2015. Walking on the sideline in a black baseball cap, an untucked red polo shirt and long black pants, the 37-year-old coach seemed quite satisfied with the blowout.
Howard (0-1) won only one game last year while being outscored 408-169, so this game wasn't necessarily an indication of the Terrapins' improvement under Durkin. That answer may not come until Maryland begins Big Ten play next month.
Still, there were plenty of positives for the Terrapins against the neighboring Bison of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Durkin got this job because of his defensive knowledge, and the Terrapins were exceptionally stingy. Howard went three-and-out on its first five possessions and didn't get into the end zone until Maryland's reserves entered in the fourth quarter.
Hills, in contrast, produced touchdowns on his first four drives. After finishing with a minus-18 turnover differential last year, the Terrapins did not give the ball away.
Freshman backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome entered in the third quarter. He threw for 60 yards, and ran for 53 yards and a TD.
Maryland also got a touchdown from its special teams: Edmunds took a blocked punt 13 yards into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
HOWARD: The Bison received a decent fee for coming to Maryland, so there's that. But their lackluster performance indicates they might again have difficulty being competitive in the MEAC.
MARYLAND: The aura of mystery surrounding the program under Durkin has, to a degree, been lifted. Although a victory over Howard won't impress the Top 25 voters, it just might enhance the players' confidence and perhaps generate some enthusiasm from a fan base that hasn't quite gotten behind the Terps - as evidenced by the thousands of empty seats among a crowd of 35,474.
HOWARD: The Bison face another Big Ten opponent on the road, Rutgers next Saturday at noon.
MARYLAND: The Terrapins' first road game under Durkin will be at Florida International on Friday night. Maryland is 4-0 all-time against FIU.