Maryland rolls over No. 21 Syracuse in another convincing win, 63-20

Maryland picked up it’s first victory over a ranked opponent at home since 2010, when they defeated No. 21 North Carolina State after defeating another No. 21 ranked team, Syracuse Orange, 63-20.

Head coach Mike Locksley credited the victory not only to the players, but to the fans as well.

“We got to give our fans a big thanks for getting out there early and inspiring our team,” Locksley said. “It felt good to see that student section packed and our guys really enjoy it when they come out and see it filled the way it was.”

Junior quarterback Josh Jackson and the Terps’ offense continued their fast start Saturday.On Maryland’s second play from scrimmage, Jackson connected with sophomore wide receiver Darryl Jones on a post route for a catch and run of 40 yards to put them deep into Syracuse territory. Graduate transfer tight end Tyler Mabry finished the drive for the Terps with a seven-yard touchdown reception from Jackson at the 12:07 mark of the first quarter. 

Mabry became the first Maryland tight end to catch a touchdown in consecutive games since Dan Gronkowski, the older brother of former All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, did in 2008.

It took less than a minute for the Terps to get the ball back, as senior linebacker Keandre Jones sacked Orange quarterback Tommy Devito and forced a fumble. Maryland recovered the ball at Syracuse’s 32-yard line. Jones finished the afternoon with two sacks and the team finished with four total. The Terps have now forced a turnover in 14 straight games, the fifth longest streak in the country.

Maryland capitalized off of the turnover with a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Anthony McFarland at the 9:01 mark of the first quarter. McFarland finished the afternoon with 120 total yards and three touchdowns. He said his performance was the result of not only his work on the ground but also his efforts in the passing game.

The Orange responded with a 9-yard touchdown at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter.

The Terps took over the second quarter as McFarland scored his second and third touchdowns. He scored on a 20-yard run at the 9:09 mark and caught a six-yard touchdown reception with 56 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give them a 42-13 lead heading into the half. He is the first Maryland running back to have two rushing touchdowns in consecutive games since Brandon Ross did in 2015.

Their 42 points became the most points scored in the first half against a Power 5 opponent since they scored 45 against North Carolina in 2003. Their 98 points scored through the two first halves of the season became a program record.

Javon Leake kicked off the second half with a 64-yard rushing touchdown, finishing the afternoon with 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

Leake said that while this was a big win for the team, they cannot get hung up on it for too long. “We have to keep doing it week after week and we can’t get stuck on one win. It was a great win and we played well, but we have to keep doing it to achieve that status.” 

Syracuse set up deep in the Terps territory after Jackson threw his first interception of the season near the end of the third quarter, but were unable to capitalize.

Senior running back Jake Funk and junior running back Tayon Fleet-Davis each had a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to cement a final score of 63-20. Their 63 points are the most scored against a ranked opponent in program history. 

Jackson finished the afternoon throwing for 296 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Jones led Maryland in receiving yards with 70 on three receptions. Funk finished the day with 95 rushing yards and Fleet-Davis finished with 68 yards on the ground.

Regardless of the outcome over the past two weeks, Locksley and the team are not approaching next week’s game against Temple as if they have not accomplished anything yet.

“Our expectation is that we are going to get their best and that it will be a tough, hard-nose game,” Locksley said. “Our guys are going to celebrate tonight but come Monday, it’s back to the drawing board and we start all over again.”

Temple defeated the Terps 35-14 in a lopsided beating at Capital One Field last season.

Maryland will visit Temple on Sept. 14 at Lincoln Financial Field at noon.