COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Josh Jackson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns to anchor another prolific offensive performance by Maryland, which scored 42 first-half points against No. 21 Syracuse in a surprisingly lopsided 63-20 victory Saturday.
Anthony McFarland Jr. ran for two scores and caught a 6-yard TD pass from Jackson during a sparkling first half in which the Terrapins amassed 397 yards and built a 29-point lead against a Syracuse team coming off a season-opening shutout of Liberty.
After beating Howard 79-0 in their first game under coach Michael Locksley, the Terrapins (2-0) came up with an impressive encore against a highly regarded foe.
The 63 points were the most ever by Maryland against a ranked opponent. Although Locksley eased up after a 64-yard touchdown run by Javon Leake early in the third quarter, the Terrapins finished with 650 yards.
This marks the first time in the history of the program that Maryland has scored at least 56 points in successive games.
Locksley came to Maryland after serving as offensive coordinator at Alabama, and Jackson transferred from Virginia Tech in February. The two have teamed to form a quick-paced offense that is equally effective on the ground and through the air.
Jackson completed 21 of 38 passes, attempting only two throws in the fourth quarter. He has tossed seven TD passes in two games with one interception.
A 7-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Tyler Mabry, a Syracuse turnover and a 3-yard run by McFarland made it 14-0 with less than 6 minutes elapsed.
It was 14-7 before Leake ran for a score and McFarland followed a turnover by the Orange with a 20-yard TD run for a 28-7 lead.
That was enough offense to beat a Syracuse attack led by redshirt sophomore Tommy DeVito, who went 28 for 39 for 330 yards and three touchdowns. But he lost a fumble and threw an interception, turnovers that Maryland converted into scores.
Maryland went 11 for 15 in turning third downs into first downs, including 8 for 9 in the first half.
Syracuse was 6 for 15 on third down and failed to convert any of its three fourth-down tries.
Syracuse appears poised to exit the Top 25 after opening at No. 22 and jumping a notch last week.
Syracuse: The defense couldn’t stop the run and was helpless against the pass. DeVito got off some decent throws when given time in the pocket but does not fare well under pressure.
Maryland: There’s no denying that this offense is electric and Jackson is best suited to run it.
Syracuse: Home opener against Clemson, which entered weekend atop the AP poll. Tigers edged Orange 27-23 last year.
Maryland: First road game is at Temple, which opened with a 56-12 rout of Bucknell before getting a bye this week.
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