PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Josh Jackson threw two touchdowns before being hurt and Javon Leake scored three more as Maryland used the big play to rip downtrodden Rutgers 48-7 on Saturday, spoiling the debut of Scarlet Knights’ interim head coach Nunzio Campanile.
The Terrapins (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) had five touchdowns of 23 yards or longer and scored three touchdowns on three consecutive offensive plays in the second quarter in snapping a two-game losing streak and handing Rutgers (1-4, 0-3) its fourth straight loss.
Not only did Rutgers lose, it saw sophomore quarterback Art Sitkowski, who started the last two games, and junior halfback and captain Raheem Blackshear sit out the fourth game while pondering whether to redshirt a season quickly going down the tubes. One has to wonder whether they will transfer the program now that former coach Chris Ash has been fired after three-plus seasons.
Jackson, who left the game after hurting his right ankle late in the first half, connected with Dontay Demus Jr. on an 80-yard pass play on Maryland’s first play from scrimmage. He added a go-ahead 23-yard TD pass to Tayon Fleet-Davis just three plays after Rutgers used a flea-flicker to help tie the game at 7 on a 3-yard run by new starting quarterback Johnny Langan.
Leake got his first score on the Terps’ next play from scrimmage. It was a 42-yard run, one play after Rutgers failed to get a first down on a fourth-and-1 gamble from its own 42 while trailing 14-7.
Maryland linebacker Ayinde Eley kept the surge coming, intercepting a Langan pass and returning it 39 yards to the 2. Anthony McFarland scored on the next play for a 27-7 lead.
Leake opened the second half with a 100-yard kickoff return, McFarland added an 80-yard touchdown run and Leake closed out the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run.
Maryland: After losses to Temple and Penn State, the Terps are heading the right way heading to Purdue, which has struggled this season. The problem will be the status of Jackson, who was 9 of 16 for 179 yards before being injured throwing a pass. Junior Tyrrell Pigrome replaced him and wasn’t called on to do much.
Rutgers: The offense showed a little creativity with Campanile using the option with Langan. The best was the flea-flicker on which Mohamed Jabbie took a handoff from Langan on an end around, flipped it to Aaron Young coming around from the other side who in turn gave it to Langan for a 49-yard pass to Bo Melton. The defense gave up too many big plays. This is shaping up as another long season, especially if Sitkowski and Blackshear redshirt.
Maryland stays on the road and is at Purdue next Saturday.
Rutgers also is in Indiana, to play the Hoosiers.