When freshman quarterback Kasim Hill threw his first-ever incomplete pass early in the second quarter against Towson, the Maryland football team already held a 21-7 lead. Dating back to the Terps' win at then-No. 23 Texas last week, Hill had connected on his first 11 career throws, amassing 138 yards and two touchdowns in the process.
His 12th attempt hit wide receiver D.J. Moore in the chest and fell to the turf. It was a rare miscue in Maryland's 63-17 victory over the Tigers on Saturday.
Coach DJ Durkin's offense showed it could produce without sophomore quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, who tore his ACL against the Longhorns. Hill finished 13-for-16 with 163 passing yards. Moore, coming off a 133-yard receiving display at Texas, registered 163 all-purpose yards and three scores.
"Those guys are great," defensive lineman Andrew Isaacs said. "I've been around a lot of great players in my time here, but … D.J. Moore is one of the better receivers I've seen in a long time."
After Pigrome went down in the third quarter in Austin, Texas, Hill stepped in to guide the Terps to a 51-41 victory, delivering a three-yard touchdown run to help seal the upset.
He didn't need any heroics against the Tigers.
On Maryland's first drive, Hill went 6-for-6 through the air, capping the possession with a nine-yard toss to Moore in the end zone.
Moore did most of the work on their second link up. After catching a screen pass on the sideline, the wideout broke three tackles on the way to a 34-yard score.
Running back Ty Johnson chipped in with a 74-yard run to give the Terps a 21-0 first-quarter advantage. He gained 124 yards on just five rushes, becoming the fourth player in program history to manage four consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Maryland racked up 358 total rushing yards in the contest, averaging 10.2 yards per attempt. Even Moore found the end zone with a 21-yard sweep down the sideline after escaping a swarm of defenders at the line of scrimmage.
"There were a lot of big plays on offense," Durkin said. "Those are big swings in field position. … [Johnson and Moore] give us the chance to do that."
Towson quarterback Ryan Stover threw a second-quarter touchdown pass, and the Tigers (1-1) appeared poised to cut further into the Terps' lead with a lengthy downfield drive. But safety Darnell Savage responded with a 75-yard interception return to put the game out of reach.
The Terps' defensive line recorded four sacks despite the absence of 2016 sack leader Jesse Aniebonam, who fractured his ankle against Texas. Isaacs, a converted tight end, delivered 1.5 sacks.
"With anybody out we have to step up, so especially with a guy of his caliber [we have to]," Isaacs said. "A lot of our guys are trying to rally and play hard for one of our brothers who is down."
Maryland's starters exited before the end of the third quarter. So did the majority of the Terps' student section, apparently satisfied with the team's second straight 50-point showing to begin the campaign.
The Terps' 63 points marked their highest tally since 1954.
"We just came out focused," defensive lineman Kingsley Opara said. "We just came out firing on all cylinders. It didn't matter who was on the other sideline."