The Maryland football team celebrated for all of 13 seconds in the first quarter of its 62-14 loss to Ohio State.
That's the time it took running back Ty Johnson to take a kickoff 100 yards down the field and help the Terps respond to an early 14-0 deficit. His score marked Maryland's second special-teams touchdown this season.
Later, defensive lineman Chandler Burkett blocked a field goal, highlighting a standout performance from the Terps' special teams unit amid a blowout defeat.
Maryland will lean on the group for production this weekend as it tries to rebound against Northwestern. The Wildcats haven't allowed a special teams score this year.
"We spend a lot of practice time, a lot of film time on special teams," defensive back Josh Woods said. "Coach [DJ] Durkin might spend more time on special teams than any other coach in the nation. It's obviously paying off."
Woods rehearsed kickoff returns throughout practice in the week leading up to the Buckeyes tilt. He said it took time for the squad to master the blocking technique to open running lanes.
So, when he watched Johnson take the ball up the left sideline, evade a diving tackle at the Maryland 45-yard line and leap into the end zone, he felt satisfied.
"Finally seeing the guys break one loose, that was cool," Woods said. "[Durkin] just loves putting good players out there to make plays."
Burkett's field goal block came later in the first quarter with Maryland down, 20-7. Though the Terps offense did not turn the play into points at the other end, defensive coordinator Andy Buh said Burkett's effort underlined his multidimensional contributions. Burkett plays on both sides of the defensive line in addition to special teams.
The Panama City, Florida, native said he blocked a few kicks in high school, which helped him prepare for his Saturday denial.
"Chandler is just a monster at it," Woods added. "He's so tall, he's so long. The whole unit just did a good job."
Maryland's focus on special teams in practice has had the added benefit of giving offensive coordinator Walt Bell additional time to work with the team's quarterbacks. As the Terps train their kick and punt return strategies, Bell goes over the offensive game plan with his signal-callers.
With either Bortenschlager or Henderson set to lead the team this weekend, another big special teams play could help the inexperienced gunslingers settle in.
"We had some chances with momentum swings, to … turn a turnover, blocked kick or something into points [against Ohio State]," Durkin said. "I'm looking forward to see how our guys respond, how they bounce back."