Maryland football’s 38-3 loss to Penn State on Saturday means the Terrapins' 2018 season is officially over. The Terps finished 5-7 and missed out on a bowl game for the second straight season.
But the year did bring some great plays on the field. We ranked the top 10 plays from the 2018 Maryland football season. (There’s actually more than 10 here, because we wanted an excuse to show you more football GIFs.)
Back on Oct. 13, Maryland took a 7-0 lead late in first quarter, and then freshman kicker Joseph Petrino got set to kick it away. As he had tried multiple times already during the season, Petrino tried to drop the short kick to one of the up-men, looking to cause some chaos.
Well, Rutgers really wasn’t ready. The Scarlet Knights decided not to field the kickoff, and Terps freshman Chance Campbell came sprinting down to field to recover it.
It was comical, and then the Terps did it again a month later against Ohio State.
Trailing 24-17 at the time, Ohio State started the second half with the football and a chance to tie the game and flip the momentum. But Maryland’s RaVon Davis had other ideas. The senior cornerback took this Dwayne Haskins pass to house to extend Maryland’s advantage to 14.
The interception was key for the Terrapins all season, as they picked off an NCAA-best 18 passes on the year. Maryland intercepted at least one pass in 11 of its 12 games in 2018.
Leake scored four touchdowns on Oct. 27, but none more impressive than his 97-yard kickoff return. It got Maryland on the board and kickstarted Maryland’s 63-point output against the Illini.
Leake wasn’t the only one who had a return touchdown this season. Senior Ty Johnson took a kickoff 98 yards to the house at the Big House on Oct. 6, giving the Terps an early edge.
Maryland’s offense could not get anything going in the first half against Bowling Green back on Sep. 8, but after the break, the Terps finally took the lead on this nifty spin move from senior Jahrvis Davenport.
That touchdown was the start of a 35-0 scoring run for the Terps to end the game and polish off a blowout victory over the Falcons.
Maryland would eventually lose this game, but this incredible effort from freshman Jeshaun Jones was a huge moment. He fought for the end zone to give the Terps the lead — and bowl eligibility, if the Maryland defense had held onto it.
Out of every play that came out of the Ohio State-Maryland game, this one may have been the most fun. With the score tied at 31 with just over nine minutes to play, the Terps were facing a fourth-and-8 around midfield. Wade Lees and the punt team trotted out there, but head coach Matt Canada was not ready to give the ball back to the Buckeyes. Maryland ran the fake punt to perfection, and Lees hit senior Taivon Jacobs for a 15-yard gain and a first down.
The Terrapins found the end zone three plays later to take the lead.
This game was wild, and Jones may have come up with the most impressive catch of the season against the Buckeyes.
The freshman’s ability to maintain focus on the ball and make the catch while keeping his feet in bounds was outstanding, and the throw from Tyrrell Pigrome was a dime as well. The touchdown gave Maryland a 38-31 lead with less than eight minutes to play, and if not for the craziness that ensued after, it could have been another score from Jones that sent the Terps to a bowl game.
Not many people thought Maryland had a chance against Ohio State. And then redshirt freshman Anthony McFarland took a cary 81 yards to the house on the second play of the game, showing that the Terps were there to play.
You’d think the Buckeyes would change their defense to try to stop that exact play, right? Wrong. McFarland did it again, this time from 75 yards out, just five minutes later.
McFarland rushed for 298 yards overall against Ohio State, coming up just eight yards short of Maryland’s single-game rushing record.
The Wade Lees pass was great, but it wasn’t the best trick play of the Maryland season. With the Terps already up 17-7 on Texas in the second quarter, Canada pulled out what looked like another jet sweep. But this time, Jones passed, and found Jacobs in the end zone for a touchdown.
And why was it open? Because Jones had already burned Texas with his legs earlier in the game.
And after that, the Longhorns still left him wide open.
Now, maybe this wasn’t the best singular play of Maryland’s season, but it was definitely the most important. The Terps were holding onto a five-point lead late in the season opener against Texas, and the Longhorns were driving down the field. But Brooks came up with this interception to seal the deal in the Terrapins' second consecutive victory over the Longhorns.