AUSTIN, Texas – Maryland football quarterback Kasim Hill started his college career with a three-point fourth-quarter lead against No. 23 Texas and the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium crowd roaring.
He didn’t waver.
After replacing starter Tyrrell Pigrome, who left with an apparent leg injury, Hill overcame the noise to help Maryland secure a 51-41 victory. With under eight minutes remaining, he converted a third-and-19 with a 40-yard pass and delivered a three-yard touchdown run to put the Terps up by 10, causing Hill’s teammates to mob him.
It was Maryland’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2010, and the program’s first road upset since a 2008 win at then-No. 20 Clemson.
“There wasn’t anyone who panicked or flinched,” coach DJ Durkin said. “No one was like, ‘Oh, no.’ Kasim came in there and just handled the moment.”
Before Hill clinched the game with his fourth-quarter run, Pigrome helped Maryland build a lead despite a disastrous opening possession. Pigrome’s first pass of the season landed in the arms of Texas cornerback Holton Hill, who returned the interception 31 yards for a touchdown.
As the quarterback trudged off the field, offensive lineman Damian Prince placed a supportive hand on his shoulder. Wide receiver D.J. Moore told him to relax because “it’s just a kids game.”
Pigrome required little assurance after that sequence, racking up 239 all-purpose yards and three scores to position the Terps for the upset.
“I’m proud of him,” Durkin said. “He bounced back. He missed the spot on that throw … but he played well.”
Pigrome’s composure stood out after the Terps rotated between four quarterbacks in 2016. He tossed just two touchdowns in 11 appearances last year but excelled on Saturday.
The Pinson, Alabama, native tied the game in the first quarter with a 25-yard run. Then, with the Longhorns anticipating another scamper, he took the lead with a 20-yard pass to Moore in the corner of the end zone.
Pigrome added a 46-yard toss over the top of the defense in the second quarter, finding wide receiver Taivon Jacobs streaking toward the end zone. It was the longest completion of Pigrome’s career.
“It’s good just knowing we have multiple weapons on the field at once,” Moore said. “It’s great to have.”
Running backs Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison, coming off seasons in which they averaged over seven yards per carry, provided additional balance with a series of explosive runs. The tandem combined for 177 rushing yards.
“I’ve never seen us give up so many rushing yards,” said Texas coach Tom Herman, who the Longhorns hired last December.
After Texas cut Maryland’s 30-14 lead to three in the third quarter, Johnson responded with a momentum-shifting 40-yard touchdown burst up the middle. As he crossed the goal line, he placed a finger to his mouth to quiet the home crowd.
Pigrome’s injury gave the Texas faithful new life, but Hill answered with his three-yard sprint into the end zone to give the Terps a 44-34 advantage. Running back Jake Funk added a touchdown run to seal the victory.
With four more current top-25 teams on Maryland’s schedule, the Terps cherished the adversity they faced on their way to the upset.
“It was good to see our guys respond,” Durkin said. “Now we can say we’ve been there before and responded the right way.”