Maryland football’s 66-3 loss to Penn State on Saturday was horrendous, embarrassing, shocking, terrible and just about every other negative adjective you can use to describe it.
However, it was also historic. In an otherwise forgettable game, DJ Moore did something no one else in Maryland’s 125-year history of football had done: He caught his 78th pass of the season.
With his effort against the Nittany Lions, Moore finished the season with 80 catches for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns. That means he did something that everyone from Torrey Smith to Stefon Diggs to Darrius Heyward-Bey to Vernon Davis never did as a Terp.
Breaking a program record is always impressive. But when you consider the circumstances Moore had to endure, it is nothing short of herculean.
Moore caught passes from four different quarterbacks this year. Just think about that for a second. Perhaps no position in all of sports depends more on another position than a wide receiver depends on his quarterback. Most wideouts will catch meaningful passes from one, maybe two quarterbacks in a season. But four?
Here are videos of four gunslingers throwing to Moore this year, just because it feels hard to believe without seeing it with your own eyes. First, he had Tyrrell Pigrome.
Then, it was Kasim Hill under center.
As the injuries continued, it became Max Bortenschlager’s turn.
And when Bortenschlager got hurt, Ryan Brand become the fourth quarterback to find Moore.
I never played football at any organized level, so I won’t pretend to personally know how hard it is to adjust to playing with four different quarterbacks. However, I’m going to assume it’s probably not very easy.
Not only did Moore adjust to that adversity, he set a Maryland record in the process. And on top of that, Moore led the Big Ten in receptions (80) and receiving yards.
Here’s a list of some people with 80 or more receptions, 1000+ receiving yards and eight or more TD catches in a season: DJ Moore Deandre Hopkins Alshon Jeffrey Dez Bryant Antonio Brown Jordy Nelson Larry Fitzgerald — Terps Watch (@TerpsWatch) November 27, 2017
There are wide receivers in college football this year who had more receptions, yards and touchdowns than Moore. But none of them had to go through more adversity and instability to get to 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns than Moore.
On top of all of this, Moore did all of this against an unbelievably tough schedule. Maryland was the only team to face both Wisconsin and UCF, the last two unbeaten squads left standing. USA Today’s Sagarin rating system says Maryland had the No. 1 strength of schedule in the nation this season. Six of Maryland’s opponents are currently ranked in the AP Poll, and that would’ve been seven if Michigan were able to beat Ohio State last week.
Moore caught passes from four different quarterbacks, and half of his opponents currently sit in the AP Top 25. He still set a Maryland record and led the Big Ten in yards and receptions.
He might have just had the greatest season of any Maryland wide receiver, ever.