Welcome to The Diamondback Sports Digest. Every week, we send you a rundown of the latest Maryland athletics news.
What were you doing when you were 23 years old? Taulia Tagovailoa became the Big Ten’s all-time passing leader during the Terps’ win against Rutgers on Saturday. A Maryland quarterback now holds the record in one of the most historic college football conferences. Lucky for me, I still have two years to catch up.
In this week’s newsletter, we’ll cover Tagovailoa’s record-breaking moment, the conclusion of Maryland football’s regular season, winning weeks for men’s and women’s basketball and more.
Taulia Tagovailoa secures another record in Maryland football’s seventh win
Tagovailoa shined as the Terps scored early and often in their 42-24 victory against Rutgers on Saturday. He finished with a season-high 361 yards and celebrated with teammates, coaches and family after a historic game.
The quarterback has helped lift Maryland to a level of consistency it’s long itched for. The Terps will finish this season with at least seven wins for the third consecutive year and have the opportunity to notch eight wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2003.
“For what he’s been able to do to help us elevate this program, we owe him a lot,” coach Michael Locksley said.
The Terps’ defense held strong after stumbling late in the first half to prevent any potential Rutgers comeback, even as Maryland’s offense briefly sputtered. The defense has given up just 13 second-half points across the last two weeks. Football reporter Brandon Schwartzberg has more on the team’s recent success.
Maryland men’s basketball ends losing streak, but shooting struggles persist
The Terps entered this week with an anemic offense and a 1-3 record for the first time since 2000. Maryland put some of those scoring worries to bed with a comprehensive win against UMBC on Tuesday in which the Terps put up 92 points — their third-highest total under Kevin Willard. Maryland also notched a victory over South Alabama on Saturday.
While Maryland’s frontcourt, especially Julian Reese, flashed in the pair of victories, the Terps’ shooting struggles continued. Willard’s squad missed most of their three-pointers whether open or contested in both games, combining to go 11-for-52 from deep last week. Maryland is the worst power-conference team in the country and the fourth-worst Division I team from three-point range this season, making just 21.4 percent of its attempts.
Maryland’s early season losses to UAB and Davidson could hurt them down the stretch, but the Terps avoided another embarrassing defeat and started figuring out roles in their new-look offense. Maryland has another nonconference matchup against Rider on Tuesday before starting Big Ten play with a road matchup at Indiana on Friday.
Maryland women’s basketball has a winning week in Cancun
The Terps entered the 2023 Cancun Challenge with a 2-2 record and a pair of blowout losses to ranked opponents in South Carolina and UConn. Maryland’s offense appeared to break out of its slump early in another matchup Thursday against ranked Washington State, but the Terps faded and fell by 20 points in another defeat to a top team.
Maryland rebounded from that loss with a pair of wins against Green Bay and Massachusetts. Maryland finished the tournament 2-1. The Terps totaled 92 points — their highest since their season-opener — in Saturday’s blowout win against UMass.
Bri McDaniel continued her strong start to the season in Cancun. The sophomore recorded a career-high 19 points and 31 minutes in the Terps victory against Green Bay. Women’s basketball reporter Sam Jane reported on the guard’s early influence.
- Maryland volleyball finished its 2023 season after a loss to Penn State on Wednesday and a five-set win over Rutgers on Friday. The Terps finished with seven Big Ten wins for the third consecutive season and are still seeking their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005.
- Maryland women’s basketball dropped out of the AP poll for the first time since 2010 last week before going 2-1 at the Cancun Challenge.
- No. 22 Maryland wrestling narrowly dropped its first dual of the season, falling to No. 18 Pittsburgh in a match that was decided by the final heavyweight matchup.
- Maryland field hockey fused the experience of its fifth-year seniors and graduate students with its freshmen energy during the 2023 season. The Terps will rely on the lessons their young players learned to progress further than this year’s NCAA quarterfinal exit.
Stat of the week
Tagovailoa became the Big Ten’s all-time passing leader in the Terps’ win over Rutgers. He sits at 11,256 yards after Saturday’s game. The quarterback could grow his margin in Maryland’s bowl game, which he said he plans to play in.
Game of the week
Maryland men’s basketball opens Big Ten play at Indiana, transfer Jordan Geronimo’s former school, on Friday at 7 p.m.