Iowa vs. Maryland score: No. 5 Hawkeyes overwhelm Terps, force seven turnovers in dominant win
The Hawkeyes' elite defense created all kinds of havoc for Maryland's offense
No. 5 Iowa's formula of relying heavily on opponent turnovers and miscues may eventually backfire, but it worked to perfection yet again on Friday night in a dominant 51-14 victory over Maryland. The Terrapins led 7-3 after the first quarter, but a cascade of turnovers in the second quarter allowed the Hawkeyes to open up a 34-7 halftime lead. They never looked back as they forced seven turnovers -- six interceptions and one fumble, leading to 24 points -- to assume the national lead in turnovers forced (16) and turnover margin (+3.25) entering Saturday's full slate of action.
Additionally, Iowa entered Week 5 tied for second nationally in points off turnovers with 51, and it is now the runaway leader with 75. To put that into context, Notre Dame would need to force 24 points off turnovers against Cincinnati on Saturday to reclaim the national lead in that category.
Iowa moves to 5-0 and its defense further cements itself as one of college football's premier units. Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa entered Friday with 10 touchdowns to just one interception, but his five picks doomed his team's chances of improving to 5-0 for the first time since 2001. And, now, Tagovailoa has thrown more interceptions than any player in the country.
Though the defense stole the show again, the Hawkeyes enjoyed success with a balanced offensive attack that saw quarterback Spencer Petras throw for three touchdowns and run for two more. No one is going to mistake Iowa's offense for a high-powered group, but it showed Friday that it can effectively play a complementary role to an elite defense. And, if nothing else, the seven turnovers are a resounding reminder that defense still matters in college football.
At 4-1, the Terrapins have some regrouping to do before a trip to No. 11 Ohio State next week. Maryland's leading receiver Dontay Demus Jr. was carted off the field in the first half after his leg twisted awkwardly as he was tackled on a kick return. He entered as the Big Ten's second-leading receiver, and the Terrapins will need to recalibrate without him if he's forced to miss extended time.
Iowa, meanwhile, will head into a home showdown with No. 4 Penn State in Week 6 riding the momentum of its best all-around performance so far in 2021. If Penn State takes care of Indiana on Saturday, it would potentially set up the first top-five showdown between the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions.
FINAL: Iowa 51, Maryland 14— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) October 2, 2021
Both starting QBs out
As Iowa and Maryland run out the string in the final 10 minutes, both teams have pulled their starting QBs. This will go down as a night to forget for Taulia Tagovailoa. Five interceptions and the loss of his leading receiving receiver constitutes an absolute nightmare. But the potential is still there. You could see it in the first quarter when Maryland moved the football and Taulia found Demus twice in the middle of Iowa's zone during a scoring drive. Expectations for the Terrapins weren't high entering this season, and they still are on track to exceed them.
Icing on the cake
Tyrone Tracy Jr. puts the finishing touches on this one for Iowa with a 7-yard TD reception from Spencer Petras. That was Petras' third TD of the game as Iowa continues to put on run-pass clinic, keeping the Maryland defense off balance. Iowa is never going to be 2019 LSU, but the Hawkeyes have taken major strides tonight offensively against a Maryland defense that entered with respectable performances so far this season.
Maryland finds the end zone
Give credit to the Terrapins, who aren't laying down on a night when seemingly everything has gone Iowa's way. The Terrapins just went 75 yards on eight plays, capped by a 7-yard TD strike from Taulia Tagovailoa to Rakim Jarrett. Tough sledding with Dontay Demus Jr. out injured, but that's Jarrett's fourth TD catch of the season. The Terps are going to need him, and others, to step up the rest of the way tonight and, potentially, in the weeks ahead. 44-10 Iowa.
Hawkeyes extend their lead
A 30-yard field goal makes it 44-7 Iowa. Spencer Petras hit Charlie Jones for a long pass down the left side, and Jones adjusted his body well for a tough catch to put the offense in the red zone. The drive stalled, however, and coach Kirk Ferentz settled for three points. No matter, Iowa's offense has had success on chunk plays tonight and continues to pad the scoreboard.
Tyler Goodson's monster night continues
Iowa should give serious consideration to making the entire offense out of running back Tyler Goodson. The shifty back took a pass from Spencer Petras on a second-and-22 for 67 yards for a touchdown out of the backfield. Goodson was wide open and made one man miss, and then he was gone. Goodson now has 145 yards of total offense and a touchdown. It's now 41-7 Hawkeyes early in the fourth quarter. Running clock for the rest of the night?
Can Iowa ice it on the ground?
Iowa's run game with Tyler Goodson has been hit or miss behind a relatively young OL so far this season. This second half could go a long way toward building some confidence in the ground game as the Hawkeyes will likely try and bleed the clock. Goodson is at 61 yards on 14 carries, but you gotta think he'll approach 30 touches before this one is over.
Half: No. 5 Iowa 34, Maryland 7
Statistically speaking, Maryland only trails Iowa 202-142 in total yards and is actually averaging more yards per play than than Iowa. But if you're looking for numbers to tell the first half story, try these: Maryland has turned it over five times versus zero for Iowa. And Maryland has been penalized eight times for 71 yards versus three penalties for 25 yards against Iowa. Hard to believe Maryland led this game 7-3 after the first quarter.
Iowa trying to add a few more
With the Hawkeyes up 31-7, they are navigating a third-and-17 from the edge of FG range while trying to add more points before the break. This lead already feels borderline insurmountable, but points here would basically end it.
Iowa is doubling up Maryland in time of possession here late in the second quarter, and the Hawkeyes get the football to start the third quarter. Now, the Terps are punting it away again. Chance for Iowa, already leading 31-7, to pour more on. They also get the football to begin the second half. Might be time for the College Park contingent to beat the traffic.
ANOTHER Maryland turnover and more penalties
Taulia Tagovailoa's third interception of the first half sets Iowa up with yet another short field, and at this point, the Maryland defense is getting worn down. It has committed three penalties on the ensuing Iowa possession to give Iowa's mediocre offense chance after chance. Mike Locksley looks none too pleased, and he has reason to be ticked. His team has flopped so far tonight in a huge moment.