COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland stepped into Big Ten play with a dominant performance that showcased its balance and depth.
Ty Johnson ran for 204 yards on seven carries, and the unbeaten Terrapins breezed past Purdue 50-7 Saturday to provide DJ Durkin a satisfying victory in his first conference game as a college head coach.
The Terrapins (4-0, 1-0) scored four touchdowns and amassed 293 yards in taking a 29-0 halftime lead. Maryland finished with 400 yards rushing and outgained the Boilermakers 496-205 overall.
“It’s hard to stop, tough to defend,” Durkin said of coordinator Walt Bell’s no-huddle offense , which has scored a school record 173 points over its first four games.
Purdue (2-2, 0-1) had no answer.
“They came out and made plays we weren’t able to stop,” defensive tackle Jake Replogle said.
Taking over at Maryland after serving as Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2015, Durkin has the Terrapins operating at a high level on both sides of the ball.
Perry Hills threw two touchdown passes to Teldrick Morgan and ran for an 11-yard score. Johnson peeled off a 76-yard run and scored on carries of 8 and 48 yards, and Lorenzo Harrison chipped in with a 62-yard touchdown sprint.
“Our line did a heck of a job making the blocks and the running backs made some great cuts,” Hills said.
The defense sacked David Blough six times. The Boilermakers were ranked second in the nation in third-down conversions (59 percent), but in this game they went 6 for 20.
“It’s a nice way to open our Big Ten season,” said Terps defensive end Roman Braglio, who was credited with 2 ½ sacks. “We have a goal this year and we’re trying very, very hard to achieve. It’s going to be hard to stop us.”
It was 36-0 before Purdue finally scored, on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Blough to Cole Herdman with 13:30 remaining.
“I think that we can without a doubt compete in the Big Ten, up front and physically,” guard Jordan Roos said. “They were just better than us today. You’ve got to beat the guy in front of you, and it didn’t happen today.”
Coming off two straight 300-yard games, Blough was limited to 46 yards passing before halftime and finished 18-for-41 for 132 yards.
The Boilermakers were guilty of a variety of ill-timed penalties, poor tackling and shoddy blocking by the offensive line.
‘You can’t lament. You’ve got to figure out what your issues are, every single one us,” coach Darrell Hazell said. “If we don’t, it can get worse. But we’re not going to let it get worse.”
Even when the Terrapins made mistakes of their own, Purdue couldn’t capitalize. Maryland hadn’t committed a turnover all year until Hills threw an interception on the opening series. The Terrapins subsequently jumped offside on third down, but Purdue’s J.D. Dellinger was wide right on a 35-yard field goal try.
“The defense did a fantastic job all day,” Hills said. “They really bailed us out a couple times.
Maryland promptly moved 80 yards in six plays, then fooled the Boilermakers with an unbalanced formation on the 2-point conversion.
On Purdue’s next series, an illegal formation wiped out a successful third-down play and forced a punt. Not long after that, Harrison burst up the middle on his 62-yard run.
Johnson’s first touchdown made it 22-0.
Desperate for a spark, Hazell opted to for it on a fourth down from the Boilermakers 32. They made it, but it merely delayed Maryland’s next touchdown.
After this surprisingly lopsided victory, Maryland might receive a few votes in the AP Top 25 poll as the list of unbeaten teams in the nation continues to dwindle. Then again, the Terrapins’ victories have come against Howard, Florida International, Central Florida and a Purdue team playing its first road game.
Purdue: The Boilermakers travel to Illinois for a West Division matchup Saturday. The Illini lost to Nebraska 31-16 on Saturday.
Maryland: The Terrapins take a short trip north to face Penn State and former Maryland assistant coach James Franklin.