College Park, MD – Javon Leake had a career day with 4 TD’s. Maryland, for an afternoon, figured out how to throw the football. The defense played shutdown football once the Illini moved the ball inside the Maryland 20 yard line.
Over 700 yards of Terrapin offense was the highlight. Hope for a bowl game was the outcome. Maryland moved to 5-3, 3-2 B1G record on the season. There are 4 B1G conference games to go; Michigan State coming in next week, then a trip to Indiana, home with Ohio State and at Penn State.
Head coach Matt Canada made sure we all knew that “it was the players, playing together and for each other” that got the credit for the 63-33 win over Illinois. Matt has pointed out of this season that he is really, “just an offensive coordinator who happens to be the interim head coach”.
8 games into the season, Coach Canada seems to be a main reason why this team has not fallen apart under the extreme pressure of the investigations that have followed the Jordan McNair tragedy.
Javon Leake has caught the eye of those around the football program. Although the running back, who wears #20, has not gotten on the field much, those who are involved in practice say that this guy can play. Leake has some big runs in games when he has appeared in mop-up duty of games whose outcomes have been decided.
On Saturday, Javon was the star. A 96-yard kickoff return, and three big time runs as the tailback earned him a 4 TD afternoon. That has not happened for a Terp in almost 8 years (DJ Adams v East Carolina in 2010 Military Bowl). Javon got some extra time on the field vs Illinois due to a calf strain injury of Ty Johnson, a top four all-time leader in total yardage.
Javon had 5 carries for 140 yards and Anthony McFarland added 16 carries for 83 yards. After that, although other backs got carries, the game was over.
Kasim Hill was 11-19 for 265 yards and 3 TD’s. Dontay Demus, a talented freshman wideout who rocks the #7 jersey, has started to display the big play ability that made him a top recruit.
On defense, Tre Watson was asked to leave early, the result of a targeting call in the first half. It was a big game for Tre because he spent 4 years in Champaign, Ill and transferred to Maryland for graduate work.
Overall, the offense was promising, the defense was good enough and the Terps have their highest point total ever in the B1G.