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NCAAF: Taulia Tagovailoa shines as Maryland routs Kent State

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Taulia Tagovailoa passed for 384 yards and three touchdowns, Tayon Fleet-Davis hit pay dirt twice and Maryland pulled away with a 37-16 drubbing of Kent State on Saturday in College Park, Md.

Maryland (4-0) kept Kent State out of the end zone until the fourth quarter and recorded five sacks and a fumble recovery. The Terrapins stayed unbeaten ahead of next Friday’s home game against No. 5 Iowa.

Tagovailoa completed 31 of 41 passes, hitting 12 different targets for at least one reception. Dontay Demus Jr. led the Terps’ receivers with 108 yards and a touchdown on four catches.

Dustin Crum went 19 for 33 for 308 yards and a touchdown for Kent State (1-3). Dante Cephas caught 10 passes for 151 yards and a score.

Tagovailoa, the Big Ten leader in completion percentage, threw his first interception of the season in the first quarter. The junior threw behind Rakim Jarrett’s route, and the ball glanced off his hands and right to cornerback Keith Sherald Jr. Kent State converted the takeaway into the game’s first three points.

But Maryland responded with touchdowns on its next three possessions. Demus got behind the secondary to haul in a 33-yard touchdown. Jarrett then caught a 6-yarder to conclude the next drive, which went 76 yards. And Demus recorded a 64-yard catch to lead to Fleet-Davis’ 3-yard rushing score.

Trailing 21-6 with less than five minutes in the half, Kent State executed a fake field goal and kicker Andrew Glass ran a bootleg and nearly scored a touchdown, but a holding penalty called the play back.

Instead, Glass kicked his third field goal of the half. Maryland responded by fitting in an 11-play scoring drive before the end of the half, with Joseph Petrino’s 26-yard chip shot making it 24-9.

The Terrapins put the game out of reach in the third quarter with two more touchdowns. Fleet-Davis broke off a 29-yard run and walked a tightrope down the right sideline to reach the end zone. The next Maryland drive culminated in Tagovailoa finding tight end Corey Dyches on a 9-yard play-action pass.

The Golden Flashes gained 80 yards on just a four-play drive early in the fourth quarter, and Crum found Cephas on a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 37-16.

Kent State’s three losses have come to Maryland, Texas A&M and Iowa, the latter two ranked in the top 10 nationally.

–Field Level Media

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