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Three Biggest Takeaways from Maryland’s Statement Win over Texas

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For the second year in a row, the Maryland Terrapins stunned the Texas Longhorns. Last season it was a 51-41 impressive win in Austin. To ensure it was no fluke, the Terrapins dominated the first 24 minutes of the game building a 24-7 lead before the Longhorns battled back and took the lead 29-24 in the third quarter. But, the Terps with everything that has been going on for the program, would not quit and stormed back to a 34-29 win.

Here are five three takeaways from Maryland’s upset win over Texas:

1. This Was a Win for Maryland Players

A dark cloud hangs over the Maryland football program and deservedly so. The death of Jordan McNair won’t be forgotten. But amid the coaching staff, school, and administration’s mishandling of the circumstances that led to his death, the players still on the team have a heavy burden upon them, certainly not the burden of that McNair’s parents and family face losing their son, however, a burden nonetheless.

Saturday’s win over Texas was in a way a relief for those players. For every question that the media, investigators, family and friends have asked the players. For the thoughts that relive that horrible day, there is a burden and heavy weight on those kids. And with honoring McNair prior to kickoff and on the first play with lining up with 10 men, the kids on the team got to have a relief.

There was a lot of emotion inside FedEx Field on Saturday and honestly, it was not the Texas Longhorns, the Terps were playing. They were playing against that dark cloud that hangs over the program. They were playing against D.J. Durkin and Rick Court and the media and just the nature of losing a teammate in such a tragic way. Texas was there on the field, but that was not Maryland’s opponent. And regardless who was on that field Saturday they pale in comparison to what the Terps were fighting.

So, it may have been a game or people may want to remind everyone what a “toxic” program Maryland is, but those kids that have committed and kept their commitment to Maryland and each other fought on Saturday and won a game that was for McNair and them.

2. The Star of Jeshaun Jones Was Born

Jeshaun Jones was ranked as the No. 118th-best wide receiver in the class of 2018 by 247 Sports. On Saturday, Jones played like one of the five best in his class. The freshman and Fort Myers, Fla. native scored three touchdowns on his first three collegiate touches.

He ignited the Maryland’s offense with an opening-drive 28-yard touchdown run on his first touch. His second touch came later in the first quarter as he blew passed the Texas defense for a 65-yard touchdown. And then his third on a bit of a trickery play took a hand-off then hurled a 20-yard touchdown pass to fellow wide receiver Taivon Jacobs.

It was one heck of a debut, arguably the best Maryland debut in recent memory. It was just one game, but his demeanor and breakaway speed urges that Maryland has a new star on their hands.

3. Maryland Might Be Bowl Eligible

Understandably, it’s not yet time to get overly excited about Maryland beating Texas. For what’s it worth, they beat Texas last year and more convincingly in Austin and yet the Terps failed to become bowl eligible. So, what’s different this year?

Aside from the emotion of the season that is going to be and is all about Jordan McNair, is the fact Kasim Hill is a quarterback that can lead the Terps to six wins. Jeshaun Jones and Taivon Jacobs form a pretty formidable duo of receivers. And let’s not forget the running group that is pretty formidable as well in Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison. Two that didn’t even get their feet wet in Saturday’s win.

All of that along with a much-improved defense can withstand a schedule that is loaded. Stealing a win against Texas gives them one less obstacle to get to six wins. There are five manageable games they can win such as Bowling Green next week, Temple, Rutgers, Illinois and Indiana. So yes, Maryland might actually become bowl eligible.

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