Anthony McFarland is the real deal. Maryland knew that. Its fans knew that. DeMatha High School, where McFarland starred at before committing to Maryland knew that. Now the Big Ten and the rest of the nation is learning that.
McFarland already led the Big Ten Conference with 8.5 yards per carry. On Saturday, he added to that lead, rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns in Maryland’s 42-13 win over Minnesota. The redshirt freshman averaged 18.7 yards per carry. Yes, he essentially gained 19 yards every time he touched the football. That’s tough to do for a wide receiver let alone a running back against a Power 5 team.
McFarland, who had over 100 yards in last week’s loss to Temple, became the first Maryland freshman to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games.
His big day got off to a great start as he knifed through the Gophers defense for a 26-yard touchdown run — his first touchdown of his collegiate career.
Anthony McFarland with his first career touchdown pic.twitter.com/ni9nwEFoEV
— Terps Watch (@TerpsWatch) September 22, 2018
He got a huge block from right guard Brendan Moore that allowed him to cut to the outside for the score.
McFarland was not finished, as he busted open a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that broke open the Terrapins’ lead to 35-13.
This time McFarland simply outran the Minnesota defense in space with a burst through the hole, turning the play into a track meet that no one from the opposing team could keep up.
Just your typical untouched 64-yard touchdown run by Anthony McFarland. pic.twitter.com/ct0HsuvNdi
— Justin Fitzgerald (@jfitzgerald52) September 22, 2018
McFarland was not the only Maryland running back destroying the Gophers defense. Ty Johnson was not to be outdone as the senior led the Terrapins with 123 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown run. Johnson averaged 11.2 yards per carry.
Ty Johnson 81 yard TD run. pic.twitter.com/QCHuMFVqdb
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) September 22, 2018
While Johnson has had plenty of big plays in his time at Maryland, Saturday’s score was the longest in his collegiate career.
Johnson and McFarland combined for 235 yards on the ground on 17 carries, averaging 13.8 yards per carry between the two. Maryland had 315 rushing yards in all with four rushing touchdowns It was already known that Johnson was a home run threat, now Maryland adds another dynamically fast running back that can covers ground in a blink. The combination makes them even harder to defend, and makes every snap a possible huge play.
Saturday’s dominance comes a week after Maryland’s offense failed to score a point in a shocking loss to Temple. Their stalling lasted just one week, as Johnson and McFarland put the offense on their backs. Both scored the first two touchdowns of the game. They had Minnesota’s defense on their heels from the entire game.
Minnesota, a Big Ten Conference team, previously allowed 2.9 yards per carry and 72 yards per game. However, Maryland presented a much greater challenge than what the Gophers were use to facing through their first three games.
Maryland has an offensive line that is built to overpower much like the top echelon of the Big Ten. Add the dynamics that both Johnson and McFarland provide and Maryland has a pretty scary rushing attack that drives the offense. Johnson is no longer a one-man show, he now has the help of a hungry, talented, and eager backfield running mate such as McFarland. Now Maryland enjoys a 1-0 start in the Big Ten.