Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
In what started as very emotional game with just 10 players taking the field to honor Maryland redshirt freshman Jordan McNair at the start of the game, ended with a celebration for Terps Interim Head Coach Matt Canada in a 34-29 victory.
For Maryland the victory today was a chance for a few hours to put the dark cloud that has surrounded the program for the past few weeks and get moving forward on a season they hope will feature a healthy starting quarterback and a slew of young players that are willing to step up and make things happen. The Terps were predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten schedule this season.
“We beat ourselves out there,” Longhorns receiver Collin Johnson said. “Losing doesn’t make you a loser. It’s just how you respond to it. We’ve got to respond to it the right way and focus on next week.”
For Texas fans, it is very hard to get excited about quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s growth and development when he threw two critical interceptions at winning time. Ehlinger said the first interception with 6:09 remaining got tipped. The second with 1:04 to play came on third-and-10 from the Terps’ 33-yard line.
If the game wasn’t wild enough, a 90 minute rain delay due to lightning and severe storms in the area caused both teams to sit an wonder when the game would resume. Canada came outside in the tunnel a few times during the game to take a look at the field that would later net him his first victory and sort of just shook his head about what they would have to come back on the field for, a chance to preserve their lead with a little overt 14 minutes remaining in the game.
“I just can’t say enough about our players, everything they’ve been through and the way they stuck together,” Canada said. “It was a great way to honor Jordan. This was a win for Jordan. “We’re certainly proud of our team, proud of our program. Everybody in our building stuck together. We’re proud of everybody.
When asked about the significance of this game to everyone going forward, he said the Terps will honor this day by bringing the game ball back to College Park and put it in McNair’s locker at the Gossett Team House, then present it to McNair’s parents on what would have been his freshman class’ senior day in 2020.
The Terps got a big day from Kasim Hill, who last season sat out the season with ACL surgery and for freshman wide receiver Jeshaun Jones, who became only the fourth true freshman in his first game since 1996 to throw for a touchdown, run for a touchdown and catch a touchdown reception in a game.