COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Gophers offense did its job by scoring 38 points against Maryland on Friday night.
Minnesota defense, however, couldn’t do its part, looking like a sieve in allowing the Terrapins to move the ball with ease. After Minnesota scored 31 unanswered points, the U defensive gave up 17 straight to force overtime.
In overtime, it was Minnesota’s special teams that let them down.
The Terrapins quickly scored seven points on their opening possession, and after Seth Green scored a touchdown, backup kicker Brock Walker missed the extra point and Maryland won 45-44 at Maryland Stadium in College Park, Md.
Minnesota (0-2) gave up 675 total yards of offense to Maryland (1-1).
Walker has been playing through a recent sports hernia surgery, but was successful earlier in the game. He made five extra points and made a 25-yard field goal earlier in the game.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who had three interceptions versus Northwestern last week, started on fire Friday and finished with five touchdowns.
After scoring only three points last week, Tagovailoa’s team racked up 21 points in the first quarter.
The Terrapins averaged 15.3 yards per play and 230 yards total in the opening 15 minutes. The Gophers defense kept faltering as they did in the 49-24 loss to Michigan.
Tagovailoa had a 23-yard rush on the first drive to help set up a touchdown pass to Jake Funk. On the second series, he broke free for a 39-yard touchdown.
With a Minnesota had a 3-and-out in between, Maryland jumped to a 14-0 lead midway through the quarter. But the Gophers responded with a 8-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to cut the lead in half.
On the next offensive play, Tagovailoa hit Jeshaun Jones for a 76-yard touchdown. Minnesota was the only Big Ten program to give up two plays over 60 yards in the opener, and were hit for a third early Friday.
A big turning point came when defensive end Boye Mafe read a screen pass, tipped it up and 300-pound defensive tackle DeAngelo Carter made the interception and returned it 22 yards.
Four plays later, Ibrahim scored his third touchdown to tie the game, 21-21.
The Gophers defense then forced a punt, a rare occurrence. It was only the second across opening six quarters this season.
Then Minnesota put together its longest drive of the half, going 91 yards to take a 28-21 lead.
While Minnesota defense started the half giving up chunk plays, the U had rushes of 33 and 29 to set up Ibrahim’s fourth TD. The U battled back for a 28-21 halftime lead.