Dom­i­nant win over Howard showed depth at run­ning back

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Don Markus

COLLEGE PARK —The three-game sus­pen­sion of se­nior run­ning back Wes Brown did not seem to be a big con­cern to new Mary­land foot­ball coach DJ Durkin go­ing into the sea­son.

It is now even less of a worry. By the time Brown re­turns for the Big Ten Con­fer­ence opener Oct. 1 against Pur­due, he might have more com­pe­ti­tion than many be­lieved.

In Satur­day’s sea­son-open­ing 52-13 win over Howard at Mary­land Sta­dium, the Terps rushed for 315 yards and six touch­downs. Five run­ning backs com­bined for 262 yards and all but one touch­down.

“Our backs did a great job, I think the depth at run­ning back re­ally showed,” Durkin said.

Durkin cred­ited Mary­land’s of­fen­sive line with set­ting the tone. Grad­u­ate trans­fer Fri­day, 7:30 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Net­work Ra­dio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM Trey Ed­munds said that along with the line’s block­ing, the wide re­ceivers did a great job block­ing on the out­side.

It helped the Terps av­er­age 7.2 yards a carry and nearly 8 yards a carry by their run­ning backs.

“I don’t care who’s at run­ning back. You don’t do that with­out your O-line do­ing a great job up front,” Durkin said. “Hats off to those guys; they’re al­ways the un­sung he­roes.”

Said Ed­munds: “Our job is easy; they’re the ones that have the hard part. We couldn’t do any­thing with­out them.”

Fresh­man Lorenzo Har­ri­son, who wasn’t even on the depth chart go­ing into the game, fin­ished with a team-high 67 yards on nine car­ries, in­clud­ing an 18-yard touch­down.

Fresh­man Jake Funk, the last of the five run­ning backs to get his chance, car­ried eight times for 59 yards, in­clud­ing a 29-yarder in the fourth quar­ter to set up his own 3-yard score.

Sopho­more Ty John­son and Ed­munds each had 48 yards on six car­ries. John­son, who started, scored on a 21-yard run. Ed­munds, who scored on a 3-yard run, also had a 29-yard run.

Se­nior Ken­neth Goins Jr. (Gil­man), who scored Mary­land’s first touch­down on a 2-yard run on the team’s open­ing pos­ses­sion, rushed four times for 40 yards.

“We could be re­ally good” run­ning the ball, Goins said. “We all have dif­fer­ent tal­ents, but when some­body else gets into the game, [it’s] like noth­ing changed. We just try to work to be good.”

Ed­munds had rushed 166 times for 675 yards and 10 touch­downs as a fresh­man at Vir­ginia Tech in 2012, but only 68 times for 282 yards and three touch­downs the past two years, prompt­ing the trans­fer af­ter grad­u­a­tion.

Asked if there is more ca­ma­raderie than com­pe­ti­tion among the group, Ed­munds said, “I’m the type of guy where if some­one is hav­ing suc­cess, I’m just as happy as they are.”

Ed­munds said that he was jok­ing with Funk in the fourth quar­ter about not get­ting into the end zone.

“I was talk­ing to Jake to­ward the end of the game, ‘Look, Jake, you’re the only run­ning back that hasn’t scored yet, let’s go, let’s go,’ ” Ed­munds said. “I was jok­ing, but luck­ily he did get in the end zone and he did in a very fash­ion­able way.”

Durkin said Funk played much the way he did as a se­nior at Da­m­as­cus, where he rushed for 57 touch­downs, in­clud­ing a ti­tle-game record seven in the 3A state cham­pi­onship game against Dundalk at M&T Bank Sta­dium.

“Jake showed you what he is — he’s a tough guy,” Durkin said. “I don’t know if you no­ticed, he was cov­er­ing kick­offs for us, he was block­ing guys on punt pres­sure, he played on all spe­cial teams.

“That’s just Jake. He just does such a great job of fin­ish­ing runs, and do­ing all the lit­tle things in a game that isn’t al­ways no­ticed.”

As for Har­ri­son, Durkin said that he couldn’t list all his run­ning backs on the two-deep depth chart, adding that he plans on us­ing a larger-than-nor­mal ro­ta­tion as long as he can.

Har­ri­son, who might be the most ex­plo­sive of Mary­land’s run­ning backs, is go­ing to be in the mix.

“He’s al­ways been in the plan for us, play­ing-wise,” Durkin said. “Lorenzo is a unique ball car­rier. He can make you miss and he can run you over. We’ll keep giv­ing him the ball, for sure.”

NICK WASS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lorenzo Har­ri­son, a fresh­man who wasn’t even on Mary­land’s depth chart go­ing into Satur­day’s game, fin­ished with a team-high 67 yards on nine car­ries, in­clud­ing this 18-yard touch­down.

NICK WASS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Grad­u­ate trans­fer Trey Ed­munds, left, scores a first-half touch­down on a blocked punt. Ed­munds and sopho­more Ty John­son each had 48 yards on six car­ries as five Mary­land run­ning backs com­bined for 262 yards and all but one touch­down.

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