Maryland had no issue getting past Howard in its season opener on Saturday afternoon, cruising to a massive 79-0 win at Maryland Stadium in College Park.
Former Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson shined in the debut, too, throwing for 245 yards and four touchdowns.
The victory, however, carried a much deeper meaning for many of the Terrapins players — and they quickly took to social media after the win to honor former offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
McNair, who died of a heatstroke after a team workout last June, wore No. 79.
Way to Honor Jordan , Go Terps pic.twitter.com/LZ9xUNpCqF— The Jordan McNair Foundation (@JMFoundation_) August 31, 2019
We just scored 79 points. 79....never ask if he is still apart of this. Long live 79 #JM79— Ellis McKennie (@emck_cubed97) August 31, 2019
Jordan McNair was #79, interesting. Maryland won 79-0 today! God is real! 🙏🏽— Cameron Chism (@CamChism) August 31, 2019
McNair died two weeks after he collapsed during a May conditioning workout last June, which prompted a massive investigation into the athletic department after a report surfaced about the atmosphere surrounding the Terrapin program and head coach D.J. Durkin — who was later fired. Investigators later determined that McNair was not treated properly after he collapsed.
Maryland was widely expected to win on Saturday afternoon — the Terrapins opened as near-30 point favorites. Head coach Mike Locksley insisted after he wasn’t trying to run the score up in his first victory at the helm of the program either, and even opted not to attempt an easy field goal late in the game.
“I talked to Ron after the game, he understood we weren’t trying to run the score up,” Locksley said, via the Baltimore Sun. “We respect the game. We have respect the way it should be played. But we also have to develop our team.
“We feel good about our [starters] and it was great to get so many young players some meaningful minutes for us to be able to coach ‘em up because we’ll need some of these guys as the year goes on ... I had no idea about 79, 80. I just knew I didn’t want us to score again.”
Regardless, the Terrapins found an extremely special way to honor McNair — one that won’t be easily duplicated anywhere else.
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