COLLEGE PARK – Maryland got a “likely” hero in its 50-21 win over Richmond Saturday afternoon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. William Likely, the Terps’ junior cornerback, returned eight punts for 233 yards and set a new Big Ten record for punt return yardage in a single game in the process Likely, who […]
COLLEGE PARK – Maryland got a “likely” hero in its 50-21 win over Richmond Saturday afternoon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
William Likely, the Terps’ junior cornerback, returned eight punts for 233 yards and set a new Big Ten record for punt return yardage in a single game in the process
Likely, who returned one of those eight punts for a 67-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, broke the conference record that was set by Iowa’s Nile Kinnick in 1939.
“That’s a long time,” said Likely, who also racked up 63 kick return yards, giving him 296 all-purpose yards for the game. “It’s a blessing to be able to break somebody’s record that had been standing for that long and hadn’t been broken. That’s a blessing.”
Likely moved into a tie for second place in Maryland history with his third career punt return for a touchdown. He is now four shy of surpassing the all-time leader, Steve Suter, who holds the record with six punt returns for scores.
“Being a punt returner, it’s like an art,” said Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall. “You have to have a pretty good feel for what’s going on and seeing things.”
Meanwhile, Maryland senior Brandon Ross rushed for a career-high 150 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 21-yard run in the third quarter. Teammates Ty Johnson and Wes Brown added 84 and 74 rushing yards respectively. Each scored once as well.
Quarterback Perry Hills, who was making his first start under center since October of 2012, played respectably. Hills finished the day 12-for-21 passing for 138 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He completed two passes to Levern Jacobs, DJ Moore, Amba Etta-Tawo and Avery Edwards.
Defensively, Maryland sophomore linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. registered a team-best and career-high eight tackles, including five solo stops.
However, the day belonged to Likely, who entered the Big Ten and Maryland record books with his performance and left his teammates puzzled.
“Obviously, they don’t watch a lot of Big Ten games,” Ross said about Richmond. “I don’t know why they kept kicking it to him.”
Maryland’s offense out-gained Richmond 479-276 for the day, including 341 yards on the ground. The Terps ran the ball 45 times, making for a 7.6 yard-per-carry average. The Spiders, on the other hand, averaged just 2.1 yards-per-carry on 27 totes.
The only other statistics that were drastically on Maryland’s side (other than punt return yardage) were third-down conversions and the amount of first downs. The Terps converted on 7-of-12 third downs, while Richmond was successful just two out of 12 times. That in turn helped lead to the lop-sided first-down numbers (24 to 12).
Maryland hosts Bowling Green Saturday at home at 12 p.m. The Falcons lost at Tennessee last weekend, 59-30.