Maryland’s D.J. Moore pumped for Ford Field bowl

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Detroit — D.J. Moore has proven during his sophomore season he can be a big-time playmaker for Maryland.

And the Terrapins will be looking for another big game from Moore when they play Boston College on Monday in the Quick Lake Bowl at Ford Field.

Moore, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound sophomore from Philadelphia, had 38 receptions for 597 yards and six touchdowns. Moore showed he would be a factor in the early going, coming through with six receptions for 147 yards and two TDs in a Week No. 2, 41-14 rout of Florida International.

“That game really boosted my confidence,” Moore said. “I just wanted to continue to build off of that game.

“It was a game I definitely cherished.”

Moore had a 36-yard touchdown reception in a 28-17 win over defending Big Ten champion Michigan State to improve to 5-2, but the Terrapins, under first-year head coach — and former Michigan assistant coach — D.J. Durkin then ran into a four-game losing streak.

“Our chemistry has grown through the camp that we had and even during the offseason when we had extra work,” Moore said of working with senior quarterback Perry Hills. “When he gives me the signal for our plays I know he has given me the one-on-one matchups that we have set up in the game plan.

“I feel my speed and route running are my strengths, giving me the opportunity to get open. Really, catching the six touchdown passes have been a big highlight for me because it doubled my total from my freshman year.”

Moore had 25 receptions for 357 yards and three touchdowns his freshman year, when the Terrapins went 3-9.

Randy Edsall was fired as head coach, leading the way for Durkin to take over.

While Moore only had one catch for 4 yards in the 31-13 victory over Rutgers to get Maryland bowl eligible, he talked of the importance of the win.

“That game was really important for the whole organization, because we wanted an extra game,” Moore said. “We wanted to have one more game with the seniors so they could have a chance to end their college career with a bowl win.”

Moore plays in a spread offense, which also features Teldrick Morgan (40 receptions, 407 yards, three TDs) and Levern Jacobs (37, 368, TD). Ty Johnson has rushed for 845 yards and four TDs, averaging 8.9 yards per carry, and Lorenzo Harrison, 633 yards and five TDs, averaging 7.2 yards.

Johnson had 168 yards on 11 carries against Rutgers.

And, on the win over MSU?

“That was a big win even, though it wasn’t the same Michigan State team as last year,” Moore said.

“We had to compete at the highest level.”

Moore knows he must use his speed and route-running ability to perfection to get open in the Quick Lane Bowl, especially going up against second-team All-America defensive end Harold Landry and a Boston College defense that ranks eighth nationally in total defense (310.6 yards).

“I can’t wait to get out there,” Moore said. “They have one of the top defenses in the nation, so it’s going to be a real challenge for our offense.”