Maryland Terrapins Fall Short in Rutgers Comeback Win


Saturday’s football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Maryland Terrapins became a tale of two halves as both squads came out as different teams in the second half; and Rutgers was the benefactor of that change. Maryland struck first, getting the ball rolling for the Terps by scoring on a C.J. Brown one-yard run. That was the quarterback’s only rushing touchdown of the day. also tallying 13 carries and 107 yards. The Terps defense held up for most of the first quarter, only giving up a field goal with under a minute to go. The score was 7-3 at the end of the first.

Rutgers in the first quarter was able to run the ball more effectively than the Terps, gaining 65 yards to the Terps’ 48 yards; but Maryland outdid the Scarlet Knights in passing 27-16. The next quarter, the Terps came out on fire, scoring on four out of five possessions. It started on a 71-yard catch and run by wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo. This made the score 14-3.

Rutgers’ combo of Gary Nova and Leonte Carroo connected on their first of two touchdowns between the pair, this one on a seven-yard pass. The Scarlet Knights came within four points but that didn’t last for long, as Terps running back Brandon Ross scored from nine yards out giving the Terps a 21-10 lead with under 10 minutes to go in the first half.

Maryland had accumulated 85 rushing yards at this point. On the Scarlet Knights’  next possession, Gary Nova fumbled on pressure from defensive back Sean Davis. Maryland recovered the fumble, with confirmation after the play was reviewed.

It only took the Terps one play to score, giving Brandon Ross the ball and letting him take it to the house for 40 yards. It seemed to many at this point that it was going to be a blowout. It was 28-10. Maryland had 258 total yards to Rutgers’169. The Terps defense held Rutgers to a three-and-out, allowing C.J. Brown and the Terps to go down the field and score on a nine-yard pass hookup  to wide receiver Deon Long in the back of the end zone — 35-10.

Rutgers gained the momentum they needed and scored on a roll out pass to the left from Nova to wide receiver Andre Patton, cutting the score to 35-17. That drive was given birth because of a roughing the kicker penalty against the Terps. It set the tone for a revitalized Scarlet Knight squad in the second half.  At the end of the first half, C.J. Brown was 10-for-13 for 165 yards and threw two touchdowns in addition to running eight times for 65 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Ross had four carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns, and Deon Long caught six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Rutgers started to make plays from the opening whistle of the second half . Janarion Grant took the opening kickoff 71 yards to Maryland’s 25 yard line and it set up a Robert Martin one-yard score on only three plays. The score gave Maryland 35-24 lead. And after the Rutgers defense made a stop, Leonte Carroo and Gary Nova hooked up again for another touchdown to make it 35-31 lead for the Terps — their lead slipping away quickly.

On their next possession, The Terps had another big run from Brandon Ross, bouncing to the outside for 44 yards. But this only led to a Brad Craddock 50-yard field goal, putting the Terps up by seven, 38-31. Craddock, who is a Lou Groza award finalist for best place kicker, had been a perfect 18-for-18 on the season and 4-for-6 from 50 yards in his career.

In the final quarter of play, Andre Patton scored again for the Scarlet Knights on a 10-yard catch in the left corner of the end zone, tying the game at 38 points each. After Maryland’s six-year senior QB C.J. Brown kept their drive alive, eluding a would-be tackler, their drive sputtered after a few unnecessary penalties. In the aftermath, Janarion Grant and Leonte Carroo gave the Scarlet Knights two first downs consecutively, with a field goal gaining their first lead of the game at 41-38.

Then the Lou Groza award finalist Craddock missed his first field goal of the season and left the crowd at Byrd Stadium in dismay. The Terps, however, were able to get the ball back off a fumble recovery by the defense. But the offense was in turn unable to make a fourth down conversation and keep their drive and game-winning chances alive.

Rutgers took home the win 41-38. Some would think that giving Craddock a second chance at kicking another field goal would’ve been a safer bet than going for it. Coach Randy Edsall wanted to get seven points and not have to worry about overtime, which is understandable. The Rutgers defense just held their ground when it mattered most.