"I don't care if we won 3-0 and had zero yards of offense," Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker said. "We just needed to go out there and do what we needed to do to win."
With the running game flagging and Parker completing just 35 percent of his passes, the Tigers had to look elsewhere for points and found them in big plays by the defense and special teams. Clemson intercepted three passes, including one returned 61 yards for a touchdown by Xavier Brewer, and got an 87-yard kickoff return for a score by Andre Ellington.
Particularly important was Ellington's TD, which came just seconds after Maryland had scored to take a 7-3 lead in the second quarter.
"You steal some momentum there, and it's like a flash -- it was gone so fast," Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown said. "We never turned the momentum after that."
The play also was big personally for Ellington, who struggled to find ample openings against the Terrapins' defense. He managed only 41 yards rushing -- his second-lowest total of the season -- so the first kickoff return for a touchdown in his career released some pent-up frustration.
Ellington also is convinced that Clemson's fortunes are about to do an about-face now that the Tigers have halted a three-game skid. Last season Clemson won six straight games following a 2-3 start, and Ellington is anticipating more of the same.
"Our biggest thing now is to create a win streak," Ellington said. "So far we're 1-0."
Da'Quan Bowers -- Bowers is not only finally living up to his hype, he's surpassing it. The junior had three sacks and four tackles for loss in Clemson's 31-7 win over Maryland on Saturday. (Getty Images)
* Andre Ellington only had 41 yards rushing Saturday against Maryland, but he compensated by returning a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and scoring on a 1-yard run. Ellington leads the Tigers with nine touchdowns this season.
* Clemson, which was penalized nine times for 81 yards Oct. 9 against North Carolina, corrected its penchant for penalties against the Terrapins. The Tigers did not commit a penalty until the third quarter Saturday and finished with just three penalties for 30 yards.
GAME BALL GOES TO: DE Da'Quan Bowers -- Bowers is not only finally living up to his hype, he's surpassing it. The junior had three sacks and four tackles for loss in Clemson's 31-7 win over Maryland on Saturday. "He is going to give his all every game," safety DeAndre McDaniel said. "He had a heck of a game, and with that kind of pass rush, it just makes our job in the secondary easier." Bowers now has nine sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss and leads the nation in both categories.
KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Jaron Brown -- Brown's role and contributions seem to be expanding on a weekly basis. One week after making four catches for 107 yards and a touchdown against North Carolina, Brown had a 20-yard reception and returned three punts for 52 yards Saturday against Maryland. One of his punt returns covered 41 yards -- Clemson's longest punt return of the season -- and set up a touchdown.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We needed this win. I think it's going to be the start of something special." -- Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, after the Tigers' 31-7 victory against Maryland on Saturday.