Revenge, Bowl Game on the Minds of Terps

Maryland makes a statement at Homecoming, top WF 62-14

Perhaps this game was over before it even started.

Forty-two points against the Terrapins at Byrd Stadium in 2009, a chance to earn a postseason bid and the thrill of playing at Homecoming – you might as well call it the perfect storm.

Maryland came out firing offensively, scoring early and often. The team successfully put points on the board in five of their six first half possessions en route to a 27-7 halftime lead, and a season high 62 points.

“When we click, I think we’re tough to stop for anybody just because [we have] great running backs, great wide receivers and great [offensive] line,” quarterback Danny O’Brien said.

The Terps quarterback played just two and a half quarters, but threw for four touchdowns to four different Terps receivers. O’Brien found Torrey Smith and LaQuan Williams for scores, as well as Quinton McCree and Haroon Brown, who both scored for the first times in their careers.

After struggling to find consistency on the ground during their two-game road trip, the Maryland rushing attack accounted for 261 yards. Davin Meggett, the game’s leading rusher, ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. His counterpart, Da’Rel Scott, accounted for 54 yards on the ground, good enough to exceed the 2,000-yard mark in his career, the 10th Terp to accomplish that feat.

“We were able to run the ball effectively which opens up a lot of things downfield. We didn’t leave as plays on the field as we had in the past,” O’Brien said.

Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price was unable to spark his offense, passing for 156 yards on the afternoon. The true freshman was harassed time and time again by the Terps’ pass rush, or as defensive coordinator Don Brown calls it, “controlled chaos.”

“We just tried to throw some different things at [Price], show him some different things and thinking that we’re doing something when we’re really not and just hopefully he would make a mistake and he made a couple today,” safety Kenny Tate said.

Tate led the defensive charge with seven tackles, a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and an interception returned for a score. Maryland sacked the Demon Deacons’ quarterbacks five times, and picked them off twice.

Defensive scores from Tate and Ryan Donahue were the 16th and 17th turnovers on the season for Maryland. In 2010 Terrapins fashion, both interceptions led to the team capitalizing on the scoreboard, the 66th point off turnovers this season. The team’s mindset, according to their safety, was remembering their loss to the Deacs last season.

“We definitely said we’re going to get back this year. We said we’re not letting them come back like we did last year.”

The Terps successfully limited running back Josh Harris, who was coming off a record-breaking performance against Virginia Tech. His 241-yard game against the Hokies was soon washed away after being limited to just 54 total yards Saturday. Of his 34 rushing yards, 22 came in the first half.

But perhaps the most dynamic effort came on special teams, as the Terps blocked two punts, their third and fourth blocks on the season. Nick Peterson’s second quarter block resulted in a possession change, and Maryland touchdown two plays later.

The Terps earned bowl eligibility for the fourth time in the last five years, and solidified at least second place in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team has now tripled their win total from 2009.

“That’s a huge accomplishment for us. It just shows all the hard work that we put in since last season – all the emotions that we’ve shown from going from 2-10 to 6-2,” Tate said.

Next up is Miami, coming off a 24-19 loss to Virginia.

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