Terps Top Miami, 32-24

College Park, Md.--Despite missed opportunities in the red zone, Maryland wins their season opener against Miami 32-24.

Maryland outperformed Miami, 32-24, in front of a sold out stadium of roaring fans in Monday night's showdown under the lights to give coach Randy Edsall a big win in his debut with the Terps.

"We talked about building a team when I came here," said Edsall. "Tonight was really a total team effort. The players did their jobs, the coaches did their job, and the fans were unbelievable."

Danny O'Brien started the game with a 79-yard opening drive, capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Tyler that put the Terps up 7-0 on their first possession. Those seven points were the only points generated by O'Brien. Despite a fast-paced offense that accounted for 440 yards on the night, for some reason, they couldn't finish in the red zone.

"We did really good on the field and got into the red zone and for whatever reason kept coming up with three," O'Brien said. "I think in order to win consistently we are going to have to score in the red zone because we move the ball great. If we can punch those in then things could have been different and we could have put more points up."

"I am going to focus on the positives," said Edsall in response to red zone inefficiency. "When you beat a team like Miami and are able to go down and preserve and come back, I am not going to dwell on those things. We left a lot of points on the board and we need to get better. I think the bigger story is how this team showed resiliency and fought until the end in order to get a win."

The resiliency of Maryland's defense was ignited by junior defensive tackle Joe Vellano's two forced fumbles, the second of which resulted in a 30-yard touchdown in the first half. The first touchdown of Vellano's career.

It was Maryland's third-year kicker Nick Ferrara who came through in the clutch with a 32 yard field goal that gave Maryland the late lead, 26-24, with 1:39 left in the game. He had previously missed a 23-yarder with under 12 on the clock, but accounted for 14 of Maryland's 32 points.

"I have a lot of confidence in Nick," Edsall said. "The previous field goal -- the snap was a bit low, so the timing was thrown off and he pushed it to the right. Nick has the ability, and I have complete confidence in him once we get into his range."

And in the closing seconds, Maryland cornerback Cameron Chism sealed the Terps' victory with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown. According to Edsall, the interception was vital, but the touchdown could have been left out.

"It was great he [Chism] picked that off but he should have gone down because the game was over and we wouldn't have had to get back out there," Edsall said with excitement. "I was yelling at him to go down and then we had the flubbed extra point. Those are things we talk about and teaching moments that we have."

With the win, Maryland is 9-8 all-time against Miami, and 3-0 against the Hurricanes at Byrd Stadium. Tonight's attendance was 52,875, the seventh largest crowd in Byrd Stadium history.

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