UMD Survives USF

The University of Maryland defeated USF Sept. 6, 24-17

He couldn't.

The Terrapins turned the ball over six times and only had one takeaway, yet won after going ahead for good when they recovered a blocked punt for a fourth-quarter touchdown. "I've got to try to do some history lessons here to see if there has been a college football team to win a game with six turnovers. I've never been part of one before," Edsall said after winning 24-17.

"As a coach sometimes you say you need a game like this because you didn't play your best and still find a way to win on the road," Edsall added. "When you turn the ball over, that's on us. Give them credit, they played hard and thought they had a chance to win. We made it hard on ourselves, but the guys here believe they can get it done by any means."

C.J. Brown threw for two touchdowns and Kenneth Goins, Jr., forced the blocked punt that Avery Thompson recovered in the end zone for the go-ahead TD.

Goins pushed USF's protector back to punter Mattias Ciabatti, who kicked the ball into his teammate.

"We needed a spark because we were shutting them down defensively but shooting ourselves in the foot," Edsall said.

"There wasn't even a block called. But he just went hard and made a successful play. It's a lesson to the rest of our team that you play every play hard and never stop hustling."

Marcus Leak scored on receptions of 10 and 44 yards for the Terrapins (2-0), who fumbled seven times, losing four. Brown also threw a pair of interceptions that stopped promising drives. "We had every opportunity in the world to win that game," USF coach Willie Taggart said. "We fought. Our defense played their tails off. We've got to find a way to execute and make plays."

Thompson's TD put Maryland ahead for good with 12:25 remaining. Brad Craddock's 23-yard field goal made 24-17, and cornerback Alvin Hill's late interception helped the Terrapins put it away.

USF (1-1) lost quarterback Mike White with an arm injury on the first play of the game. Backup Steven Bench scored on a 17-yard run and linebacker Auggie Sanchez scored on a 21-yard fumble return for the Bulls, who led 17-14 at halftime.

Maryland's defense limited Marlon Mack, who began the day as the nation's leading rusher, to 73 yards on 22 carries.

Mack ran for 275 yards and four TDs, helping USF overcome an early 11-point deficit to beat Western Carolina in the Bulls opener. The true freshman who scored on runs of 62, 60 and 56 yards in the opener found the going much tougher against a defensive front primed to slow down the 6-foot, 195-pound blend of power and speed.

The USF running back had a couple of nice runs for 15 and 19 yards, but averaged just 3.3 yards per carry after gaining nearly 12 per attempt in his debut last week.

Brown threw for 111 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Maryland's season-opening rout of James Madison. He was much more effective Saturday, completing 17 of 28 passes for 201 yards. He also was intercepted on the Terps' opening series, the first of four first-half turnovers that threatened his team's chances of winning, and threw a third-quarter pick that stopped a drive deep in USF territory.

USF lost White when he was hit after throwing 12 yards to Sean Price on the first play of the game. Bench started two games and appeared in seven overall a year ago, but didn't play nearly as well as he did Saturday in guiding the Bulls to his touchdown and a 35-yard field goal that put the Bulls up 17-14.

Bench finished 14 of 36 for 162 yards. He was sacked twice and threw the late interception that helped Maryland stay in control in the closing minutes.

"We had a Big Ten team right where we wanted and couldn't finish," Taggart said. "We've got to learn how to win these kinds of games."

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