The Terrapins struggled the entire game, but after a big defensive stand that led to a missed 41-yard field goal by James Madison kicker Dixon Wright, the Chris Turner-led offense was able to give Ferrara a great opportunity from 26-yards out.
"I'm very proud of how our players hung in there and fought," Coach Friedgen said. "They had to fight and scrap against a very good team."
The decision to go for the win on 3rd down was a déjà vu experience for the Terrapins head coach.
"I had a dream last night that we kicked a game winning field goal on 3rd down so I knew we had to go for it," coach Ralph Friedgen said.
Looking to rebound from an embarrassing 52-13 loss to California last week, the Terrapins were able to build an early 14-6 lead through a Da'Rel Scott touchdown run and 81-yard kickoff return by Torrey Smith.
They were then able to continue to continue the run in the second quarter after Chris Turner punched it in from three yards out to make it 21-6. But from then on out it was almost all James Madison as they scored 21 consecutive points to get to a 28-21 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Maryland was outgained offensively 417-359, but benefited greatly from James Madison's 11 penalties for 105 yards. One of the biggest penalties was a 15-yard pass interference call in the 4th quarter that led to an 8-yard Torrey Smith touchdown run.
That tie didn't last for long though, as James Madison responded immediately when quarterback Drew Dudzik has a 70-yard bootleg run to give the Dukes a 35-28 lead.
The Terrapins responded though on a long 4th quarter drive. In a make or break play, Turner connected with Ronnie Tyler for 20 yards on 4th and 4. The very next play was a 27-yard laser to Adrian Cannon for the touchdown.
Friedgen wasn't particularly impressed with Cannon celebrating with the fans over the touchdown though, saying Cannon "would definitely be talked with" about it.
The defense was then able to play strong enough to hold back the Dukes offense to take the game into overtime. After winning the toss, they elected to go on defense and the decision proved to be a smart one.
Although getting a win is most certainly a good thing, the Terps' performance will likely have to improve next week against Middle Tennessee State. Things don't get easier after that with pending games with Rutgers and Clemson looming.
"It was a matter of wills and we were just fortunate enough to get a win tonight," Friedgen said.
Not only was it not the performance Friedgen was looking for, but the team also suffered a major loss on defense. Defensive captain Nolan Carroll broke his tibia and is out for the year, according to Friedgen.
"I feel very bad for Nolan," he said. "He's very close to my heart and will be in my prayers. I think he has a future at the next level though."