Terps vs Rutgers Game Recap

TSR's Ross Leonhart and Ethan Rothstein recap today's disappointing loss to Rutgers.

The Terps were fighting a two-front war on Saturday. On one side was Rutgers - on the other, themselves.

The Scarlet Knights beat the Maryland Terrapins 34-13 in a rainy game marred by the Terps five turnovers on offense. The Terps' first play from scrimmage was a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown by LB Antonio Lowery.

The interception was the first of four turnovers on the day by senior quarterback Chris Turner, including two more interceptions and a lost fumble, which was recovered in the end zone for another defensive touchdown in the third quarter.

“I try to be aggressive,” Turner said. “Sometimes it kind of bites me in the butt.”

Da'Rel Scott lost a fumble for the second straight game in the third quarter leading to another frustrating benching at the hands of coach Friedgen.

Penalties also have plagued the team all season and today was no different. The Terrapins proved to be the less disciplined team as they surmounted a total of 85 yards off 10 penalties.

“The penalties are stupid penalties,” said Friedgen. “Late hits, holding…I'd rather a guy get beaten then a hold.”

Despite the loss, sophomore receiver Torrey Smith had a record-setting day, breaking the school record for career kick return yards on his first return of the day, which was for 24 yards. Smith finished the game with 120 return yards, bringing him to 1,632 yards for his career.

“I guess that's pretty cool, to have a record,” Smith said. “I've never really had one before.”

Smith wasn't the only one setting records. Due to a statistical change from the Week 1 game against California, Turner was awarded nine more yards which moves him past Scott McBrien for third in passing yards in Maryland history.

Smith also caught four passes for 112 yards including two key 40-yard receptions that led to a field goal in the first quarter and a touchdown in the second quarter.

Despite his performance, Smith was more concerned with the final score.

“I'm just trying to play my role,” said Smith. “It's my job to try to keep us together and try to get a win as a team.”

Smith has been a bright spot for the team all season, contributing over 200 yards of total offense in all four games so far.

The defense made its presence known on the field, stopping the Rutgers offense and giving the Terps offense a chance.

“The fact that we were in the game was remarkable,” said Friedgen.

The defense stuffed the Scarlet Knights on a third quarter goal line stand where the offense had two downs to get the 1 yard for the touchdown. Terrell Skinner and Jared Harrell stopped them on third and 1, and Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten rejected them on fourth and 1 sending them back another yard.

“We're getting comfortable with the system,” said junior linebacker Alex Wujciak. “We're all figuring it out. We're getting really comfortable with [new defensive coordinator Don Brown].”

The Scarlet Knight offense had problems with the Terps defense all night. Rutgers tallied 95 total yards in the first half and 249 for the game.

“If we had got something going on offense, I think we would have won,” said Friedgen.

All-ACC punter Travis Baltz sprained his ankle on a punt in the first quarter. Freshman kicker Nick Ferrara took over the punting duties and began to settle in his position. He made two field goals (38, 34 yards) and averaged 29.5 yards on his two punts, placing one inside the 20 yardline.

Coach Friedgen said he thinks Baltz will be out next week healing his sprained ankle. He may be on crutches for a while, he added.

Next week, the Terps open up conference play when they play host to Clemson at noon. The Tigers came up short today against 15th ranked TCU, 14-10 to fall to 2-2.

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