Shocking Loss Leaves RU out of Title Picture

A game changing play made in part by Rutgers defensive tackle Eric Foster was also wiped away by Foster. On fourth and one with 2:38 left in the game and Maryland leading 27-24 over Rutgers, Foster and linebacker Damaso Munoz stuffed a rushing attempt that gave Rutgers the ball back at the RU 35-yard line with two and a half minutes left to play.

Eric Foster was flagged after a crucial fourth down stop for an unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed the Scarlet Knights back to the 20-yard line. Rutgers would go four and out after being pushed back and would end up losing to Maryland 34-24.

No. 10 Rutgers (3-1) will now drop in the polls after being outplayed by Maryland (3-2) in front of 43,803 at Rutgers Stadium. The Terrapins had nearly three times as many rushing yards as the Scarlet Knights, 239-82 and as a result, Maryland dominated time of possession by holding onto the ball for almost 37 minutes.

"I think the inability to stop the run was really what I think was the difference in the game," Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano said.

The running game for Maryland helped create manageable third down situations and the Terrapins converted nine out of 21 times as opposed to only three of 13 times for Rutgers.

Developing the running game was important for Maryland because the Terrapins starting quarterback Jordan Steffy was knocked out of the game in the second quarter. Chris Turner took his place and managed the game by completing 14 of 20 passes for 149 yards.

"We just didn't play up to our capabilities," Coach Schiano said. "I thought Maryland played excellent and that is a bad combination."

Rutgers took the opening drive of the game on a 10 play, 68-yard drive that brought the Scarlet Knights inside the red zone. But, Rutgers could only come away with a field goal.

Maryland's offensive line is much bigger up front than Rutgers' defensive line and imposed its will on the Scarlet Knights early in the second quarter when Terrapin running back Lance Ball took in a 19-yard touchdown run and Maryland took a lead for the first time in the game 7-3.

It was the big play potential of Rutgers that got the Knights back into the game at the end of the first half. A 78 and 68-yard touchdown drive in the last two minutes of play gave Rutgers a 17-14 lead before halftime.

The 78-yard drive was keyed by a 31-yard catch by RU wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, which brought the Knights down to the Maryland 28-yard line. Rutgers would score two plays later on a 20-yard reception by sophomore Tim Brown who caught the ball at the 10-yard line and ran the ball into the end zone.

The final drive of the second half was helped out by wide receiver Kenny Britt. Britt made a 33-yard reception down to the Maryland 36-yard line. Teel was able to get Rutgers in the end zone three plays later on a seven-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Underwood across the middle of the field.

Maryland was able to tie the game on a 41-second field goal drive on the Terrapins' second possession of the second half. Defensive tackle Peter Tverdov helped the drive along with a roughing the passer penalty after Turner hit Williams on a 28-yard gain. The net of the play put Maryland down at the RU 14-yard line.

Tverdov got to play for the first time all season and took the start at defensive tackle. Besides the roughing the passer call, Tverdov looked solid with seven tackles, of which, two and a half were for a loss.

Maryland had a touchdown pass called back because left guard Jaimie Thomas was flagged for being illegally downfield. The Terrapins settled for a field goal and took the lead 20-17 with 3:43 left in the third quarter.

Maryland maintained the lead well into the fourth quarter until Turner hit Williams for a 27-yard pass to get the Terrapins down to the Rutgers two-yard line. The reception set up a touchdown run on the next play by running back Keon Lattimore. On the day, Lattimore rushed for 124 yards and the one touchdown on 34 carries. New Jersey native Lance Ball, had 12 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

The touchdown put Maryland up 27-17 and the Terrapins would not relinquish the lead in the game.

"It is definitely a shock," RU linebacker Brandon Renkhart said. "I would expect going into the game to win and be confident. But yeah, coming out here, it is definitely shocking."

With Rutgers now out of the National Championship picture, the Scarlet Knights must now turn their focus towards Cincinnati next week and continue to work towards possibly winning the Big East this year.

"Coach said that we will start it off tomorrow and have a tough meeting," Underwood said. "We're going to have to look ourselves in the mirror and say ‘where do we want to go from here?' We just have to grow and learn from it."

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