BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - C.J. Brown ran for 122 yards, including a touchdown in overtime, and Maryland beat Virginia Tech 27-24 on Saturday to become bowl eligible and damage the Hokies' hopes of playing for the ACC championship.
The Terrapins (6-4, 2-4) arrived at Lane Stadium for Senior Day having lost four of five, but scored three consecutive touchdowns to open a commanding 21-7 lead, then held on after the Hokies pulled even with 9:32 to play in regulation. In the overtime, the Terps limited Virginia Tech to a field goal, then needed just four plays to cover the 25 yards, with Brown fittingly finishing it.
He finished with 122 yards on 23 carries and threw for 135 yards.
Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3) came into the game knowing that if it beat the Terps and then Virginia next weekend, and if Duke lost one of its three remaining games, the Hokies would win the Coastal Division.
Trailing 24-21, the Terps made quick work of the overtime.
Brandon Ross ran for 7 yards on first down, and 15 on second down, getting the ball to the Hokies 3. After Ross was stopped for no gain, Brown rolled left and dove for the end zone just inside the pylon.
Officials said the play was under review, even as the Terps mobbed their quarterback in the end zone, but the ruling came back quickly that it was a touchdown, giving the Terps that sixth victory.
The Hokies got the ball first in overtime, and got a huge assist from Maryland in the way of a 15-yard pass interference call against Alvin Hill. That sent them up with first-and-goal at the 9, but three plays lost 5 yards and Eric Kristensen parted the uprights from 31 yards for his first career field goal.
Kristensen, who earlier missed a 34-yard field goal, was a freshman walk-on elevated to the job only this week after regular place-kicker Cody Journell was dismissed from the teams for violating a team rule.
But after a crisp scoring drive early in the game, their offense went stagnant, and while touchdown passes from Logan Thomas pulled them even in the second half, they struggled mightily otherwise.
Despite struggling offensively, Virginia Tech did just enough to pull even.
Thomas capped a 12-yard drive set up by Demitri Knowles' 88-yard kickoff return with a 1-yard pass to D.J. Coles, and he finished a 65-yard drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Willie Byrn with 9:32 remaining.
Neither team got much of anything done on offense the rest of the way.
Maryland went ahead 21-7 with the opening drive of the second half, and did it quickly.
With Virginia Tech no doubt geared to stop Brown from running, he hit Amba Etta-Tawo for 43 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 16, and Nigel King for the touchdown on the next play. The play to King was originally ruled an incomplete pass or drop, but the officials overturned it after review.
Brown's running ability gave the Terps a 14-7 lead. After he hit Etta-Tawo for 17 yards and a 15-yard roughing the passer against James Gayle was tacked on, Brown scrambled for 16 yards. He spiked the ball to stop the clock, ran 7 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 1 and took it in on on the next play.
Maryland drew even in the second quarter when William Likely, who had returned the previous punt 37 yards, fielded a short punt at the 37, cut upfield and went 63 yards for a touchdown. It was the second punt return touchdown against the Hokies this season; Alabama's Christion Jones returned one 72 yards.
The Hokies drove 76 yards for a touchdown with their second possession. Thomas hit D.J. Coles for 12 yards, Trey Edmunds for 11 with a 15-yard face-masking penalty tacked on, and Kalvin Cline for 31 to get the ball to the Terps 12. Two runs by Edmunds and Kristensen's extra point made it 7-0.
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