Maryland Wins Opener Over Villanova 31-14

Sept. 1, 2007

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Keon Lattimore ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns, Jordan Steffy played exceptionally well in his first start as Maryland's quarterback, and the Terrapins wore down Villanova in a 31-14 victory Saturday night.

Lattimore also caught six passes for 33 yards. The senior averaged 5 yards on his 21 carries and moved over 1,000 yards rushing for his career.

Steffy did a fine job running the offense, going 19-for-24 for 174 yards and running for 47 yards and a touchdown.

But there was a scary moment in the third quarter. After a handoff to Lattimore, Steffy crumpled in the backfield. A cart came to take him off the field, but he left on his own power before second-string quarterback Chris Turner took over.

The problem turned out to be a right leg cramp, and Steffy returned for Maryland's next series.

Up 10-7, the Terrapins opened the third quarter with an 11-play, 66-yard touchdown drive. Five plays after Steffy ran for 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 from the Villanova 42, Lattimore scored on a 14-yard run.

On Maryland's next possession, Steffy left in the middle of a 57-yard touchdown drive that Lattimore concluded with an 18-yard run for a 24-7 lead.

Then, after a Maryland interception, Steffy moved the Terrapins 87 yards and scored on a 10-yard TD run with 12:46 left.

That ended a night Steffy had been waiting for since he arrived at Maryland as a freshman in 2004. Before facing the Wildcats, the redshirt junior had thrown only 37 passes and had gone two years since his last completion.

Steffy's play against Villanova belied his inexperience. First, he moved the Terrapins 46 yards for a field goal. Then he directed a 90-yard march in which he passed for 28 yards and ran for 22. The drive ended with Lattimore dragging two tacklers into the end zone on a 12-yard run.

On Maryland's third possession, Steffy threw a long pass to a wide open Isaiah Williams that almost certainly would have been a 56-yard touchdown -- if Williams didn't drop the ball.

The Wildcats then moved 84 yards on eight plays, closing to 10-7 on Antwon Young's first career touchdown pass, a 26-yarder to Matthew Sherry.

Young went 17-for-28 for 176 yards in his first college start. The Wildcats finished with 11 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Villanova got a touchdown with 54 seconds left when Salim Koroma picked off a Turner pass and took it 42 yards to the end zone.

Shortly before the opening kickoff, Maryland announced that backup quarterback Josh Portis has been ruled ineligible for the season because of an "academic issue."