Sept. 26, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland got a solid defensive performance, but was unable to overcome miscues in a 34-13 loss to Rutgers Saturday.
It was the third straight win for Rutgers (3-1) which extended a slim 20-13 lead with touchdown runs by Joe Martinek of 29 and 61 yards in the final five minutes of the game.
The Scarlet Knights couldn't have gotten off to a better start. On the first play from scrimmage, Rutgers linebacker Antonio Lowery picked off a Chris Turner pass in the flat and took it 36 yards into the end zone.
Down 13-10 in the third quarter, Rutgers took over at the Maryland 17 after an interception by Billy Anderson. Although the drive was extended when the Terrapins were called for pass interference on third-and-11, Jordan Brooks was stuffed by Alex Wujciak on fourth down from the 1.
But Rutgers answered when Turner fumbled in the end zone when hit by blitzing safety Joe Lefeged, and George Johnson smothered the ball with 2:59 left in the quarter.
Minutes later, a fumble by Terps running back Da'Rel Scott was recovered by Rutgers on the Maryland 41, setting up a field goal for a 20-13 lead.
After Maryland (1-3) failed on a fourth-and-3 from the Rutgers 49, Martinek capped a three-play drive with a 29-yard touchdown run to clinch it was 4:53 left.
The Scarlet Knights played without freshman quarterback Tom Savage, who sustained a head injury in last week's game against Florida International. He was replaced by fifth-year senior Dom Natale, who went 4 for 12 for 42 yards.
Despite doubling Rutgers' yardage (200-95) in the first half, Maryland led only 13-10 at the break.
After Lowery's interception return, Turner immediately completed a 45-yard pass to Torrey Smith to set up a field goal. Smith had four receptions for 112 yards and totaled 232 all-purpose yards.
It was 10-3 before Maryland moved 68 yards in three plays - a 40-yard completion to Smith, a 4-yard run and a 24-yard touchdown pass from Turner to LaQuan Williams.
The Terps allowed just 249 yards of total offense to Rutgers, their best effort since Wake Forest had 219 last season.
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this story.