Oct. 16, 2010
CLEMSON, S.C. - Danny O'Brien threw for a career-high 302 yards, but Clemson made key plays on special teams to outlast Maryland, 31-7, Saturday.
Andre Ellington had an 87-yard kickoff return score and added a rushing touchdown as Clemson broke a three-game losing streak.
The victory for the Tigers (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) came when former Clemson star C.J. Spiller had his No. 28 retired. And Ellington did his best to emulate the excitement Spiller brought Death Valley the last four years.
Ellington broke through the Terps early in the second quarter for Clemson's first kickoff return score since Spiller had one against South Carolina last November.
Ellington also had a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Jaron Brown set up a third-quarter TD with a 41-yard punt return.
Maryland (4-2, 1-1) had won three of its past four against Clemson, but got its lone TD on a halfback pass from Da'Rel Scott to O'Brien.
Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers had three sacks, giving him nine on the season. Cornerback Xavier Brewer had a 61-yard interception return touchdown in the final quarter.
Maryland's last, best chance at a rally came in the third quarter, driving to the Clemson 29 down 24-7. However, the Terps were flagged for an illegal shift and the Tigers took over on downs.
Clemson's opponents had been five-of-five on fourth-down conversions this season until then.
The Tigers were desperate to break out of an offensive slump - they managed just 44 points the past 10 quarters - and Maryland seemed the wrong opponent to do it against.
The Terps had Clemson's number the past few meetings, including the past two at Death Valley where they left with stunning victories against the favored Tigers.
Maryland outgained Clemson 350 to 213, but the Tigers made plays when they needed them. Scott and Davin Meggett combined for 47 yards. Receiver Torrey Smith was held to less than his 81-yard receiving average with four catches for 55 yards.
O'Brien completed 24 of 45 passes.
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this story