Big Plays Carry Maryland Over Duke 21-16

Oct. 2, 2010

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  • Friedgen's Postgame News Conference on Terps TV

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Maryland was in desperate need of a big play when Tony Logan wrapped his arms around a punt at his own 16-yard line.

    Eight-four yards later, the Terrapins had their first lead against Duke.

    Logan's electrifying punt return in the third quarter provided Maryland with the push it needed, and the Terrapins opened the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of their schedule with a 21-16 victory Saturday night.

    Maryland (4-1, 1-0) trailed 9-0 midway in the second quarter and 9-7 at halftime before coming back. Logan's touchdown made it 14-9, and the Terps held on.

    "Tony's punt return was huge for us," said quarterback Danny O'Brien, who added a 71-yard touchdown pass to Da'Rel Scott with 13:48 remaining.

    Logan sidestepped a potential tackler immediately after catching the punt. He then headed upfield, juked to his left and then cut right at his own 25 before sprinting down the sideline to the end zone.

    "At first, I didn't think I was going to go anywhere. I saw about three or four guys to the right," Logan said. "I figured if I just went a little bit to the left and got those guys going, then cut back, I'd have a chance."

    Logan drew a 15-yard penalty when he celebrated the score by throwing the ball off the wall of a building beyond the end zone.

    Coach Ralph Friedgen scolded Logan, but later said, "To be honest with you, I wouldn't care if he knocked the building down. We needed that touchdown."

    It was Logan's second punt return for a score in two weeks.

    The Terrapins have already doubled their win total of last year, when they went 2-10 and finished with seven straight defeats.

    Duke (1-4, 0-2) has lost four straight. Sophomore Sean Renfree completed 28 of 56 passes for 351 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted twice.

    Donovan Varner had eight catches for 128 yards, and Conner Vernon gained 99 yards on six receptions.

    A 2-yard touchdown pass from Renfree to Brandon King made it 21-16 with 7:20 to go, and after a Maryland punt the Blue Devils moved from their own 19 to the Maryland 39 with two minutes left. Facing a fourth-and-15, Renfree threw a pass to Austin Kelly that was tipped away.

    "We were confident. We believed we were going to get in there (because) we were moving the ball well," Renfree said. "The lack of execution stopped us."

    Duke has been tormented this season by too many turnovers and big plays by the opposition, and those shortcomings contributed heavily to its latest defeat.

    The Terrapins got their first touchdown late in the first half following an interception, and in the second half Logan and Scott scored on long plays.

    "Tonight we did some of the same things we've done all season, and we got the same results," Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe said.

    But the Duke defense _ which was allowing 44.5 points per game _ made it tough on O'Brien, who was playing in place of injured starter Jamarr Robinson for a second straight week. O'Brien went 9 for 26 for 170 yards, including his TD pass to Scott.

    "We went into practice with the mindset we've got to get better this week," safety Walt Canty said.

    Will Snyderwine kicked a field goal after each of Duke's first three possessions - drives that covered 86, 59 and 39 yards.

    Maryland, on the other hand, couldn't budge a defense that came in yielding an average of 466.2 yards per game. The Terrapins managed only 67 yards on 22 plays punted four times in the opening 22½ minutes.

    The momentum shifted when the Blue Devils suddenly reverted to form. After Renfree threw his eighth interception of the season - a costly misfire at the Maryland goal line - the Terrapins moved 80 yards in a drive culminated by a 3-yard run by Davin Meggett.

    "I was just trying to force it in there," Renfree said.

    The subsequent march by Maryland was extended by a roughing the passer penalty against Patrick Egboh on a third-and-11 incompletion.

    Terrapin Replay: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is scheduled to show a replay of the Maryland-Duke webcast at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. A replay of the Ralph Friedgen TV Show will air at 4 p.m.