Dec. 30, 2008
BOISE, Idaho - Da'Rel Scott ran for 174 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in 14 carries and Maryland held off the Nevada Wolf Pack 42-35 in the Humanitarian Bowl on Tuesday.
Scott's 49-yard touchdown sprint early in the fourth quarter broke a 28-all tie and his 2-yard TD gallop put the Terps up 14 points.
Colin Kaepernick kept Nevada (7-6) close, finishing 24-for-47 for a bowl-record 370 yards and three touchdowns
Scott was one of seven Terrapins benched by coach Ralph Friedgen for curfew violations. He didn't get to play on the famous blue turf here until early in the third quarter and didn't touch the ball until the 5:55 mark of the third.
Once he got going, he couldn't be stopped.
On a second-and-7 early in the fourth quarter, he broke through the Nevada line for the 49-yard score to put the Terps (8-5) up 35-28 with 12:21 left.
He became the seventh running back in Maryland history to top 1,000 yards in a season. The 174 yards was also a Maryland bowl record.
Scott and the Terps were able to overcome Nevada's potent "pistol" offense, which misfired early but came alive in the second half, despite Kaepernick playing with a sprained right ankle.
Kaepernick, the WAC offensive player of the year, was injured while being sacked late in the first half and moved the rest of the game with a noticeable limp. He even sat for a series in the third quarter.
Kaepernick and Nevada capitalized on a pair of mistakes by Maryland quarterback Chris Turner to pull even. Nevada's Jonathon Amaya intercepted Turner near midfield midway through the third quarter and returned it to the Maryland 22. Three plays later, Kaepernick hit Vai Taua behind the Maryland secondary for a 17-yard TD score to get the Wolf Pack to 28-21.
Scott soon got his first carry and sprinted for 14 yards, then went for 11 yards on the next play. But another giveaway by Turner helped Nevada tie the game.
Turner was hit as he attempted to throw a screen at the Nevada 20. The throw went backward and Nate Agaiava recovered for the Wolf Pack. Kaepernick needed only five plays and less than two minutes to draw even, hitting Marko Mitchell on a 21-yard TD.
The tie lasted only a couple of minutes. Turner hit Torrey Smith for 26 yards on third down, and two plays later Scott ran for his seventh touchdown of the season. After Nevada failed to convert on fourth down at the Maryland 34 with 9 minutes left, Scott carried four times on the next drive for 66 yards, capped by his 2-yard score.
Kaepernick added a 15-yard touchdown run with 2:19 left, but Maryland recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
The wild nature of this bowl game would have made hometown Boise State proud for its offensive firepower.
While Scott and fellow offensive starter Danny Oquendo watched from the sidelines in the first half, their backups and Turner did more than keep up with a Nevada offense that was averaging 510.6 yards and 37.8 points per game.
Turner hit third-string Adrian Cannon for a 59-yard TD on Maryland's opening drive, and found Oquendo's backup, Ronnie Tyler for a 14-yard score late in the first half to give Maryland a 28-14 lead at the break. Smith added a 99-yard kickoff return and Scott's backup, Morgan Green, added a 53-yard scoring run in the first half.
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this recap