Terrapins Tame No. 20 Tigers, Rally in the Fourth to Win
Sept. 27, 2008
Maryland (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) came in as a big underdog, just like in 2006 here, against the preseason favorites for the conference title. And just like two years ago, the Terps overcame a second-half deficit for the win.
Maryland trailed 17-6 in the third quarter when Darrius Heyward-Bey went 76 yards on a reverse - the longest run Clemson allowed in eight years - to give the Terps a 1st-and-goal.
Two plays later, Turner found a wide-open Torrey Smith to make it 17-13.
Still down in the final quarter, Turner got the Terps going again. He hit Danny Oquendo with passes of 11, 11 and 21 yards to get Maryland to the Clemson 1.
Scott, the ACC's leading rusher entering the game, ran in for the go-ahead score.
Clemson had one last chance, driving into Maryland territory. But Cullen Harper was stopped short on fourth-and-1 with 5:36 remaining.
Maryland didn't give the ball back, finishing off its fourth straight victory over a ranked team. It was also the Terps' third win in their past four visits to Death Valley.
The Terps were outgained by Clemson 295 to 372, with Scott finishing with 39 yards. Still, it didn't matter to the outcome, the same as in 2006.
Then, Dan Ennis kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired in a 13-12 Maryland victory that ultimately knocked Clemson out of the ACC title game.
This loss could be just as devastating for the Tigers, the runaway choice this summer to win their first ACC crown since 1991.
Clemson looked like it would take this one with ease. Star runners James Davis and C.J. Spiller combined for 193 yards and two touchdowns by halftime to build the Tigers a 17-6 lead.
Clemson's defense also looked strong, limiting Scott to just 19 yards in the opening period.
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who regularly vexed the Tigers during his two stints as Georgia Tech's offensive coordinator, again found Clemson's cracks.
No Tiger defender got anywhere near Heyward-Bey on his long run until he closed in on the goal line.
Maryland's defense, which struggled early on, didn't give up a point in the second half, forcing four punts and the crunching fourth-down stop on Harper.
Davis and Spiller, the vaunted "Thunder and Lightning," got just 31 yards between them the final two quarters.
Clemson came into this one with three straight victories, outscoring opponents 126-26 since its season-opening loss to Alabama. But two of those wins came against Football Championship Subdivision foes, and the other against struggling North Carolina State.
The Terps might've been down even more if not for Clemson's first-half errors.
Jacoby Ford fumbled a punt on one series, while Harper's backward pass to Aaron Kelly was knocked down and recovered by the Terps' Adrian Moten.
Spiller had a 59-yard TD run in the third quarter called back on Kelly's hold.
Harper also threw his fifth interception of the season, one shy of the six he had all last year.
Maryland settled for two Obi Egekeze field goals of 23 and 30 yards.
Programming Note: A replay of all Maryland football games air on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic each Sunday. Due to the Washington Redskins' postgame show, this week's Terrapin Playback will air at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on Comcast, just after the replay of the Ralph Friedgen Television Show.