Post Game Notes
Sept. 27, 2008
Good Company: With its win over Clemson on Saturday, Maryland is now 4-1 for the first time since the ACC Champion 2001 squad reeled off seven straight victories to start that season and the Ralph Friedgen era.
Turtle Power: By beating No. 20 Clemson, Maryland has now won four consecutive games against ranked opponents dating back to last season, having also defeated No. 23 Cal on Sept. 13, as well as No. 8 Boston College and No. 10 Rutgers in 2007. Coach Against Clemson: The Terps struggled versus the Tigers prior to the arrival of Ralph Friedgen in 2001, losing 13 of the previous 14 meetings, but the current Maryland head coach has experienced success in the rivalry. Maryland is now 5-3 against Clemson during the Friedgen era.
Road Warriors: With the Terps' victory on Saturday, the visiting team has now won each of the last four games in the Maryland-Clemson series. The home team has not won since the Tigers did so in 2004.
Tale of Two Halves: After surrendering 260 total yards and 17 first downs to Clemson in the first half, the Maryland defense clamped down and turned in an exceptional second-half performance on Saturday. The Terps limited the Tigers to 112 total yards - including just 26 rushing yards - and just two first downs during the second half.
Game-Changing Play: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey broke loose for a 76-yard run on a reverse play during the third quarter, setting up Maryland's first touchdown and shifting momentum to the Terps. The play marked a career-long run for Heyward-Bey and the third play of more than 75 yards in the wideout's career. It was the longest run by Maryland since Bruce Perry's 80-yard touchdown run against Wake Forest on Nov. 29, 2003. Heyward-Bey's run is longest surrendered by the Clemson defense since the 2000 season. On six rushing attempts this season, Heyward-Bey has now totaled 186 yards (31.0 ypc).
Mr. Smith Comes from (Greater) Washington: Two plays after Heyward-Bey's big run, QB Chris Turner connected with WR Torrey Smith for a 6-yard touchdown pass, cutting the margin to 17-13. It marked the first touchdown of Smith's career and came on his fourth career reception. Smith added 92 kickoff return yards on four returns and led the team with 98 all-purpose yards. Great Scott: Back in action after sitting out one game with a shoulder injury, RB Da'Rel Scott provided a boost for the Terps offense on Saturday. His 1-yard touchdown run with 10:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, his fourth of the season, proved to be the game-winner. Scott finished with 39 hard-earned rushing yards and four receptions for 36 receiving yards. On the Terps' opening possession of the game, Scott took a screen pass for 25 yards, marking his seventh gain of at least 20 yards this season and his first via a pass reception.
Woah Wujciak: By the end of Saturday's first half, LB Alex Wujciak had set a career-high for tackles by notching 12 stops. The Mike linebacker was all over the field versus Clemson and finished with 16 tackles for the game - the most by a Terp since Erin Henderson tallied 18 last season against Virginia on Oct. 20, 2007.
Mr. Dependable: Sure-handed WR Danny Oquendo had four receptions for a team-high 49 yards against Clemson, but the stat-line does not tell the whole story. The senior wideout caught three passes and accounted for 43 of Maryland's 45 yards on the game-winning drive. Oquendo had been the only active Maryland player to have previously scored a touchdown at Clemson entering Saturday's game.
Offensive General: QB Chris Turner had yet another strong performance in the win over Clemson, completing 16 of 30 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Turner is now 3-0 as a starter against ranked opponents (wins over No. 20 Clemson, No. 23 Cal and No. 8 Boston College), and played an integral role in the other such game (win over No. 10 Boston College) during Maryland's four-game winning streak against ranked foes.
Dewey on the Spot: When Clemson WR Jacoby Ford muffed a punt return during the first quarter, LS Andrew Schmitt was there to pounce on it, giving the Terps offense the ball at the Tigers' 18-yard line. It marked the first career fumble recovery for Schmitt, a senior whose nickname is 'Dewey'. The play set up Maryland's first score of the game - a 23-yard field goal by PK Obi Egekeze seven seconds into the second quarter.
Moten's Moment: LB Adrian Moten came up big for the Maryland defense when he forced a turnover in the second quarter. The sophomore deflected Clemson QB Cullen Harper's lateral to cause a fumble and then proceeded to recover the ball at the Tigers' 30-yard line to set up Maryland's second field goal of the game. For Moten, who blocked a punt and intercepted a pass in last Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan, it was his first forced fumble of the season and fourth of his career. Moten added two PBUs and one TFL versus Clemson.
Through the Uprights: PK Obi Egekeze converted field goals of 23 and 30 yards during the first half on Saturday and has now connected on five consecutive field goals. With his performance against Clemson, Egekeze moves into a tie with Ed Loncar for 10th place on Maryland's all-time list with 22 career field goals.
Ball Hawk: DB Jamari McCollough accounted for his third interception of the season when he tracked down an overthrown deep pass by Clemson QB Cullen Harper near the end of the second quarter. The play gave the junior safety three picks in a six-quarter span dating back to last Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan.
First Sack: DL Dean Muhtadi earned his second consecutive start at defensive end against Clemson and made the most of the opportunity, notching his first full-sack as a Terp in the third quarter. Muhtadi finished with three tackles against the Tigers.
Punting Prowess: P Travis Baltz continued to help the Terps win the field position battle with his performance against the Tigers. The sophomore punted seven times for 307 yards (43.9 ypp), including three punts inside Clemson's 20-yard line. Baltz' punt of 36 yards was caught by DB Kevin Barnes at the Clemson 5-yard line, forcing the Tigers to being their second drive of the game deep in their own territory.
Benchmark for Success: Maryland still has seven regular season games to play in 2008, but recent history suggests beating Clemson might be an indication of good things to come for the Terps. In the four previous instances in which Maryland has defeated Clemson during the Ralph Friedgen era, the Terps have finished those seasons with an average of 10 wins.
For Openers: Maryland improved to 28-26-2 all-time in conference openers.
Streaks continue: Several Terps extended streaks on Saturday. DL Jeremy Navarre has now played in 42 consecutive games, and his 40 career starts are the most on the team. OL Edwin Williams has now started 31 consecutive games, tops on the offense.
Series record: Maryland improved to 30-25-2 all-time versus Clemson in what is the longest continuous active conference rivalry for both schools.