No. 23 Maryland Edges Miami, 14-13
Nov. 11, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sam Hollenbach connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey twice, including a school-record 96-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, as the No. 23 Maryland Terrapins outlasted the Miami Hurricanes tonight, 14-13.
The Terps (8-2, 5-1 ACC) maintained a share of first place in the ACC Atlantic Division following the win. Miami falls to 5-5, 2-4 in the conference.
With the win tonight, Maryland becomes the first team in 21 seasons to defeat both the Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles in the same year, a feat last accomplished by the Florida Gators in 1985.
Despite only recording six first downs, the Terps staked an early 14-0 lead and the defense prevailed, with a key interception by Trey Covington on the Hurricanes' final drive. Although Miami would force a punt, Isaiah Gardner swooped in to cause Bruce Johnson's fumble, which was recovered by J.J. Justice to seal the victory, Maryland's fifth in a row.
Hollenbach, who threw for over 200 yards for the second straight game, finished with 202 yards on 11-of-16 passing. Heyward-Bey eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards for the second time in his career, with five catches for 175 yards.
The duo connected on the Terps' then-longest play of the season, a 65-yard strike for the opening touchdown with 11:45 remaining in the first quarter. It was the first time Maryland had scored a touchdown on its opening possession since Middle Tennessee on September 9. Overall, the Terps are 6-0 when scoring first this season.
However, they eclipsed both the season and all-time marks with the 96-yarder down the right sideline in the second quarter. The play broke the previous record of 92 yards (Stan Levine to Ed Bolton vs. South Carolina), a mark that stood for 57 seasons. In addition, it was the longest play ever given up by the Miami defense in that school's history.
Meanwhile, the defensive effort was led by linebackers Wesley Jefferson and Erin Henderson, who notched 14 and 13 tackles, respectively. Cornerback Josh Wilson had five pass breakups in the game, including one midway through the fourth quarter which stopped a potential scoring drive for Miami.
The scoreless third quarter was halted momentarily as junior offensive guard Donnie Woods was airlifted to a nearby hospital following a neck injury.
Woods was released early Sunday morning from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore. All tests performed on Woods at the hospital were negative. He was re-evaluated on Sunday morning by members of the Maryland Sports Medicine Staff and team physicians. Woods' status will be evaluated throughout the week by the team physicians and the Sports Medicine Staff.
Both teams played with great emotion following a pre-game moment of silence and tribute to Hurricanes senior defensive tackle Bryan Pata, who was shot and killed earlier this week.