COLLEGE PARK, MD - - Turnovers and lack of offensive effectiveness were the story again for Maryland, but this time they couldn't pull out the win. The Terps saw touchdowns from freshmen Wes Brown and Stefon Diggs, but were unable to defeat the visiting Connecticut Huskies in what had been dubbed the "Edsall Bowl". UConn pulled out the victory by a final score of 24-21, holding off a late Maryland comeback.
During a dismal first quarter in which Maryland only put up eight yards of offense (compared to UConn's 85), the Huskies got on the board first when Nick Williams returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown. Each team had a turnover in the quarter: Darin Drakeford forced a fumble from Chandler Whitmer, and Perry Hills immediately threw an interception to Dwayne Gratz.
In the second quarter, both teams got a little more offense going. Scott McCummings, UConn's Wildcat quarterback, ran the ball in for a three-yard score after a good drive for running back Lyle McCombs.
On the Terps' next drive, they were finally able to get some movement, thanks to 13 yards on the ground from Hills and a late hit penalty against Connecticut. After an underthrown incompletion to a double-covered Kevin Dorsey and a drop over the middle by Kerry Boykins, Hills found Stefon Diggs over the middle for a huge fourth down completion. Diggs faked out three Husky defenders on his way to an 18-yard gain.
Two plays later, Wes Brown took a hand-off up the middle for 19 yards and the score, making it 14-7 Huskies. It was Brown's first collegiate touchdown, and his first touch of the day.
Brown had a good game for Maryland, running 14 times for 74 yards and the one score. After fumbling the ball twice in his offensive debut last week, he was able to hold on to the ball during this game.
Late in the third, Hills was absolutely demolished by Yawin Smallwood, who broke through the middle to get the sack and force a fumble. The Huskies recovered, and Chad Christen kicked a 34-yard field goal to make it 17-7.
After a facemask penalty on a Maryland punt gave the Terrapins another chance, the team was able to take advantage. Hills rolled to the right and threw a pass to Marcus Leak near the end zone, and the ball deflected off Leak's hands into the waiting arms of Diggs in the end zone. The true freshman showed fantastic awareness, catching the ball for the 29-yard touchdown and cutting the Huskies lead to 17-14.
Diggs finished with 223 yards of total offense on 12 touches, both career highs. He looked electric every time he touched the ball, as Maryland continues to get him more involved in the offense.
McCombs and McCummings combined for a great drive on the ground midway through the fourth quarter, extending the Huskies' lead. McCummings ran for 30 yards, including a 21-yarder on second and nine from the thirty, and McCombs had 14, including an 11-yard touchdown up the middle to make it 24-14.
After that score, Hills started to get his game together. He started out the next drive with a six-yard run, and then completed a 22-yard pass to Marcus Leak for the first down. After a third down conversion to Kerry Boykins and a four-yard run by Brown, Hills ran it ten yards up the middle off a broken play for the touchdown, cutting the Huskies' lead to 24-21.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, Hills completed a 13-yard screen pass to Boykins before pitching it to Brown for six yards. Hills was sacked, forcing a third-and-ten. He passed it to Diggs, who ran around the entire UConn defense before diving for the first down. After another sack, Kevin Dorsey dropped a first-down catch on the sideline, forcing a third-and-14. What followed was one of the strangest playcalls in recent memory.
Hills rolled out to the right, turned around and while jumping passed the ball to Kevin Dorsey, who was smothered for a five-yard loss. Hills' fourth-down pass was incomplete, and Connecticut kneeled to end the game.
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