COLLEGE PARK, MD - - With a linebacker starting at quarterback, Maryland fans held little hope of coming out of Saturday's contest against Georgia Tech with a victory. Stefon Diggs scored two touchdowns, but the Yellow Jackets seemingly just had to show up, as poor defense and a terrible offense from Maryland resulted in a 33-13 Tech victory.
After a Georgia Tech punt to start out the game, Shawn Petty got the chance for his first drive at quarterback. After being sacked, he handed the ball of to Wes Brown for a yard, and then ran himself for four more. Maryland punted, and the dangerous Jamal Golden looked on the way for a big return, after making the first tackler miss. Tyrek Cheeseboro caught up with Golden from behind, stripping the ball out, and Sean Davis recovered for the Terrapins.
After the Terps were forced to punt again, the Yellow Jackets went to work. Robert Godhigh ran for a 12-yard first down, Orwin Smith ran for 16 yards on fourth-and-three, and Tevin Washington ran five yards on third-and-one at the ten to set up a goal-line situation. Washington punched it in two plays later with a one-yard touchdown, and the Yellow Jackets took a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point attempt.
Maryland had 14 yards of total offense in the first, and it didn't get much better for from there. Petty finished the game 9/15 for 115 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, and it's hard to ask for much more from a true freshman linebacker thrust into ACC play at quarterback. Brandon Ross ran 13 times for 68 yards, while Brown had nine carries for 38 yards. Stefon Diggs was the only Terrapin receiver with more than one catch - he had five for 55 yards and two scores, and also ran four times for 18 yards.
The Terps finished with 259 yards of total offense, compared to the Jackets' 401. Maryland gave up 370 yards on the ground, as Orwin Smith, Synjyn Days and Vad Lee all ran for at least 60 yards.
In the second quarter, the Yellow Jackets began to run away with it. They started the quarter on Maryland's 15-yard line after a wild Petty fumble, and did not miss the chance to capitalize. David Sims ran for ten yards on two carries, and Smith ran the remaining five around the right side for a touchdown, giving Tech a 13-0 lead.
On Tech's next drive, it was Vad Lee who came up big. Lee ran for 24 yards on the second play, and after a combined 19 yards from Sims and Godhigh, Lee ran twice more for six yards, including a two-yard lunging score. The Yellow Jackets increased their lead to 20-0.
Georgia Tech scored quickly on their second drive of the second half. Smith ran for five yards, Washington ran for 26, Smith ran for another 25, Synjyn Days ran for eight, and Godhigh punched it in with a five-yarder to make it 27-0.
On Maryland's next drive, they were finally able to put points on the board. Wes Brown suffered an ankle injury, making way for Ross at tailback. He ran five times for 41 yards, bringing the Terps to the Jackets' 16. Petty completed a pass over the middle to Diggs, who juked out a defender and stretched out for the score.
To start out the fourth, Georgia Tech put together a long drive for the icing on the cake that included a fourth down conversion in the Yellow Jackets' territory up 20 in the fourth. Lee capped off the drive with another five-yard score. The extra point was blocked, leaving the score at 33-7.
Later in the quarter, Maryland drove down the field thanks to big gains from Levern Jacobs and Justus Pickett. Petty then threw a poor pass that was tipped downfield into the arms of Jemea Thomas for an interception.
Maryland was able to score a last-second touchdown, as a 24-yard floater into the corner of the end zone from Petty found a leaping Diggs. However, the Terps were not allowed to attempt the extra point, as the refs declared the game over.
We will have more on the Terrapins' loss tomorrow.