Terps Spoil Virginia's Homecoming with Win

The Terrapins come out of Charlottesville with 27-20 win despite their sluggish ground game.

The Maryland Terrapins (4-2, 2-0 ACC) and Virginia Cavaliers (2-5, 0-3 ACC) continued their rivalry, with the Terps coming out on top over the Cavaliers in the 77th meeting of the two schools, 27-20. With the win, the Terps rose to 2-0 in the ACC, the first time since 2001.

The Cavaliers downed the Terps last season 31-13 in College Park. The Terps got back at the Cavaliers by beating them in Charlottesville in Virginia's homecoming game.

The Terps got off to a quick start, with none other than freshman playmaker Stefon Diggs taking the kickoff deep in the end zone and running it out 100 yards for the Terps' first special teams touchdown of the year, Diggs' first special teams touchdown of his career and fourth kickoff return touchdown in Maryland history.

Maryland freshman safety Anthony Nixon recorded his first career interception, picking off Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims on a third-and-long and returning it to Virginia's 32-yard line. Five plays later, Hills completed a short pass to running back Justus Pickett who took the ball into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown reception. The extra point attempt by kicker Brad Craddock gave Maryland a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

A punt from Virginia's Alec Vozenilek was downed on Maryland's 2-yard line, but Hills found wide receiver Kevin Dorsey for a 27-yard gain and then hit Diggs for 60 yards to set up a 33-yard field goal that Craddock drilled through the uprights to give the Terps a 17-0 lead going into the second quarter.

The Cavaliers had a chance to put points on the board early in the second half as the Virginia offense got in field goal range. Maryland defensive lineman A.J. Francis came up big on special teams though, blocking Virginia kicker Drew Jarrett's field goal attempt, Francis' second field goal block of the season. Virginia's other kicker, Ian Frye, made a 20-yard field goal to put the Cavaliers on the board, 17-3 in the second quarter.

The Cavaliers' offense started to click in the second half, with Sims finding wide receiver E.J. Scott for a 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter. A fumble by Hills on an exchange to running back Albert Reid gave the Cavaliers the ball back and led to a 22-yard field goal by Frye to cut the Terps' lead to 17-13.

The Terps began to pull away from the Cavaliers with a six-play, 49-yard drive that Perry Hills capped off with a 6-yard quarterback keeper that he ran up the middle of the offensive line for a touchdown, giving the Terps a 24-13 lead in the fourth quarter. Maryland linebacker Darin Drakeford forced Sims to fumble the ball on Virginia's third-and-long attempt and Francis was able to hold onto the ball to give the Terps' the ball, leading to another field goal by Craddock to extend Maryland's lead to 27-13.

The Cavaliers then decided to make a quarterback change with just over six minutes to play, bringing in Michael Rocco. Rocco led the Cavaliers' offense on a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive in 1:58. Rocco found tight end Jake McGee in the end zone to cut the Terps' lead to 27-20. The Cavaliers' defense forced a Terrapin three-and-out, giving Virginia the ball at midfield with under two minutes to play.

Rocco tried to find running back Khalek Shepherd, but the wide open Shepherd could not hold onto the ball. Rocco's second down pass was thrown out of bounds and his third down was incomplete to Scott. A delay of game penalty pushed them back to a fourth-and-15 and Rocco was unable to find his receiver, throwing it short of wide receiver Dominique Terrell. Maryland took a few knees and watched the clock expire.

The Terps won despite rushing for a total of -2 yards off 29 carries. Virginia picked up 168 yards off 42 carries with Kevin Parks carrying the ball 17 times for 129 yards. Maryland's Diggs led all receivers with 89 yards and Marcus Leak was second with 68 yards receiving yards. Diggs also 3 kickoff returns for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Hills completed 14 out of 26 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown. Virginia's Sims completed 13 out of 28 passes for 139 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Rocco completed five out of 11 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown.

The Terps will take on the N.C. State Wolfpack at home at 3 p.m. next Saturday for their annual homecoming game.

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