BALTIMORE – Kenny Tate stopped Ricky Dobbs at the goal line with 34 seconds left, and Maryland stunned in-state rival Navy 17-14 on Monday to break a seven-game losing streak that began last October.
The Midshipmen (0-1) held the ball for nearly 19 minutes longer than Maryland (0-1) and outgained the Terrapins by more than 200 yards. But in a game influenced by untimely turnovers and huge penalties, the outcome was decided on a gritty goal-line stand.
Trailing 17-14 with a fourth down at the 1, Navy decided to go for the win. Dobbs took the snap, went to his left and was met by Tate, who would not relent to the momentum Dobbs brought to the line.
Earlier in the drive, Dobbs was stopped on a third-and-8. But Maryland's Adrian Moten was flagged for grabbing the facemask on the play, and the Midshipmen advanced until Tate's big play.
Coming off a 2-10 season, the Terrapins came in as underdogs against a Navy team that went 10-4 and beat Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
But Maryland jumped to 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never trailed despite allowing the Midshipmen to amass 485 yards in offense.
Dobbs ran for 63 yards and a touchdown, but the senior quarterback fumbled three times — losing two of them at the Maryland 1.
The game might have been a rout had Navy not failed to score on four different forays inside the Maryland 20. The Midshipmen didn't punt until early in the fourth quarter, and the short kick was returned 57 yards by Tony Logan to the Navy 16.
Maryland promptly fumbled the ball away on a missed exchange involving backup quarterback Danny O'Brien — his only play of the game.
Each team had two turnovers.
Navy pulled even at 14 with 1:52 left in the third quarter when Dobbs scored from the 1 on a drive that began with wide receiver Greg Jones running 53 yards on a reverse.
The Midshipmen had a 7½-minute edge in time of possession in the first half, yet trailed 14-7 after coming up empty on drives of 52, 63 and 66 yards.
Maryland took the opening kickoff and faced only one third down before Da'Rel Scott ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Navy moved just as quickly the other way, but Joe Buckley hit the left upright on a 32-yard field goal try.
The Terrapins then switched running backs, with no change in productivity. Davin Meggett opened with a 67-yard run, and a third-down pass interference call against the Midshipmen preceded a 3-yard touchdown run by Meggett that made it 14-0.
Dobbs responded with a 64-yard march that ended with a 10-yard touchdown by Andre Byrd, who nearly lost a fumble on the previous play.
The Terps' third drive ended with an interception at the Navy 4. The Midshipmen held the ball for more than eight minutes before Dobbs lost a fumble at the Maryland 1 when hit by Moten, who leaped over the line to get his hand on the quarterback.
Late in the half, poor clock management cost Navy a chance to score. After Dobbs was tackled on a run to the Maryland 2, time ran out before the field goal team could get on the field.