(Saturday, September 27th)
Final Score: Maryland 20, (20) Clemson 17
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Chris Turner completed 16-of-30 passes for 172 yards and a score, and the Maryland Terrapins rebounded from an early deficit to upset 20th-ranked Clemson, 20-17, in an early season ACC battle.
Da'Rel Scott was held to 39 yards on 23 carries, but his one-yard touchdown run with 10:25 left put Maryland (4-1, 1-0 ACC) in front in this Atlantic Division matchup. Darrius Heyward-Bey had a big 76-yard run on a reverse for the Terrapins, who outscored the Tigers 14-0 in the second half to escape Death Valley with a win.
"It was a credit to our players that they could hang in with them," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. "We weren't playing well and Clemson was playing very well. We were 11 points down at half and I told them at halftime 'we were fortunate to be in the situation we are in.' We took advantage of it and maintained our composure. We started focusing in. We were able to put some drives together and I thought our defense made some good adjustments at halftime."
James Davis rushed for 126 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown, and C.J. Spiller added 98 yards on 14 carries and a score for Clemson (3-2, 0-1 ACC). Cullen Harper completed 15-of-22 passes for 151 yards with no scores and an interception for the Tigers, who were held scoreless after Davis' touchdown run with 7:17 left in the second quarter.
"We self-imploded today," said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. "We had critical points in the game where we made mistakes, especially with penalties and fumbles. We didn't play sharp today and that was the reason we lost."
Trailing 17-6 at the half, the Terrapins came out after the break with a strong defensive performance and an opportunistic offensive attack. Heyward- Bey took a reverse toss on a first down at the Maryland 20-yard-line and nearly went the distance, weaving through the Clemson defense before being pulled down after a 76-yard gain.
Two plays later Turner found Torrey Smith in the end zone, and the six-yard touchdown pass pulled Maryland within 17-13 with 8:34 left in the third quarter.
The Terrapins took over at the Clemson 45 early in the fourth quarter after a shanked punt, and took advantage of the good field position. Turner and Danny Oquendo hooked up three times on the drive, for gains of 11, 11, and 22 yards -- the third just shy of the end zone. Scott ran untouched in from a yard out, pushing the Terps in front 20-17 with 10:25 to play.
Faced with a 3rd-and-18 at the Clemson 42 on the next possession, Harper found Spiller for a 17-yard gain, just inches shy of the first down. Harper was stopped on a 4th-and-inches sneak, though, and the Terps took over. Maryland was able to run virtually all of the remaining five and half minutes off the clock to hold on for the win.
Mark Buchholz's 26-yard field goal with 10:25 remaining in the first quarter gave Clemson a 3-0 lead.
After a Maryland punt pinned the Tigers at their five-yard-line, the Clemson offense answered with a nine-play, 95-yard push. Harper completed passes of 10 and 24 yards to drive into Maryland territory, and two plays later Spiller burst through for a 35-yard scoring run and a 10-0 Clemson lead with 3:38 left.
Two Clemson fumbles gave Maryland scoring chances, but the Terps couldn't turn the turnovers into touchdowns.
A fumbled punt by Clemson's Jacoby Ford set the Terps up at the Tigers 18. Maryland got down to the three-yard-line, but couldn't push into the end zone, instead taking a 23-yard Obi Egekeze field goal seven seconds into the second quarter.
The ensuing Clemson possession ended quickly, as Harper was brought down in the backfield by Maryland linebacker Adrian Moten and fumbled. Moten recovered at the Clemson 30.
Again the Terps offense struggled in the red zone, though, driving to the six- yard-line before a rushing loss and a false start penalty pushed them back. Egekeze's 30-yard field goal cut the Clemson lead to 10-6 with 9:55 left in the half.
Davis and Clemson responded quickly, though, as his 38-yard scoring run extended the Tigers lead to 17-6 with 7:17 to play in the half.
Clemson outgained Maryland 372-295...The Terps have won four straight over nationally ranked opponents. Maryland upended No. 23 California, 35-27, in College Park on September 13, and won its final two games vs. ranked foes (No. 10 Rutgers and No. 8 BC) in 2007...Clemson and Maryland met for the first time in 1952, and have played every season since. The Tigers own a 30-25-2 edge in the all-time series, and are 16-13 in Death Valley, but Maryland has won three of four there...Oquendo led Maryland receivers with 49 yards on four catches, while Aaron Kelly gained 75 yards on seven catches for Clemson.
09/27 17:33:21 ET