(Saturday, September 13th)
Final Score: Maryland 35, (23) California 27
College Park, MD (Sports Network) - Chris Turner had two touchdown passes, Da'Rel Scott ran for two more, and the Maryland Terrapins held off a late charge for a 35-27 upset of No. 23 California.
Turner completed 15-of-19 passes for 156 yards for Maryland (2-1), which barely beat FCS school Delaware, 14-7, in its season-opener, then was stunned by Middle Tennessee State, 24-14, last week. Scott gained 87 yards on 19 carries for the Terps, who led 35-13 with 6:22 left only to see Cal almost pull off a stunning comeback.
Darrius Heyward-Bey had two catches for 59 yards and a score for Maryland.
"This was a very, very good win for our program," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. "Our coaching staff did a heck of a job. Chris Cosh and the defensive staff and James Franklin and the offensive staff put together two very good game plans. I think the credit has to go to our players, too. This was a tough week. We had a tough loss last week, and then we had to come back and play a very, very good football team. I think this game should do a lot for our confidence and we need to grow from this game. It kind of showed what our kids are made of. I'm very proud of them for hanging in there."
Kevin Riley completed 33-of-58 passes for 423 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for California (2-1), including two scores in the final 5:03 to cut its deficit from 22 to eight.
LaReylle Cunningham had seven catches for 138 yards, Michael Calvin had five for 69 yards, and Jahvid Best gained 65 yards on five grabs for the Golden Bears.
"We looked at them on tape and we knew that they had a lot of ability," said California coach Jeff Tedford. "I don't think the first two weeks they played to their potential. I think they had a light lit under them after last week's loss and they were very focused. We got behind early and even though we got to the red zone we couldn't score touchdowns. That's a problem. You can't settle for field goals."
The game appeared out of reach after Davin Meggett's one-yard touchdown run gave Maryland a 35-13 lead with 6:22 left in regulation. The Cal passing attack, which struggled for most of the game, came alive in the hurry-up offense though.
Riley capped a five-play, 66-yard march with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Tad Smith, and the Bears took only 1:19 off the clock to shave seven points off the deficit.
Cal could not recover the onsides kick, but Obi Egekeze's missed field goal from 27 yards out gave the Bears new life. This time Cal moved 80 yards on seven plays, with Riley finding Verran Tucker for a 10-yard touchdown pass, and all of a sudden the Bears trailed by only eight points with 1:55 to play.
Again Cal could not recover the onsides kick, however, and the Terps were able to burn the rest of the clock and hold on for the win.
Scott's 24-yard run gave the Terps a 7-0 lead with a little less than four minutes played in the first, and a Riley interception set up Maryland's next score, a one-yard TD plunge by Scott with 8:41 remaining in the quarter.
David Seawright's 29-yard field goal pulled Cal within 14-3 with 4:56 to play in the first quarter, and the Terps answered with a 14-play, 60-yard drive that bridged the first and second quarters. A play-action pass from Turner to Dan Gronkowski in the back of the end zone, on the first play of the second quarter, gave Maryland a commanding 21-3 lead.
Another Seawright field goal, with 10:10 left in the first half, cut Cal's deficit to 21-6 at the break.
Maryland kept the pressure on in the second half, as a 27-yard strike from Turner to Heyward-Bey pushed the Terrapins lead to 28-6 early in the third. Riley's 10-yard TD pass to Cameron Morrah made it a 28-13 contest with 6:55 left in the game, but Meggett's score restored Maryland's 22-point edge.
The Bears outgained the Terps 461-297. Maryland outrushed Cal 141-38...Cal had won 10 straight in September under head coach Jeff Tedford. The Bears are 20-6 in the month under Tedford...It was the first meeting between the schools in football, and Tedford's first game as Cal head coach against an ACC team...This was Cal's first trip to the East Coast since 2001, a 20-10 win over Rutgers.
09/13 19:52:05 ET