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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Will Likely returned an interception 45 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Maryland rallied from an early 14-point deficit to beat Iowa 38-31 Saturday for its first Big Ten home victory.
The Terrapins (5-2, 2-1) scored 24 straight points after falling behind by two touchdowns with 8½ minutes elapsed. It was 24-21 before Likely picked off a Jake Rudock pass and sprinted untouched into the end zone with 12:29 left.
Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown for Maryland, playing its first season in the Big Ten after leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Terps are now 1-1 at home in league play after losing 52-24 to Ohio State two weeks ago.
Iowa (5-2, 2-1) committed three turnovers, sputtered offensively after its quick start and had its three-game winning streak end. Rudock went 32 for 56 for 317 yards and two touchdowns, and Mark Weisman ran for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Maryland starting quarterback C.J. Brown was temporarily knocked out of the game in the third quarter after taking a hard hit to the upper body. Backup Caleb Rowe wasn't available after tearing his left ACL in practice on Tuesday — an injury announced by Maryland on Saturday.
Sophomore Perry Hills replaced Brown and threw a 53-yard touchdown to Diggs for a 24-14 lead, but the Hawkeyes answered with a 51-yard drive in which Weisman ran for 38 yards before bulling in from the 2.
Minutes later, Likely went the distance with Rudock's ill-advised throw.
Brown entered with 8:37 remaining and directed a 54-yard drive that produced Wes Brown's second 1-yard touchdown run with 4:58 left, giving Maryland a 38-21 advantage.
Iowa scored 10 points in the final three minutes and got the ball back with 59 seconds to go but could not get into Maryland territory.
C.J. Brown went 12 for 23 for 120 yards and two interceptions. He also ran for 99 yards on 21 carries.
After a horrid start, Maryland limited Iowa to 53 yards in the second quarter and rallied to take a 17-14 halftime lead.
A good portion of the homecoming crowd of 48,373 had not yet arrived when defensive end Drew Ott intercepted a pass by Brown on the first play from scrimmage to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Weisman.
Marcus Leak then dropped a potential touchdown pass before the Terrapins punted.
Rudock opened the possession with a 52-yard completion to Damon Bullock and converted a fourth-and-5 from the Maryland 9 before throwing a 2-yard TD pass to Henry Krieger Coble.
A 23-yard touchdown run by Jacquille Veii got the Terps to 14-7, and minutes later Maryland kicked a field goal after recovering an Iowa fumble.
Wes Brown's touchdown run gave the Terrapins their first lead with 6:47 left in the half.