The Maryland Terrapins rallied late and held on to win a thriller, 42-39 against the Indiana Hoosiers before a relieved and rowdy crowd at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
The Terps (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) were down 33-28 at the end of the third quarter but rallied behind two fourth quarter touchdowns from short-yardage back Jake Funk and a defense that bent but did not break and came up with the crucial fourth down stop to halt the Hoosiers final drive.
According to the stats Indiana should have easily won the game. They had the ball for 12 minutes or nearly one full quarter more than Maryland. They had 35 first downs compared to just 18 for the Terps.
Indiana was 11 for 23 on third down and passed for 410 yards compared to 171 for Maryland. The Hoosiers had 483 total net yards compared to 345 for Maryland.
But the Terps had heart and their special teams and players rose to the occasion.
Defensive back and special teams player Darnell Savage Jr. single-handedly saved Maryland in the first half.
Down 14-0, his interception gave Maryland the ball in the red zone and set up a Lorenzo Harrison III 14-yard dash up the middle for a touchdown which trimmed the Indiana lead to 14-7 with 4:05 to go in the first quarter.
A safety gave Indiana a 16-7 lead but Savage stepped up again by blocking a punt and his scoop and score made the crowd roar and cut the Indiana lead to 16-14 with 7:58 to go before halftime.
The teams traded touchdowns and with the score 23-21 Maryland ended the half on a high note when the Big Ten’s leading receiver, D. J. Moore, rose up and snatched a TD pass in the left corner of the end zone from quarterback Max Bortenschlager giving Maryland a stunning 28-23 lead at the break.
Indiana countered with a third quarter touchdown and field goal while taking a 33-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Terp’s special teams shined again when kick returner Javon Leake caught the ball in the end zone and ran straight down the Terp’s sideline for an uplifting 82-yard kickoff return while bringing some Terps juice back into the stadium.
The good field position set up Funk’s first one-yard scoring plunge making the score 35-33 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Terps next score was set up by a 44-yard pass from Bortenschlager to Moore and the drive resulted in Funk’s second one-yard TD burst up the middle and giving Maryland a 42-33 lead with 10:17 to play in the game.
The Hoosiers responded with a five-yard touchdown pass from second string quarterback Richard Lagow to Simmie Cobbs Jr. making the score 42-39 and setting up the exciting finish.
Bortenschlager was 10 of 16 for 171 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Moore caught four passes for 77 yards and one score.
Taivon Jacobs caught two passes for 47 yards and his 14-yard touchdown reception over the middle was part of the Terps first half comeback and made the score 23-21 with 2:51 to go in the first half.
Ty Johnson led the Terps in rushing with 91 yards on 13 carries and he also caught two passes for 30 yards.
Harrison gained 66 yards on 12 carries and scored the Terp’s first touchdown. Funk gained 14 yards on seven carries and scored two touchdowns.
The Terp’s special teams made up for their lack of offense and won the game by blocking a punt for a touchdown, having a long KO return set up another score and blocking an extra point.
Indiana’s starting quarterback Peyton Ramsey was 31 of 41 for 279 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. Lagow relieved an injured Ramsey and went 12 for 21 for 131 yards and two scores.
Cole Gest led Indiana in rushing with 38 yards on 12 carries. Whop Philyor led the receivers with 13 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. Cobbs caught 10 balls for 138 yards and two touchdowns and Luke Timian snagged 13 passes for 91 yards and one score in a losing effort for the (3-5, 0-5) Hoosiers.