Maryland Overcomes Deficit, Upsets No. 20 Clemson

Bleacher Report Senior Writer ISeptember 27, 2008

The Maryland Terrapins beat a Top 25 team for the second time in three weeks, upsetting No. 20 Clemson, 20-17.

With an absent run blocking offensive line, it was quarterback Chris Turner's time to shine. And he did shine. Turner was 16-for-30 with 173 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Maryland played the worst they had all year in the first half. Clemson got the ball first and looked like a Top Ten team. They were running over the Terps, scoring early and often.

It also looked like star Clemson QB Cullen Harper wasn't needed. On the first two drives, James Davis and CJ Spiller combined for six carries and 53 yards. Cullen Harper threw two passes on that drive, gaining five passing yards. On the drive, they settled for a 26-yard field goal.

Maryland did not get much the next drive, getting only one big play, a 25-yard catch from Da'Rel Scott. Maryland would end up punting to Clemson, who scored the next drive on a CJ Spiller 35-yard touchdown run.

Maryland failed to take advantage of opportunities handed to them. Following Spiller's score, Maryland drove all the way down to the Clemson 9-yard line and failed to punch it in the end zone. They would settle for a 23-yard field goal from Obi Egekeze, making it 10-3.

The next drive, Spiller made a three-yard gain. Cullen Harper was hit and fumbled! Maryland had the ball on the Clemson 38. They had a touchdown easily, but Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped the touchdown pass that would tie it up. They settled for another field goal from 30 yards away.

Clemson would eventually take advantage of Maryland's inopportunistic ways. Following Egekeze's field goal, Clemson drove 48 yards to the Maryland 38 where James Davis ran down the sideline for his fifth score of 2008.

Ralph Friedgen was PO'd. When interviewed by Raycom Sports Analyst Mike Hogwood he said "This is by far the worst we've played all year". A bold statement, but probably true.

Maryland responded quickly. After two miniscule drives by both teams, Darrius Heyward Bey showed his playmaking ways by getting a reverse and taking it 75 yards to the Clemson five yard line. Chris Turner capped the drive by throwing a touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.

This changed the game.

The momentum swing was clear the next drive. Clemson got the ball and drove a total of two yard on three plays. CJ Spiller had a run for negative seven yards and left with an injury. Cullen Harper was sacked and Maryland got the ball back trailing by a score of 17-13.

Maryland stalled the next drive, gaining 15 yards and ended up punting, again. Both teams stalled until there was 13:16 left in the game. Danny Oquendo set the table with a nice return to the Tigers 45 yard line.

Chris Turner continued to step up to the challenge. After a loss of two on a run by Scott, he passed to Oquendo for an 11-yard gain and a first down. Scott hit Oquendo twice more for gains of 12 and 21. Scott then had his brightest moment of this week: a one yard touchdown and what proved to be the game winner.

Clemson had a nice drive going immediately. They had a second-and-10 at midfield. James Davis continued his big day by rushing for seven. However, Clemson committed a personal foul. So, instead of third-and-three at the 43, it was third-and-18 at their own 42.

CJ Spiller is an excellent athlete and proved it when he ran for 17 1/2 yards to make it 4th and inches. With so little time left, the Tigers would of course go for it-and NOT get it!

Alex Wujciak had a huge game, with 16  tackles on the day, and he is leading the Terps in total tackles, with 43 in five games.

Maryland kept the ball on the ground, kneed it and the Tigers were booed off the field.

Chris Turner: 16-30, 174 yards, 1 TD


Cullen Harper: 15-22, 151 yds, 1 INT


Da'Rel Scott: 25 rush, 37 yards, 1 TD

Darrius Heyward-Bey: 1 rush, 75 yards


James Davis: 17 rush, 123 yards, 1 TD

CJ Spiller: 15 rush, 107 yards, 1 TD


Danny Oquendo: 4 receptions, 50 yards

Dan Gronkowski: 2 receptions, 41 yards

Aaron Kelly: 7 receptions, 73 yards

Michael Palmer: 2 receptions, 28 yards