3:30 PM ET, November 15, 2008
Byrd Stadium, COLLEGE PARK, MD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Playing on a wet field, facing a tough North Carolina defense and starting 82 yards from the end zone, Maryland desperately needed a score to keep alive its run of success against ranked teams.
• Maryland won a school-record sixth straight game against the AP Top 25 and became the only team in the country with four wins over ranked team this year.
• The Terrapins are 4-0 vs. ranked teams and 3-3 vs. unranked.
• RB Da'Rell Scott ran for 129 yards and a touchdown for Maryland, which improved to 5-1 vs. UNC under Ralph Friedgen.
• After rushing for minus 12 yards in a loss at Virginia Tech last week, Maryland ran for 195 and improved to 6-0 at home.
-- ESPN research
Chris Turner made it happen, engineering a dramatic 19-play drive that provided the Terrapins with a 17-15 victory over the No. 16 Tar Heels on Saturday.
Obi Egekeze kicked a 26-yard field goal with 1:42 left to cap a 73-yard march that lasted nearly 9 minutes and produced the only points of the second half.
"We were just determined to get it in. Our defense was playing great, and we knew it was our opportunity," Maryland guard Jaimie Thomas said. "We were 11 guys on one mission. We knew to had to come out with points to win this game."
|ESPN GAME OF THE WEEK|
The ESPN Classic Game of the Week will feature North Carolina vs. Maryland on Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.
An 18-yard completion from Turner to Ronnie Tyler on a third-and-11 from the Maryland 44 helped, but the key was an impromptu 9-yard run by Turner on a fourth-and-5 at the Carolina 32.
"They had us all covered in that situation and I didn't expect Chris to run," Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen said. "It was his awareness, not only what the coverage was but also what he needed for the first down."
North Carolina linebacker Mark Paschal said, "We played them right for the entire second half, but we just couldn't get them off the field on that last drive."
Da'Rel Scott ran for 129 yards and a touchdown and Davin Meggett had 86 rushing yards for Maryland (7-3, 4-2). The Terrapins can reach the Atlantic Coast Conference title game for the first time by winning their last two games.
Maryland has won a school-record six straight over Top 25 teams, beating California, Clemson, Wake Forest and North Carolina this season and Rutgers and Boston College in 2007.
"If we played the unranked teams the way we play ranked teams, we'd be in really great shape," Friedgen said.
The victory also kept the Terrapins unbeaten at home (6-0).
The Tar Heels (7-3, 3-3) dropped out of first place in the Coastal Division and remained winless at Maryland since 1997.
"We had the situation we wanted with three weeks last and we knew we were in the driver's seat," Paschal said. "We just let it get away from us."
Dinich: Great ScottPositive yardage sounds like a modest goal, but one week after rushing for minus 12 yards in a loss at Virginia Tech, Maryland had to start somewhere. It started with running back Da'Rel Scott, writes Heather Dinich. Blog
North Carolina converted only one of 11 third downs and finished with only 75 yards rushing. It was their third loss by three points or fewer.
"As you're building this program, there's a lot of steps that go into building a program and not all of them are vertical, not all of them go up," coach Butch Davis said. "We'll learn something from this. We've got a bunch of kids in that locker room that are hurting right now. But there's a lot to play for."
After Egekeze's late field goal, Cameron Sexton's bid to bring the Tar Heels back ended with an interception by Jamari McCollough in the final minute.
Sexton went 10-for-24 for 166 yards and took the blame for an offense that produced only 11 first downs.
"I played poorly today. I didn't play well. It's a team effort, but as the quarterback of this football team, I have a little bit greater responsibility," he said. "I never got in a rhythm. ... I don't know how to explain it. It wasn't my day today. I got to play better for us to win."
• Florida State, Maryland and Boston College all control their own destiny. All three teams face each other in the upcoming weeks (FSU-BC tonight).
• Wake Forest is still alive but needs Florida State and Maryland to lose and then some help from tiebreakers.
• Miami controls its own destiny.
• North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Virginia are all alive but need Miami to lose and then some help from tiebreakers.
-- ESPN research
The Tar Heels got the ball back when a fumble by second-string quarterback Josh Portis was recovered by Quinton Coples at the Maryland 33, but three straight incomplete passes led to a punt.
A back-and-forth first half, played at times in heavy rain, ended with North Carolina up 15-14.
The game's first points came on a Maryland mistake: a snap over the head of punter Travis Baltz, who dived on the ball in the end zone for a 42-yard loss and a safety.
After Barth added a field goal, Scott capped a 76-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Terrapins up 7-5.
Two plays later, Sexton lofted a pass on the run that cleared leaping defensive back Kenny Tate and landed in the arms of Cooter Arnold, who completed the 59-yard play for his first career touchdown.
The Terrapins again had a response. A 13-play march in which Meggett rushed for 57 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, made it 14-12.
The Tar Heels then moved to the Maryland 36 before Sexton fumbled the wet football. Later, however, North Carolina regained the lead when a 32-yard run by Foster set up a field goal.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Obi Egekeze's 26-yard field goal with 1:42 left gave Maryland a 17-15 lead.
Gameball goes to... Chris Turner, who threw for only 141 yards but engineered a 19-play, 73-yard drive that led to the go-ahead field goal.
Stat of the game... 6. Maryland set a school record with its sixth consecutive win over a ranked opponent.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-11||9-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-3|
|SF||12:53||Ball Through End Zone||2||0|
|FG||10:31||Casey Barth 38 Yd||5||0|
|TD||06:26||Da'Rel Scott 3 Yd Run (Obi Egekeze Kick)||5||7|
|TD||05:34||Cooter Arnold 59 Yd Pass From Cameron Sexton (Casey Barth Kick)||12||7|
|TD||13:46||Davin Meggett 1 Yd Run (Obi Egekeze Kick)||12||14|
|FG||04:12||Casey Barth 28 Yd||15||14|
|FG||01:42||Obi Egekeze 26 Yd||15||17|