Maryland rallies for 23-16 win over Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) When Maryland coach Randy Edsall looks back on his team's first season in a Big Ten, a couple victories will stand out.
One of those wins came Saturday at iconic Michigan Stadium, where the Terrapins rallied past the Wolverines 23-16. The victory guaranteed Maryland at least a .500 mark in conference play - and gave the Terps another triumph on the road over a big-name team in their new league.
''I told our guys we needed to come out here and make some memories so that we could have a reunion 30 years from now and reminisce about the good things,'' Edsall said. ''To beat Penn State on the road, and beat Michigan on the road, and go 5-1 on the road in our first year in the league is special.''
Wes Brown's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:59 remaining broke a 16-all tie and left Michigan's postseason hopes in dire shape with one game remaining in the regular season.
The Terrapins (7-4, 4-3) scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Michigan (5-6, 3-4) had won three of four to keep its bowl hopes in decent shape, but now the Wolverines need a monumental upset at Ohio State next weekend to prolong their season.
''We're not playing for a whole lot I think, like they are. They're trying to get a bid into the playoff,'' Wolverines offensive lineman Jack Miller said. ''But I think games like this are what this rivalry is built on, when one team's probably going to be a big underdog going in. ... I can tell you it would be pretty sweet to go into their backyard and get a win.''
The loss on a chilly, dreary day in Ann Arbor was a fitting conclusion to the Wolverines' home schedule. This dismal season has put coach Brady Hoke's job in jeopardy.
Michigan led 16-9 in the fourth quarter when a roughing the kicker penalty on Jourdan Lewis kept a Maryland drive going. C.J. Brown's 8-yard touchdown run tied it, and after Matt Wile missed a 39-yard field goal for Michigan, the Terrapins drove 78 yards in 10 plays for the winning score.
The Wolverines had already used two of their timeouts earlier in the half, and they never got the ball back after turning it over on downs with 4:16 remaining.
Maryland's only road loss this year came against Wisconsin. The Terps have won at South Florida, Syracuse, Indiana, Penn State and Michigan. Penn State and Michigan aren't at their best this season, but Maryland has acquitted itself well in its new league so far.
The Terps host fellow Big Ten newcomer Rutgers next weekend.
Maryland had been held under 20 points in each of its previous three games, and this looked like more of the same until the Terps finally broke through in the fourth quarter.
''You feel a little bit better knowing the offense stepped up to the challenge. To come out today and finish the game was huge for us,'' C.J. Brown said. ''The tempo startled them and caught them off guard. We had a couple of drives we moved the ball down the field pretty well.''
Devin Gardner scored Michigan's only touchdown on a 15-yard scramble in the third quarter, but he threw for only 106 yards in his final home game.
The announced crowd of 101,717 was Michigan's 258th consecutive game at the Big House with at least 100,000 fans, but it was also the smallest home crowd since 1995.
Each team kicked three field goals in the first half. Maryland wasted a great opportunity late in the second quarter when Will Likely intercepted Gardner and returned it 29 yards to the Michigan 8. The Terrapins had to settle for a field goal that gave them a short-lived 9-6 lead.
The early highlight for Michigan was a 52-yard run by Joe Kerridge on a fake punt in the first quarter, but the Wolverines had to settle for a short field goal.
Dennis Norfleet appeared to have returned a punt for a touchdown in the third quarter, and that would have put Michigan up by 14, but the play was called back for a penalty, the first of two huge infractions on the Wolverines that helped swing the game in Maryland's favor.
C.J. Brown's touchdown was the 54th he has accounted for in his career - 31 passing, 23 rushing. He broke a tie with Scott Milanovich for the school record.