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Terps run over Rutgers for bowl eligibility

Ty Johnson had 168 yards on just 11 carries to lead Maryland's ground game in a win over Rutgers.

Ty Johnson had 168 yards on just 11 carries to lead Maryland’s ground game in a win over Rutgers.

They got the job done. After four-straight losses the Maryland football team clinched bowl eligibility in their regular season finale with a 31-13 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Senior Day where 22 players took the field for the final time at Capital One Field.

“To see the happiness on their faces and to know their careers here just got extended and they get a postseason ballgame is great,” Durkin said. “It was about the seniors today. We made no bones about it. That was the message all week long.”

A dominant rushing performance by the team, headed by Ty Johnson led Maryland to the victory. Johnson finished with 168 yards on 11 carries, averaging 15.3 yards per carry. Kenneth Goins Jr. averaged 8.1 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. Maryland totaled 318 yards and three scored on the ground. All year long the Terps have relied on their run game for success and it’s been enough success to clinch a postseason game.

“It feels great,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity for the program in general, going from 3-9 last year to bowl-eligible now. It’s a big turnaround for us.”

Maryland scored just two plays into the game when Goins broke free up the left sideline for a 46-yard touchdown. That took only 47 seconds. Not even seven minutes later, they were in the endzone again. The Terps forced Rutgers into a three-and-out on their first drive. Then after forcing another punt Teldrick Morgan returned it 83 yards for a touchdown.

With 7:25 remaining in the first quarter, Maryland was ahead 14-0.

Rutgers was able to extend a first quarter drive into a touchdown drive early in the second quarter; going 72 yards on 15 plays with Robert Martin punching it into the endzone from a yard out.

The Terps were able to build on their lead before halftime, however, despite two missed field goals – one from 46 yards and another from 34 yards. A 25-yard gain on a pass from Perry Hills, who return to action on Senior Day after missing time with a shoulder injury, to Levern Jacobs set Maryland up at the 28 yard line.

Maryland attempted a trick play out of the Wild Cat formation after that, where Wes Brown ended the ball off to freshman quarterback Tyrell Pigrome on a sweep. But he couldn’t find anybody to throw the ball to and instead, tucked the ball, followed his blockers all the way to the endzone. That gave Maryland the momentum back and a 21-7 lead that they took into the break.

Out of the break, Jermaine Carter forced a fumble to end what was a 70-yard drive by Rutgers to give Maryland the ball back. They didn’t score there, but they cost the Scarlet Knights a chance to put points on the board as they were approaching the redzone.

Rutgers was able to score once more in the third quarter when Justin Goodwin made up for his fumble with a 28-yard touchdown run. The point after was blocked, however, and Rutgers was shutout from there until the end of the game.

Maryland responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive on their ensuing possession. Johnson started things off with a 47-yard run and then had a 10-yard run. DJ Moore and Brown both helped Maryland get to the one yard line and there they continued on the ground with Andrew Stefanelli running the ball in for the score.

Desperate for something, Rutgers went for it on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter but Carter sacked Giovanni Rescigno to give Maryland the ball back. They added three points with a 41-yard field goal by backup kicker Mike Shinsky to clinch the victory.

Carter finished the game with 15 tackles and two sacks, including a strip, sack and fumble recovery. Shane Cockerille finished with 10 tackles.

Maryland will learn their postseason destination on Sunday, Dec. 4 when the bowl parings are announced. Either the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Michigan against an ACC opponent or the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas, Texas against a Conference USA team are the two most likely landing spots for the Terps.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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