Turnovers, missed field goals doom Terps against UVA, 20-9

October 17, 2009 | Luke Jones

The Maryland Terrapins’ season can be defined with one telling number:

Minus 13.

It’s the Terps’ turnover differential, and it’s the main reason why their record stands at 2-5 after losing to Virginia, 20-9, on Saturday night before a sparse Homecoming crowd at rainy Byrd Stadium.

Four turnovers and two missed field goal attempts spelled defeat for the Terps, falling to the Cavaliers for the third time in a row.

“It’s the same story over and over again,” head coach Ralph Friedgen said. “Until that gets fixed, it’s going to be hard to win football games. The [wet] ball was tough tonight, but Virginia did a better job of managing it.”

Maryland led, 9-6, late in the third quarter before a Chris Turner pass was batted into the air at the line and picked off by defensive end Nate Collins who returned it 32 yards for a Virginia touchdown.

Freshman kicker Nick Ferrara then missed on two fourth-quarter attempts from 37 and 44 yards before Cavaliers fullback Rashawn Jackson scored a two-yard touchdown late in the game to seal the victory.

After surrendering 516 yards of offense to Wake Forest in last week’s 42-32 loss, the Maryland defense turned in a strong performance against Virginia, holding Al Groh’s offense to 201 yards and accumulating five sacks, a season-high.

Middle linebacker Alex Wujciak led the defense with 14 tackles and Adrian Moten had two sacks to spark Don Brown’s unit. Despite the strong defensive effort, the defense forced only one turnover against Virginia’s four takeaways.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Wujciak said about playing well defensively but still coming up short. “We gave up the touchdown at the end, but that was it.”

Maryland’s running backs struggled to hold onto the ball with the rainy conditions in College Park. Davin Meggett fumbled on the opening drive of the game after the Terps had driven all the way to the Virginia 25, and backup tailback Gary Douglas also fumbled in Virginia territory in the second quarter.

Despite the weather and the Terps’ overall success running the ball (33 rushes for 126 yards), offensive coordinator James Franklin called for Turner to throw 38 passes. The senior quarterback completed less than 50 percent, often throwing high to his receivers. Several dropped passes were also momentum killers for the Maryland offense.

In all, Turner averaged just 4.2 yards per attempt and accumulated just 158 yards while throwing two interceptions.

“I think the weather was a big factor,” Turner said. “The balls were pretty slick.”

Another big factor was the Terps’ inability to get the ball to top playmaker Torrey Smith.

The sophomore—who entered the game leading the nation with 236.7 all-purpose yards per game—was held to just three catches for 34 yards and ran once for no gain. The Cavaliers also kicked away from Smith throughout the game, not allowing the dangerous returner to touch the ball until after the game had been decided in the closing minutes.

Maryland (1-2 in conference play) must now go on the road to play the Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 1-1) who will be coming off their bye week. The Terps need to win four of their final five games to become bowl eligible, a daunting task considering they still must play Virginia Tech, Boston College, and a road game at Florida State.

At this point, the biggest challenge will be to simply stay together as a team.

“I have been on other teams where the season has gone a lot better, and we had to push them to get the effort up,” Friedgen said. “This team hasn’t been that way. It’s still fun to be out on the field with them, and I don’t question their effort one bit. I’m going to keep working, and I hope they will keep working.”

**Check out the box score here and the live blog below.

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7:23 p.m. — A couple of kneel-downs and this one is over.

Maryland falls, 20-9, on Homecoming.

I’ll be back in a bit with post-game reaction.

7:22 p.m. — Turner completes to Cannon for a first down.

However, two plays later, Turner is intercepted by Dom Joseph.

1:15 remaining.

No one left here except the Terps band and the UVA cheering section.

Very disappointing finish to this one.

7:20 p.m. — I don’t even want to describe that. Smith tries to lateral, and the Terps almost turn it over.

Doesn’t really matter at this point though.

7:19 p.m. — Jackson runs into the end zone for a touchdown.

The extra point is good, and Virginia leads, 20-9, with 1:43 remaining.

Another winnable game but too many mistakes.

You have to feel for the defense today. Don Brown’s unit played very well, but the offense simply killed the Terps today.

7:16 p.m. — Maryland WILL go for it from the 2.

His pass is incomplete, and that’s your ballgame.

Virginia takes over at the 2, 1st-and-goal.

7:14 p.m. — Turner misses a wide-open Cannon on first down, as the Virginia defender was giving plenty of cushion.

On second down, working out of the gun, Turner tries to throw deep to Smith on the far sideline. It’s incomplete.

Facing a 3rd-and-10, the Virginia fans are being vocal, and Turner is sacked by Nate Collins, the same man who picked him off for the touchdown. It’s a loss of seven yards, and Maryland will punt.

Virginia will call a timeout as there was confusion on the field as to what the Terps would do with 1:54 remaining.

It’s 4th-and-17.

7:12 p.m. — Howell’s punt is nearly blocked and is fielded by Logan. He goes out of bounds at the 9-yard line.

Maryland will have to go 91 yards in 2:52 to win this one.

No problem, right?

7:10 p.m. — On 3rd-and-4, Jackson runs left and breaks free, going all the way for a 47-yard touchdown, BUT there’s a flag on the play.

Holding on Virginia will bring the Terps back from the dead (for now, at least).

The penalty makes it 3rd-and-6.

Jackson runs right and is well short of the first down. Maryland takes a timeout with 2:59 remaining.

It will be 4th-and-4 for the Cavaliers at the Maryland 47.

7:07 p.m. — On first down, Jackson runs again for a gain of four. The Virginia fullback continues to creep toward the century mark.

On 2nd-and-6, he gets it again and gains two before Wujciak brings him down.

Maryland will take a timeout with 3:18 remaining in the game.

Wujciak has 14 tackles today.

7:05 p.m. — Virginia takes over at its 33, as Jackson carries for six yards.

As great as the defense has been today, forcing a turnover would be huge here.

Jackson carries again for 15 yards, giving the Cavs a first down.

Timeout on the field as Terps defensive back Richard Taylor is down on the field.

7:01 p.m. — On 2nd-and-19, Turner cannot connect with Matt Furstenburg on the far sideline.

Turner then throws a pass to Kerry Boykins that is DROPPED. It would’ve been a first down.

Well, this drive fell apart after the botched snap on first down.

Ferrara’s 44-yard attempt is well short.

This is painful to watch.

6:59 p.m. — Turner runs right on first down but only gains a yard.

He then finds an open Smith for 17 yards, and the Terps find themselves in the red zone.

Virginia’s defense looks tired, and the Maryland offensive line is doing a nice job giving Turner time.

On first down, it’s a bad snap, and Turner must fall on it. A loss of nine.

6:57 p.m. — After a one-yard Porzel run, Turner finds Torrey Smith for a 17-yard pickup and a first down.

On first down from the Maryland 48, Turner throws incomplete, trying to find Porzel.

He then keeps on second down, picking up eight yards.

On third down, Turner works from the gun and finds Jackson out of the backfield for a first down. It’s a gain of eight, and Maryland is down to the Cavaliers’ 36 with eight minutes to play.

6:51 p.m. — Virginia takes over at its own 20, and Jackson takes the carry straight-ahead for seven yards.

Jackson carries again, but he’s bottled up by Pooler and Derek Drummond for a loss of one.

Again, the defense has come to play today, but it needs a big stop here.

On 3rd-and-4, Verica completes to Jackson, but the fullback is stopped by Pooler short of the marker. It’s a gain of one and Virginia must punt.

The punt is a low liner and is downed at the Maryland 29-yard line.

6:47 p.m. — Virginia goes offsides, and the play is blown dead, giving the Terps five yards and making it 1st-and-5 at the Cavaliers’ 21.

Porzel’s back in the game, but the freshman back only picks up a yard.

Turner completes to Smith, but the speedster cannot break free. No gain on the play.

On 3rd-and-4, Turner tries to throw the fade to Williams on the far side of the field, but it’s incomplete. Fans wanted a flag, but no call from the official.

Ferrara’s 37-yard attempt is no good.

Wide right.

6:43 p.m. — Turner carries again on first down, picking up three yards.

He then throws incomplete to LaQuan Williams, setting up a 3rd-and-7 for the Terps at the Virginia 35-yard line. Huge play here with 13:57 remaining in the fourth.

Maryland comes out in a five-wide, and Turner finds Williams on the slant for nine yards and a first down!

6:41 p.m. — On 2nd-and-8, Turner fakes the hand-off and tries to throw deep to Smith, but the safety help comes at the perfect time and the pass falls incomplete.

Now 3rd-and-8, Turner works from the gun and runs left for a first down. That play was set up very nicely despite me not being a fan of the senior quarterback running the ball.

6:37 p.m. — Porzel with a first-down run and then carries for a gain of two yards.

We’ve reached the end of the third quarter with Virginia leading, 13-9.

6:36 p.m. — Maryland takes over at its own 35 after the kickoff. Let’s see how the offense responds.

Porzel gets the carry and runs right for five yards. Let’s see if the true frosh can spark the offense.

6:30 p.m. — Virginia continues to kick it away from Smith, and it’s a brilliant move.

After the short kick taken to the 38, Turner throws incomplete to Boykins on the far sideline.

On second down, Turner works from the gun, the pass is deflected at the line and intercepted by defensive end Nate Collins. He returns it 32 yards for the Virginia touchdown.

How about running the ball when it’s been raining all day?

I can’t believe what I just witnessed.

Virginia now leads, 13-9.

6:29 p.m. — Sewell cannot put any weight on his right leg as he’s helped off the field. Big spot for Verica, the Cavaliers’ backup.

On 1st-and-10, he gives to Jackson off left tackle for four yards before Moten makes the tackle.

Verica works from the shotgun on second down and throws incomplete to Torchia inside the 5, making it 3rd-and-6 at the Maryland 15.

Verica takes the shotgun snap and throws incomplete, as it appeared he was trying to throw to Vic Hall. They weren’t on the same page on that one.

Randolph’s 32-yard field goal attempt is good, and it’s a 9-6 ballgame.

The drive covers 12 plays, 57 yards, and 4:00 of play.

6:25 p.m. — Jackson carries right up the middle for eight yards before Wujciak makes the stop. Virginia offense finally showing some life late in the third quarter.

On 2nd-and-2, Sewell carries for two yards and another first down, and he’s down on the field. We’ll have a timeout on the field.

Marc Verica is the backup quarterback for Virginia.

6:24 p.m. — After the fluke catch, Jackson carries for a gain of seven before being brought down by Hartsfield.

On 2nd-and-3 from the Maryland 34, the pass is dropped by tight end Colter Phillips, setting up a big third down for Virginia.

Sewell finds an open Jared Green over the middle for a first down at the Terps’ 29-yard line.

6:21 p.m. — Virginia takes the kickoff and will start at its own 29.

Sewell is almost sacked by Isaiah Ross, but the quarterback breaks free for a gain of two yards. Maryland is getting after the quarterback big-time today.

Sewell’s pass intended for Jared Green is incomplete on second down.

On third down, Sewell throws deep, the ball is deflected, and SOMEHOW caught by Burd. It’s a gain of 28 yards to the . He appeared to catch the ball with his legs while lying on the ground after it was deflected by Antwine Perez.

The play will be reviewed as it was difficult to see if Burd’s body was completely in-bounds. The call stands as called on the field. Huge break on a lucky catch for Virginia.

6:14 p.m. — On second down, Turner connects with Galt over the middle for 13 yards and another Maryland first down. The Terps are now inside the red zone.

Turner fakes to Meggett and keeps it. He picks up one yard. Not sure why the Terps insist on running Turner so much.

On 2nd-and-9, Turner is nearly sacked and throws incomplete, setting up a key third-down situation.

Turner throws a pass (actually a lateral) to Williams, but Tyler misses the key block and it’s only a one-yard gain.

Ferrara’s 29-yard attempt is good, and Maryland leads Virginia, 9-3.

The drive covers 8 plays, 53 yards, and lasts 3:18. It’s Ferrara’s third field goal of the day. He is 11 of 14 for the year.

6:10 p.m. — Maryland begins its next drive at 35 with Turner throwing the hitch to Williams on the far side. The junior picks up 10 yards and a first down.

Turner throws down the field to a wide-open Tyler in the middle of the field. It’s a gain of 19 yards and another Terps’ first down.

Douglas then gets the carry and FUMBLES.

Seriously?

The Terps fall on the loose ball. Paul Pinegar recovers the football.

6:07 p.m. — On first down, Sewell throws the hitch to Hall, but Skinner and Pooler are there immediately. It’s a loss of three yards on the play.

Sewell fakes the handoff and is SMASHED by Moten coming from the blind side. It’s a loss of eight, and the Cavs are moving in the wrong direction.

On 3rd-and-22, Virginia tries to run the screen, but the pass is incomplete.

The Maryland defense is playing extremely well. Five sacks on the day is a season high.

6:03 p.m. — Maryland starts its first drive of the second half, and Turner tries to run a play quickly with Virginia’s defense still coming on the field.

Instead, the Terps are flagged for a false start.

On 1st-and-15 from the 25, Turner hands to Meggett who picks up seven yards. I’d like to know what Friedgen and Franklin told the running backs at halftime.

Turner completes a five-yard pass to Tyler who is flattened on the play.

On 3rd-and-3, Meggett finds a little bit of room but is short of the first down.

Ferrara’s punt is fielded by Minnifield inside the 30 who changes direction and takes off toward the near side of the field. After all of the east-west running, he gains six yards on the return.

5:58 p.m. — No word on today’s attendance, but it’s very apparent the rain kept many fans away this afternoon.

If talking in terms of people actually in the stands, it cannot be more than 23-24,000 fans here.

5:57 p.m. — Virginia gets the ball to start the second half and returns the kick to its own 26.

Jackson carries for a gain of five yards on first down before Hartsfield makes the tackle.

On second down, Sewell gives again to Jackson who picks up four yards before Wujciak brings him down. It sets up a third down with only a yard to go to move the chains.

Working from the gun again, Sewell keeps it but is CRUNCHED by Wujciak for a loss of one on the play.

The Mike backer has been everywhere this afternoon.

Logan calls for a fair catch at his own 30-yard line.

5:53 p.m. — We’re a few minutes away from the start of the second half. Just a few stats to pass along to you.

Virginia’s pass defense has been as good as advertised. Turner is only 6 of 14 for 49 yards. Torrey Smith does not have a catch and has only one carry for no gain.

James Franklin has to find a way to get the ball in Smith’s hands.

The Terps defense has played well, holding the Cavaliers to 105 yards on 35 plays. Virginia accumulated 12 yards in the second quarter. The Maryland defense has sacked Jameel Sewell four times.

Very impressive.

Of course, the biggest difference in the game has been three Maryland fumbles, two of them lost. The Terps’ opening drive—and most impressive of the game—was ruined by a Davin Meggett fumble at the Virginia 25.

5:34 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of the first half.

Maryland leads the Cavaliers, 6-3.

5:32 p.m. — With 45 seconds to go, Friedgen is satisfied to go into the half with a 6-3 lead as Turner kneels down with the ball.

However, defensive end Matt Conrath is down on the field for the Cavaliers. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone injured on a kneel-down play, though Turner took a few extra seconds before going to a knee.

Tough break for the Cavaliers’ starting defensive end as he’s being helped off the field with an apparent leg injury.

5:30 p.m. — Minnifield returns the kickoff 49 yards all the way to the Maryland 40-yard line. That’s exactly what you cannot do there.

Sewell hands off to Jackson for a gain of five yards. Just over a minute remaining in the half.

Hall then nearly brings in a diving catch inside the 10, but it’s incomplete.

On third down, Sewell cannot find an open receiver and throws high to Hall after scrambling to the left.

The Cavs punt the ball (Convervative, anyone?), and it rolls dead at the 15-yard line.

Virginia only has one first down since kicking its only field goal.

5:24 p.m. — 2:06 remaining in the first half, and Maryland is threatening inside the red zone.

On 3rd-and-5 from the 16, Turner rolls out and throws quickly to Cannon, but it’s short of the first down. It’s 4th-and-2.

Poor execution there, as Cannon needs to get to the first-down marker.

Ferrara hits the 30-yard field goal, and Maryland takes the lead, 6-3, with 1:39 remaining in the half.

The drive covers 8 plays, 27 yards, and 3:09.

5:22 p.m. — The referee Brad Allen confirms it as a catch, giving the Terps a first down at the Virginia 28.

Meggett carries for a gain of two. He appeared to miss the hole there, as he could have cut left for more yardage.

Turner throws incomplete, intended for Cannon, but there is a flag on the play. Virginia is called for pass interference, giving the Terps another first down.

The Terps have 1st-and-10 at the Virginia 21, and Turner finds Boykins on the far sideline for a gain of five. Maryland really needs to cash in here.

On second down, Meggett gets the carry and finds no running room. No gain, setting up 3rd-and-5.

Virginia will take a timeout.

5:18 p.m. — Caleb Porzel has checked into the game and carries for two yards on second down.

On 3rd-and-8, Turner SOMEHOW finds Cannon in heavy coverage for a first down.

Chris Cook of Virginia had blanket coverage.

But hold on, we’ll have another review.

5:17 p.m. — It’s ruled an incomplete pass. A MAJOR BREAK for the Terps.

Regardless, the lack of ball control is just appalling.

5:16 p.m. — This game is just getting crazy. Turner completes one to Boykins who then FUMBLES. Virginia has it.

They’ll review it, and it looks as though Boykins may not have had possession of the ball.

It would be the Terps’ fourth fumble.

5:14 p.m. — Rashawn Jackson carries on first down for Virginia and loses a yard on the play.

On second down, Sewell tries to find Hall down the field, but it’s incomplete. The receiver was open on the play.

Facing third down, Sewell works from the gun and throws the screen to Jackson on the far side, a perfect call to counter the Maryland blitz on the play. It’s enough for a first down on 3rd-and-12.

But hold on, we have a flag.

Unnecessary roughness is called on Kris Burd, a crucial penalty for the Cavs. It makes it 3rd-and-12 instead of a fresh set of downs.

Sewell runs the same screen to Jackson, but the Terps are ready for it this time. It’s well short of a first down, and the Cavaliers have to punt.

The Maryland defense gets a big break with the Virginia penalty on third down.

WOW!

Virginia appears to try a fake punt, but Howell tries to punt when he rolls out and it’s completely shanked.

It’s Maryland’s ball at the Virginia 40.

5:09 p.m. — Facing 3rd-and-17, Turner finds Jackson for a gain of 15 yards, short of a first down.

Ronnie Tyler was also open on the play, and it would have been a first down if Turner finds him.

Maryland goes for it on fourth down, and the pass is batted down at the line. Virginia takes over at its own 40.

5:07 p.m. — On first down, Meggett carries for a gain of three, but at least he holds onto the ball.

Turner, working from the gun, hands to Meggett who then pitches to Smith running in the opposite direction. Virginia is not fooled by the razzle-dazzle.

Maryland is called for an illegal block in the back, moving the Terps back 10 yards.

On 2nd-and-17, Turner drops back and throws incomplete to Galt.

5:04 p.m. — Meggett is back in the lineup, and Turner finds Kerry Boykins wide open who then FUMBLES.

Thankfully, the ball is recovered Smith, and the Terps will have a first down.

5:03 p.m. — The Maryland defense has four sacks in the first half, matching its season-high against Middle Tennessee State.

For all of the criticism the unit has taken this year (and most of it deserved), Don Brown’s defense has come to play in the first half.

5:01 p.m. — Deege Galt earns the sack on first down, a loss of two yards.

The Terps then bat down Sewell’s pass at the line of scrimmage on the next play, setting up 3rd-and-12.

Ben Pooler comes free on the blitz and brings Sewell down with an “excuse me” hit. It’s a loss of nine yards, and the Cavs will punt.

Nice job by the Maryland defense responding after another fumble.

Virginia’s punt formation is spread out (very odd), and the punt is downed at the Maryland 36.

4:59 p.m. — The Terrapin offense must get it going, as 36 of its 54 total yards came on the opening drive that ended with a Davin Meggett fumble in Virginia territory.

On first down, Douglas gets the carry and finds some nice running room, picking up 12 yards and moving the chains.

From their own 45, the Terps give it to Douglas again for 12 yards, but he fumbles.

(Curse word!)

Virginia linebacker Darren Childs recovers.

4:54 p.m. — Virginia starts the drive at its own 23 as Mack carries for a one-yard loss. Wujciak with the stop AGAIN.

Sewell completes a second-down pass to Mack for a gain of 10 yards, setting up third and short for the Cavaliers.

Sewell keeps it on third down, and McCollough and Wujciak bring him down right away. It will be close, and we’ll have a measurement.

It’s short, and Al Groh calls for the punt team. Nice series for the Terps there.

Logan is back deep and calls for a fair catch at the Maryland 33.

4:50 p.m. — You have to give it to Nick Ferrara. The true freshman has done an admirable job as both the placekicker and punter in Travis Baltz’s absence.

Not too bad.

4:46 p.m. — On 2nd-and-7, Meggett tries to gain ground on the right side, but he’s wrapped up by Nate Collins for a one-yard loss.

On third down, Turner works from the gun with five-wide and throws deep to Smith, but it’s incomplete. The ball was slightly under-thrown or Smith may have been able to bring it in.

Ferrara will try a 48-yard field goal, and it is good!

Maryland and Virginia are tied, 3-3, with 13:14 remaining in the second quarter.

The drive covers 4 plays, 2 yards, and 1:35.

4:45 p.m. — McCollough nearly brings Sewell down for a sack on first down before the Cavs quarterback throws it away.

On second down, Sewell is flattened by Moten and fumbles! Ivey recovers the fumble, and it’s Maryland’s football at the 33-yard line!

4:43 p.m. — Anyone else find the irony in Robert Randolph, the same namesake of one of Glenn Clark’s favorite musicians, giving the Cavaliers the only score of the game so far.

4:41 p.m. — Torrey Mack gets the carry on first down and runs left for a gain of nine yards. McCollough finally brings him down.

Virginia going no-huddle as Sewell hands to Mack again for no gain.

On 3rd-and-1, Jackson runs to the right side and the Cavalier seal the corner for a gain of six yards and a first down.

We’ve reached the end of the first quarter with Virginia leading the Terps, 3-0.

4:39 p.m. — Virginia has clearly received the memo on Torrey Smith and kicks it short again. Cory Jackson fields the kick and Maryland begins on its own 40.

Douglas is still in the game and whiffed on his man, forcing Turner to throw it away on first down.

On second, Turner sprints out to the right and nearly throws an interception while trying to get the ball to Smith.

With a 3rd-and-10 situation, Turner lines up in the gun and throws incomplete to Adrian Cannon.

The Terps can do nothing with the good field position as Ferrara punts to the 15-yard line. Minnifield returns the punt to the Cavaliers’ 26. Virginia takes over.

4:33 p.m. — On 2nd-and-goal from the Maryland 6, Sewell runs into his own lineman and is sacked by Wujciak for a loss of eight yards on the play. Huge defensive play for the junior linebacker.

On third down, Sewell keeps it and is bottled up IMMEDIATELY by Zachariah Kerr and Travis Ivey for a loss of one.

Robert Randolph will attempt the 32-yard field goal and it’s good.

Virginia leads, 3-0, with 1:47 remaining in the first.

The drive covered 14 plays, 55 yards, and 6:24.

4:31 p.m. — The review confirms the call on the field, and it will be 1st-and-goal for Virginia.

With the ball at the 1, Sewell keeps it up the middle but is short of the goal line. Wujciak and Hartsfield bring down the Virginia quarterback.

Virginia is then flagged for a false start, moving them back to the 6.

4:29 p.m. — Sewell then finds Hall over the middle for a big gain of 29 yards. The pass almost appeared to be tipped by Wujciak over the middle but didn’t see a replay in the press box.

On first down from the Maryland 11, Mack carries for only a yard. The Terps need to hold the Cavs to three here.

Virginia using a lot of spread formations, something the Terps should be used to at this point.

Sewell finds Hall again for eight yards, as Adrian Moten and Kenny Tate bring him down at the 2-yard line.

On 3rd-and-1, Sewell runs out of the gun but is stood up by Hartsfield and Wujciak for no gain. Virginia will go for it.

Sewell keeps it up the middle and coughs up the ball, but the officials say he was down. It’s enough for the first down, but hold on, they will review it.

4:25 p.m. — On first down, Sewell throws incomplete, intended for Joe Torchia.

Working from the shotgun, Sewell delivers a beautiful throw to Hall on the near sideline for a Virginia first down and 16 yards. It’s the Cavs’ first first down.

Sewell then tries to connect to Kris Burd on the deep ball, but the receiver was out of bounds.

On second down, Sewell finds Joe Torchia who is stopped immediately by Alex Wujciak. It’s a gain of six yards.

On 3rd-and-4, Virginia is spread out as Sewell finds Burd for a seven yard gain and another first.

4:20 p.m. — Turner works out of the shotgun and hands to Douglas for only a one-yard gain.

On 2nd-and-9, Turner throws incomplete, intended for Tommy Galt. However, Virginia is flagged for offsides, a nice break for Maryland.

Turner throws the quick hitch to LaQuan Williams, but there’s no gain on the play.

On 3rd-and-4, the Terps use five-wide and Turner throws high to Smith. Maryland must punt.

Nick Ferrara, again filling in for the injured Travis Baltz punts to Chase Minnifield at the Cavaliers’ 30. Terrell Skinner wraps him up immediately at the 31.

4:18 p.m. — Gary Douglas has checked in at tailback for the Terps and immediately carries the ball for four yards.

It will be interesting to see if Friedgen gives Meggett the Da’Rel Scott treatment for putting the ball on the ground.

On second down, Douglas carries up the middle and finds some nice running room. It’s a gain of 11 yards and a Maryland first down.

4:14 p.m. — Let’s see if the Maryland offense can rebound from the costly turnover. Meggett was moving the ball very well on the ground before the fumble.

I suppose we’ll see Davin walking around campus holding the football this week like Omar Epps in The Program.

4:12 p.m. — On second down, Sewell completes to Vic Hall for a gain of three yards. However, the Cavalier are flagged for holding, moving them back 10 yards.

On 2nd-and-14, Sewell hands to fullback Rashawn Jackson (he’s a load!) for a three-yard gain.

Sewell works from the shotgun on third down and hits Jackson out of the backfield, but the fullback is a yard short of the first. Virginia must punt.

Jimmy Howell’s punt is fielded by Tony Logan who calls for a fair catch at the Maryland 15.

4:09 p.m. — Much of the same that we’ve seen all year. Meggett carries for a nice 11-yard gain before coughing up the football. Virginia recovers at its own 24.

A promising drive ruined.

4:08 p.m. — Meggett carries to the left for a gain of nine yards, and the Cavaliers are offside. The Terps will obviously decline the penalty.

On 2nd-and-1, Smith lines up at quarterback (Wildcat?) and keeps it for no gain. Virginia was ready for that one.

On third down, Meggett takes the carry off right-guard and picks up five yards and a first down. The ball is now on the Virginia 35-yard line.

4:06 p.m. — Virginia kicks it short to Gary Douglas (and away from Torrey Smith), and the ball is returned to the 40-yard line.

On first down, Maryland comes out with four wide and hands the ball to Meggett right up the middle for a gain of 10 and a first down. Nice start for the ground game.

4:04 p.m. — A really nice tribute to Jack Heise today. Not a moment of silence but a moment of cheering for one of the Terps’ all-time supporters.

Maryland will receive to begin the game.

3:59 p.m. — Wide receiver Kerry Boykins will carry the American flag on the field today, and defense back Jamari McCollough, a native Baltimorean, will carry the Maryland state flag.

3:57 p.m. — One of the few bright spots for the Terps this season as been explosive receiver/kick returner Torrey Smith.

The sophomore needs only 155 all-purpose yards to reach the 3,000 mark for his career. Only eight other Terps have reached the 3,000-yard mark, and only Lamont Jordan (4,960 yards) has reached the 4,000 mark.

3:52 p.m. — Maryland’s honorary captains for today’s game are Tim Cesa and Larry Webster.

Webster, of course, played on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV defense and was a key member of the defensive line rotation.

3:47 p.m. — As I mentioned earlier, the Terps must get the running game going this afternoon. Though Maryland has to abandon the running game early last week after following behind by a huge margin, 30 rushes for 62 yards simply won’t get it done.

Davin Meggett has struggled to find running room, gaining only 155 yards on 50 carries for a 3.1 YPC average.

The Terps will also use RS frosh Gary Douglas and true freshman Caleb Porzel who saw his first collegiate action against the Demon Deacons last week.

I know at least one Terps fan (Rich from Westminster) will agree wholeheartedly on this, but Ralph Friedgen must use the talented Porzel after burning his redshirt. The freshman was very impressive in summer practice and just might be the spark that the running game needs.

Regardless of who receives the carries, the offensive line must do a better job opening running lanes for the Terrapin backs.

3:35 p.m. — University officials have to be disappointed with the weather for today’s Homecoming game. Tickets were still available for today’s game, and the weather will surely keep many spectators away.

We’re less than 30 minutes away from kickoff, and it is VERY empty in Byrd right now.

3:3o p.m. — This will be the 74th meeting between Maryland and Virginia. Maryland leads the all-time series by a 41-30-2 margin. The two schools first met in 1919, and the Terps have played Virginia more than any other school.

3:28 p.m. — Maryland is currently out on the field going through its pregame warmups, and Campbell is dressed and lining up at left tackle. A great sign for the Terps to have the big man back at left tackle.

The Terps are dressed in red jerseys and red pants for Homecoming.

3:25 p.m. — Maryland’s defense will try to rebound from surrendering 516 yards and 42 points against Riley Skinner and Wake Forest last week.

Freshman linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield broke his hand last week but will attempt to play with the broken hand heavily wrapped in a club. Hartsfield has played well recently, earning ACC Freshman of the Week honors against Clemson two weeks ago.

Since taking the reins of the Virginia offense, Jameel Sewell has led the Cavaliers to two consecutive wins. The senior quarterback is very dangerous on the ground, leading the team in rushing attempts (77) and is second in net yards (117).

3:18 p.m. — The Terps hope to avenge last season’s 31-0 blowout in Charlottesville. Al Groh’s Cavaliers have been revitalized after an 0-3 start that included a home loss to FCS school William & Mary and a road loss to Southern Mississippi.

The Cavaliers have won back-to-back games against North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Indiana.

The Terps will likely catch a break against Virginia today as it appears starting running back Mikell Simpson will not play after suffering a neck injury. Simpson has enjoyed success against the Terps in the past, rushing for 200 yards and gaining 165 receiving yards in his career against Maryland.

Torrey Mack would most likely start in Simpson’s place.

The Terps will need to establish the running game this afternoon, both because of the weather and Virginia’s pass defense. The Cavaliers have not allowed more than 190 passing yards in a game all season.

Maryland’s running game has struggled this season, losing starting tailback Da’Rel Scott against Clemson (broken wrist) and having such an inexperience offensive line. It is unclear how much (or if) starting left tackle Bruce Campbell (knee) will play, so if the junior cannot go, it once again leaves center Phil Costa as the only returning starter from last season.

The offensive line has clearly been a concern all season, but its play will be critical to Maryland’s chances this afternoon.

3:00 p.m. — Good afternoon from a very soggy, chilly Byrd Stadium, as the Terps (2-4, 1-1 in the ACC) are set to take on the Virginia Cavaliers (2-3, 1-0) at 4:00 p.m.

It is raining and will be throughout the afternoon with the temperature in the mid- to low-40s. It’s definitely not the ideal forecast for Maryland’s Homecoming, but a win would go a long way for Terps fans’ damp spirits.

Maryland desperately needs a victory after being thoroughly manhandled in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest last Saturday, 42-32. If you were able to view the game (only available on ESPN360), it was very apparent the final score did not reflect how much of a mismatch it truly was.

Today’s game will be televised on ESPNU with Todd Harris and JC Pearson providing the call. Be sure to stay right here as I’ll be blogging throughout the game and providing updates on WNST’s Twitter feed.

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