Terps Beat Wolf Pack in Shootout to Win Humanitarian Bowl

December 30, 2008 | Glenn Clark

8:14-That will do it. Scott breaks one of to the 20 yard line; and Ralph will get the Gatorade shower. Maryland will win 42-35 and will finish the season at 8-5. Certainly not the final record they had hoped for; but a nice way to finish an up and down season. Nevada will finish the season 7-6; Ralph improves to 4-2 all time in Bowl games. Scott finishes with 14 rushes, 174 yards, and 2 TD’s.

8:12-No luck for Nevada trying to get the ball back; as Oquendo covers it up. Maryland can’t run out the entire clock; but they can take this down to the final 10 seconds; or MAYBE get some seconds off the clock during play clock resets.

8:09-Review is confirmed; no pass interference, and Nevada faces 3rd and 10. Kaepernick stays on the ground; and scampers 15 yards for a Wolf Pack touchdown. The extra point is good, and Maryland’s lead is cut to 42-35 with 2:19 to play. Nevada has no timeouts left; so the onside kick will be CRUCIAL.

8:07-Maryland started with back to back solid possessions on offense AND defense in hoops; but now trail 5-4.

Nolan Carroll will be called for a pass interference; and Nevada will have the ball inside the 5. STRIKE THAT-the ball was tipped at the line; and the Wolf Pack will face 3rd and 10 from the 15. MAYBE. They’ll look at it again. It DID appear as though the ball was tipped. With 2:27 to play, the Wolf Pack need to score now.

7:56-Just under 5 minutes to play; Maryland will go back to the ground; and Nevada will start to burn timeouts. I am going to start watching the basketball game; I will update you if anything goes wacky in Boise.

7:55-Kaepernick finds McCoy to convert a 3rd and 8; but on the next play Jeff Allen intercepts a screen attempt; and that should about do it.

7:54-Nevada DOES convert on 4th down after Fokou is called for pass interference.

I would like to take this time to apologize; as I will not be able to live blog tonight’s basketball game. I am going to sit in the stands for a while and watch; if I get the energy I will offer some updates. Don’t know what this bug is I have; but it is NOT good.

7:50-Facing 4th and 4 with 6:04 to play, the Wolf Pack are confused as to whether to go for it or punt and have to burn a timeout. In the area of midfield; I can’t imagine why this is even a debate. Their defense is struggling; they need to score.

7:47-Expect Nevada to keep throwing; as they’ll try to conserve time. They are capable of moving the ball downfield quickly; but I don’t think they have another 14 point rally in them. Moten nearly came away with an INT on 2nd down.

Hoops game is set to tip off in less than 10 minutes. I would imagine they’ll delay so that the radio broadcast can switch from football to basketball; but I could be wrong.

7:41-Scott actually wasn’t hurt; he remained in the game and broke off 23 more to get the Terps down to the Nevada 31. Hopefully Scott took it personally when James Franklin wouldn’t go back to him after Ralph cleared him.

ANOTHER big run from Scott; who takes the ball down to the 2 yard line. He has 151 yards on 11 rushes in the 2nd half-make that 153 on 12 rushes and now TWO TD’s as he plunges in for another. Egekeze adds another, and Maryland’s lead is 42-28 with 7:44 to play. I don’t think Nevada has an answer for this.

7:40-Scott goes to work on 1st down; breaking off another 12 yards-BUT-he’s slow to get up AND Torrey Smith walked gingerly off the field as well.

7:36-Expecting a blitz; the Wolf Pack try to catch the Terps off guard by going to a draw. Nowehere to go, and Nevada has to go for it on 4th and 12 from the 35.

Nothing going; as Kaepernick overthrows TE Virgil Green, who had a beat. Maryland gets the ball back with 8:48 to play; if Scott can get going again they could ice this one away.

7:34-Kaepernick’s ball fakes continue to dupe the ESPN cameramen; who have left the camera on an empty-handed running back at least 3-4 times tonight. Nevada moves the ball up towards the Maryland 30; and on 2nd down Kaepernick JUST misses an open Mitchell when Fokou gets a good shot on him to break up the pass. 3rd and 11 now.

7:32-I apologize for the lack of continuous updates; I am feeling VERY sick here at Comcast Center tonight; and might not be able to come through with a Maryland-Elon live blog.

The Wolf Pack methodically move the ball to midfield; mixing run and pass. It would be easy to say the Terps are tired defensively; but this is where Seamonson needs to find some more creativity.

7:27-Make that 1,000 with a bullet! The long handoff goes to Scott; who breaks off a 49 yard TD run. Egekeze is true on the extra point, and Maryland takes a 35-28 lead with 12:21 to play.

7:26-On 3rd and long, Turner makes a HUGE play to find Torrey Smith to their 48. Terps get across midfield with a short run by Scott on 2nd down; he’s just 2 yards shy of reaching 1,000 for the season.

7:21-Taua fumbles the handoff on the first play of the 4th quarter, but immediately recovers. 3rd and 4 now for the Wolf Pack.

On 3rd down; Mitchell finds dead space on the field and hauls in the 21 yard TD pass after beating Wiseman. Wolf Pack add the PAT, and we’re tied at 28 with 14:13 to play in the game. That Turner INT is certainly looming large right now.

7:15-Terps get pressure on Kaepernick on 1st down and force what is ruled an incomplete pass; but was a borderline fumble (incomplete was likely the good call.)

Nevada bounces right back on 2nd down; as Kaepernick finds McCoy all the way down to the Maryland 27 on 2nd down. Nevada in business, with momentum seriously on the side of the Wolf Pack. They add 7 more on the ground; and the 3rd quarter comes to a close. Maryland leads 28-21; but Nevada is threatening.

7:12-But just like that; disaster strikes again. Turner is hit as he throws; the ball bounds backwards, and Nevada recovers. They’ll have a chance now to tie things up; and the Terps are going to have to try to avoid feeling sorry for themselves again. If Al Seamonson wants to make sure he gets the DC job; this would be a good time to come up with something big.

7:08-WOW what an exchange here; and the Terps MIRACULOUSLY hold on to the ball AND pick up a first down. Turner had time on 3rd down, was flushed, stripped, and Nevada’s Brandon Marshall recovered. However, the Wolf Pack preceded to fumble the ball; and Maryland recovered for a first down. Turner bound DHB on the next play; then solid running by Scott and Meggett gets the Terps in scoring position.

7:05-Rich, you’ll hear women’s play by play voice Matt Noble on the ACC Select call tonight with Chris Knoche.

Scott breaks off a 14 yard rush to pick up a first down; the countdown to 1,000 is on. Another 11 yard rush on the ensuing first down will put Scott withing 16 of the milestone.

7:00-Kaepernick back into the game; and McCullough breaks up his first down pass. On 3rd and 5; Kaepernick buys extra time and finds Taua in the endzone; who had slipped behind Maryland’s coverage. Nevada adds the extra point; and Maryland’s lead is 28-21 with 5:58 to play in the 3rd quarter. Big exchange there; Maryland will need to answer offensively and not get down after the Wolf Pack cash in a turnover.

6:56-Da’Rel Scott FINALLY enters the game; and a play fake to him nearly gets a big play to Torrey Smith, but the ball is a bit overthrown and goes off Smith’s fingertips. Turner finds Emani Lee-Odai for 4 yards on 2nd down; and the Terps face 3rd and 6. Need to extend a drive to put this game out of reach.

Instead, the exact opposite happens. Jonathan Amaya intercepts Turner in the middle of the field on a bad overthrow; and Nevada takes the ball on Maryland’s 22. That could be a big swing…

6:55-Graziano had plenty of time to throw the ball on 3rd and 9; but couldn’t get a receiver downfield. His dump-off fell short and the Wolf Pack are forced again to punt.

6:49-Kaepernick misses an open Mike McCoy on an overthrow down the sidelines. Would have been an easy touchdown. Brett Jaekle’s punt pins Maryland in around the 10.

Nothing going on the ground for the Terps on 1st or 2nd down; then Turner’s pass to DHB falls short on the sideline. Terps forced to punt; Nevada takes over on their own 41. Nick Graziano to enter the game.

6:45-Taua breaks off a HUGE run to Nevada’s own 40; and a face mask penalty adds 15 to the play. Nevada into Maryland territory at the 45.

6:43-Rich; thanks for giving me the chance to clarify. I did not see the Egekeze play as I was interrupted by Kristi Toliver here in the media room. In my quickness to find out what I missed, I heard Johnny and Johnathan say the play was a failed onsides kick. It might well have not been; but I didn’t really have much of a problem with it even if it was to be honest.

6:40-Turner looked for his favorite drive extending target on 3rd and 4; but the pass to Oquendo was broken up and Baltz will be forced to punt.

6:38-Kaepernick overthrew a wide open Mitchell; and Anthony Wiseman missed a chance for a diving interception on 3rd and 7. The Wolf Pack are forced to punt on their first possession of the 2nd half; Logan with a tough return to the Terps’ own 46.

Davin Meggett starts the 2nd half as the featured bac.

6:35-ESPN sideline reporter Heather Cox tells us that Ralph cleared Da’Rel Scott to see the field in the first half; but James Franklin decided to continue with him on the bench. Scott is just 41 yards shy of reaching 1,000 for the season; but the coaching staff has been singing the praises of both Meggett and Morgan Green-Green in particular during Bowl practice-all season.

6:29-Rich, as Bowl games are considered a reward for the entire season; I think Ralph will decide to play everyone in the 2nd half. If this had been a regular season game against Eastern Michigan; certainly it would be more likely to see all the guys remain on the bench.

My sources in Boise had told me that the mood at the team hotel was particularly somber last night; which was a concern for me coming into today’s game. Getting the early TD really changed everything today; giving this team the chance to get positive feelings going instead of feeling sorry for themselves like they so often do.

6:20-A number of writers and analysts thought Maryland would have troubles today due to Nevada’s potent offense and the departure of former Defensive Coordinator Chris Cosh. Instead, after watching the Pistol offense on the first few drives, Al Seamonson has done a very nice job of creatively mixing schemes to limit Nevada on first and second down; then bring varying levels of pressure on third down. On the offensive side;

James Franklin has been able to withstand Nevada’s early press and complete passes behind their attack. The few times they’ve gone to the run have been fairly effective; as they have been set up well by Turner’s passing attack.

Special Teams were also a concern considering the departure of coordinator Danny Pearman; and they have been hit and miss. Torrey Smith has been outstanding; Tony Logan has been good, Travis Baltz is having just another great game, and the coverage has been very pleasant. Certainly Obi’s XP miss is concerning, and an onsides risk didn’t pay off; but it has been a fairly decent day for the unit.

With Maryland likely getting benched players back and additional depth in the 2nd half, I have no choice but to imagine they’ll try to tee off on an injured Kaepernick; and could well blow this one open a bit.

6:09-Egekeze with the frustrating out of bounds kick on the kickoff. Nevada doesn’t bother to try to take advantage of the field position; as Kaepernick goes to a knee on first down. We’ll go to the half with Maryland leading 28-14. Have to credit James Franklin for his play calling on the final drive of the half; as the Terps were particularly effective in marching 53 yards in about 20 seconds. Back with more shortly!

6:05-Tyler bobbles the ball; but eventually brings it in and gains 15 yards out of bounds to the 15. With two timeouts left; Turner can use the whole field looking for the endzone.

Turner does use the middle of the field; and finds Tyler AGAIN for 15 yards and a TOUCHDOWN! Ralph decides to go for 2 now; and Turner finds a wide open Meggett in the endzone to extend Maryland’s lead to 28-14 with 6 seconds to play. Big change of momentum here for the Terps heading into the locker room.

6:04-Turner tries to flip to Davin Meggett on the ensuing first down; but the screen falls incomplete. Turner is again incomplete looking for Lansford Watson on 2nd down. 18 seconds left; I can’t imagine Ralph would let Egekeze try a FG from here.

6:02-Logan returns the ball to Maryland’s own 47; where Chris Turner will have 29 seconds to try to make something happen.

Ronnie Tyler gets 8 yards to the Nevada 45 on first down; and the Wolf Pack are called for a questionable late hit that will give Maryland the ball at Nevada’s 30 yard line with 24 seconds left and two timeouts.

6:00-Maryland does not use a timeout after Nevada’s first down run; I assume Ralph is willing to take the 6 point lead to the half. This seems to be a waste of great field position to me. Kaepernick throws an incompletion on 2nd down; and Taua is stopped in the backfield on 3rd down; Maryland takes their first timeout with 37 seconds to play.

5:55-After a 2nd down completion to DHB; Turner is incomplete on 3rd down. I’m surprised Maryland wouldn’t consider going for it on 4th and 5 knowing there is only a minute and a half to play before the intermission. Maybe Ralph is planning on using his timeouts defensively should Nevada keep the ball on the ground.

This game is very likely the final game Darrius Heyward-Bey will play in a Maryland uniform; as he is widely expected to leave a season early for the NFL Draft. When questioned by Washington Times beat writer Patrick Stevens this week; the star receiver said he has made no decisions regarding his future; but has applied to receive info regarding his Draft stock.

5:53-After a tough start to the game; Maryland’s defense has certainly picked things up in the 2nd quarter. Adrian Moten records another sack on 3rd down, and Nevada’s punt again leaves Maryland starting in Wolf Pack territory. They have a good chance to make this a 2 possession game before halftime.

5:50-Maryland’s drive never gets going; and Dan Gronkowski drops the ball on what would have been a fairly easy first down catch. Colin Kaepernick appeared to have suffered an ankle injury; and despite backup Nick Graziano warming up; the starter returned to the field for Nevada’s next drive.

5:47-Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard (of the “Quarterbacking Huard Brothers” fame) are on the call today for ESPN. I was surprised to hear Wischusen openly criticize the Denver Broncos’ decision to fire coach Mike Shanahan today. Wischusen alluded that Shanahan could be hired for any job he wants. Wischusen just so happens to be employed by the New York Jets-who are in the market for a head coach-as Play by play voice. The way Wischusen was speaking, some might take it as open rooting for the Jets to hire the former Broncos coach.

5:45-Thus far Ralph has decided not to attempt a two point conversion after a TD; knowing that this game will almost certainly continue to be a shootout; and there’s no reason to risk giving away a point. He wouldn’t choose to go for 2 until likely the fourth quarter should the situation deem necessary.

5:40-I have to admit that I find Chris Ault’s “Pistol” offense particularly interesting to watch. Every play comes out of the shotgun; and the Wolf Pack have option, pass, and QB run choices to make each time Colin Kaepernick has the ball. It extends plays, it forces interim DC Al Seamonson to try to stay honest in scheming, and allows Nevada more chances to get to the outside. I’m surprised more mid-level teams haven’t adopted similar schemes.

On 3rd and 12; Kaepernick again escapes the inital pressure; but is finished off 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage by Alex Wujciak.

Tony Logan has been returning punts in place of Oquendo; this return gives the Terps the ball on the good side of the 50 yard line.

5:31-Maryland opened the scoring on their first drive when Chris Turner found Adrian Cannon for a 59 yard TD pass; but Obi Egezeke missed the extra point. Colin Kapernick responded for the Wolf Pack with an 83 yard drive featuring a 68 yard pass to Marko Mitchell and capped by a 1 yard TD pass to Chris Wellington to put Nevada ahead 7-6.

Torrey Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a TD to put Maryland back ahead 13-7. Egekeze tried an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff, but it was recovered by Nevada and returned to the Maryland 9. Two plays later, the Terrapins’ defense came up big; as Kenny Tate intercepted Kaepernick in the endzone.

Maryland was stopped on their next drive; and Travis Baltz appeared to have pinned the Wolf Pack at the 1 yard line; but replay showed the ball broke the plain of the end zone; and the ball came back to the 20. Nevada marched downfield again using their “Pistol” offense, and Vai Taua rushed 17 yards for a TD to put them back ahead 14-13.

Maryland didn’t take long to respond again; as Morgan Green broke off a 53 yard TD run on the first play of the 2nd quarter and the Terps re-took the lead at 20-14. Two punts later, that’s where we stand as Nevada takes over again. 8:26 to play in the first half.

5:29-In case you didn’t hear; seven Maryland players did not start in today’s game due to a curfew violation. Da’Rel Scott, Moise Fokou, Trey Covington, Danny Oquendo, Derek Drummond, Antwine Perez, and Jamari McCullough will all play at some point today however.

5:26-I apologize for starting this late. Computer issues, a jacknifed truck on 95 South, and a women’s basketball game at Comcast Center have delayed my ability to get going here.

Maryland leads Nevada 20-14 right now at the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. The game is being played on the blue turf at Boise Stadium. The Terps and Wolf Pack each brought matching 7-5 records into the game. I’ll recap shortly.