7:30 PM ET, October 20, 2005
Byrd Stadium, COLLEGE PARK, MD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- They raced to the locker room at halftime, their helmets held high and spirits soaring after a solid performance against No. 3 Virginia Tech.
Despite trailing 7-3, the Maryland Terrapins sensed an upset was in the making.
Marcus Vick wouldn't let it happen.
The redshirt junior quarterback accounted for 344 yards of offense, including a career-high 133 rushing, and the unbeaten Hokies pulled away in the second half to a 28-9 victory Thursday night.
"I feel fortunate getting out of here with the win. I really thought our guys hung in there," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "The play wasn't always pretty."
The Hokies (7-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) committed four turnovers, but scored 21 straight points after halftime to keep alive their hope of playing for the national championship in January.
The Terrapins (4-3, 2-2) came in with a three-game winning streak and designs of avenging a 55-6 defeat to the Hokies last November. It seemed possible until Maryland finally got tired of chasing the elusive Vick.
"Our defense was on the field too long, and they began to wear down as the game went on," Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen said.
Although Vick threw a career-high three interceptions -- all in the third quarter -- the little brother of Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick averaged 8.3 yards per carry and completed 14 of 23 passes for 211 yards.
"I think what you have is a dynamic quarterback that has the ability to beat you running or beat you throwing," Beamer said. "Pretty good guy. Pretty good quarterback."
After Vick's third interception, Beamer didn't scold him. Instead, he said, "You're going to win this for us."
Vick's 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter made it 7-0, and he directed scoring drives of 81, 99 and 37 yards in the second half.
That was more than enough support for a defense that forced two turnovers and kept the Terrapins out of the end zone until Sam Hollenbach threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Fenner with 2:16 to go.
Hollenbach was 14-of-30 for 158 yards and two interceptions, and Lance Ball had 75 yards rushing on 15 attempts.
The Terrapins wore their alternate black jerseys for the second time this season, hoping for the same result as the last time: a 45-33 victory over Virginia on Oct. 1.
The ploy didn't work, yet Maryland could take solace in putting forth a decent performance in front of a national television audience and a crowd of 54,838, the second-largest in school history.
"I think we played hard and had the opportunities, but we didn't take advantage of them," Friedgen said.
The Hokies scored on their first possession of the third quarter to take a 14-3 lead. A 38-yard run by Vick got Tech to the Maryland 31, and five plays later Mike Imoh scored from the 2.
"I was really big. It set the tempo for the second half," Vick said. "It quieted the crowd down and just got our guys going."
After the Terrapins failed to capitalize on Vick's third interception, a punt left Virginia Tech on its own 1. Ten plays later, Imoh ran in from the 10 to make it 21-3 with 10:45 left.
Branden Ore added a 4-yard TD run with 6:47 to go.
The Terrapins trailed 7-3 at halftime, but their emotional charge off the field probably had a lot to do with the fact they were down 41-3 at intermission in last year's game.
The Hokies ran only 11 plays and had minus-2 yards rushing during a scoreless first period, the only quarter this season in which Virginia Tech has failed to score.
Vick finally Tech moving on its third possession. He began an 80-yard drive with an 18-yard completion to David Clowney, then added four runs for 43 yards, including a sprint around right end for a touchdown.
The next time Tech got the ball, Vick completed a 48-yard pass to Clowney to set up a first-and-goal at the 7. On fourth down from the 1, Imoh lost possession of the ball while trying to dive over the top and Maryland recovered -- the first time this season the Hokies lost a fumble.
The Terrapins then moved 73 yards in 13 plays before Dan Ennis kicked a 38-yard field goal.
That left Vick three minutes to score. With the clock running down and Tech out of timeouts, a 20-yard field goal try by Brandon Pace bounced off the left upright.
"The whole team went into the locker room at halftime really upset," Clowney said. "It was a terrible performance."
Led by Vick, the Hokies made up for it the second half, outgaining Maryland 275 yards to 96.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Marcus Vick led the Hokies on a 99-yard drive, capped off by Mike Imoh's 10-yard TD run to take a 21-3 lead.
Gameball goes to... Vick, who overcame three interceptions with 211 yards passing and 133 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Stat of the game... 0: The Hokies didn't score in the first quarter, making it the only quarter this season in which Virginia Tech has failed to score.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-10||4-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|TD||11:35||MARCUS VICK 8 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||3:00||DANIEL ENNIS 38 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 73 yards.
|TD||11:35||MIKE IMOH 2 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 81 yards.
|TD||10:45||MIKE IMOH 10 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 99 yards.
|TD||6:47||BRANDEN ORE 4 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 37 yards.
|TD||2:16||DERRICK FENNER 10 YD PASS FROM SAM HOLLENBACH (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yards.