3:45 PM ET, August 30, 2008
Byrd Stadium, College Park, MD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland's effort to generate some offense against Delaware included using three quarterbacks, all of whom were most effective when handing the ball to Da'Rel Scott.
Scott ran for 197 yards in his first college start, and Maryland overcame a lackluster passing game to escape with a 14-7 victory Saturday.
Scott carried 26 times and had runs of 40, 37 and 26 yards. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound sophomore totaled 137 yards rushing last season in nine games as a backup.
"We came in with the game plan that we were going to load up and run the ball, so I was pretty prepared for it," Scott said. "I just wanted to let people know what I can do -- and help my teammates out."
The last Maryland player to gain that much yardage on the ground was Bruce Perry, who had 237 against Wake Forest on Nov. 29, 2003. Scott's performance tied for 16th on the school's single-game rushing chart.
"We wanted to get Da'Rel Scott some confidence, and once he got it, he was gone," Maryland center Edwin Williams said.
And yet Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen thought Scott could have done even better.
"To me, he was a little tired from camp," Friedgen said. "Normally, he would break some of those runs. I don't think he quite had his third gear today."
Maryland finished with 271 yards rushing and only 126 yards through the air. The Terrapins also missed three field goals in an unexpected struggle against Delaware, which has 14 starters back from the team that last year advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision title game.
"We probably ran the ball better than I thought we would run the ball, but we probably didn't throw it as well as we have been throwing it," Friedgen said.
Jordan Steffy started at quarterback for the Terrapins, but after going 10-for-18 with two second-half interceptions, the fifth-year senior was replaced in the fourth quarter by Chris Turner (1-for-3, 11 yards). Josh Portis also played the position, running four times for 10 yards.
Friedgen said Steffy was removed because of an injury to his right thumb, but acknowledged that the Maryland offense struggled under his direction after halftime.
"I thought he played pretty good in the first half," Friedgen said. "I know he can play better than he did in the second half."
Delaware closed to 14-7 on a 1-yard run by Johnathon Smith with 5:20 left. The Blue Hens got the ball back with 3:32 to go, but after Robby Schoenhoft was intercepted by Terrell Skinner, Maryland ran out the clock.
"This is not like a moral victory. I don't believe in moral victories," Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said. "We had opportunities and we let them get away. We're greatly disappointed.
"This was not a payday for us," Keeler added. "We play a home game, we make more money than playing this game down here. When we scheduled this game, I thought our program would possibly be in a position to beat a solid ACC school."
A year ago, the Blue Hens used the talented arm of Joe Flacco to average 36 points and 337 yards passing. Flacco is now in the NFL, and Schoenhoft was not nearly as effective.
Schoenhoft, a transfer from Ohio State, went 14-for-22 for 128 yards and an interception
"Obviously, that last throw you can't be happy with. I feel like I just misread it," he said. "I regret throwing it."
Delaware's Aaron Love had four catches for 49 yards, becoming the fifth player in school history to top 2,000 yards receiving. But he also threw an interception on a trick play.
The Terrapins led 7-0 at halftime despite limiting the Blue Hens to 108 yards in offense.
Steffy's first two passes of the season were both completed for a total of 32 yards, but Maryland's initial drive ended when a 48-yard field goal try by Obi Egekeze hit the crossbar.
Egekeze also missed a 44-yarder before the Terrapins finally broke through in the second quarter. Heyward-Bey made a leaping catch for a 36-yard gain, then ran around right end for a touchdown.
After Delaware missed a field goal try, Egekeze was wide right from 41 yards as the half ended.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-12||5-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-2|
|TD||08:03||Darrius Heyward-Bey 12 Yd Run (Obi Egekeze Kick)||0||7|
|TD||03:56||Davin Meggett 14 Yd Run (Obi Egekeze Kick)||0||14|
|TD||05:20||Johnathon Smith 1 Yd Run (Jon Striefsky Kick) |
Drive: 10 plays, 80 yds, 3:30