COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jerome Smith ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Syracuse used a strong defensive effort to beat error-prone Maryland 20-3 Saturday.
Smith scored from the 1 in the first quarter and added a 21-yard TD with 10:33 left to put the Orange up by 17. It was his third 100-yard game of the season and eighth of his career.
Durell Eskridge and Julian Whigham had interceptions for Syracuse, which also forced five fumbles -- recovering two of them. The Orange (5-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) have allowed only three points in their last two games following a 56-0 loss to Georgia Tech.
Maryland (5-4, 1-4) has lost three straight and four of five. The Terrapins have been trying since mid-October to reach the six wins necessary to earn a bowl bid.
C.J. Brown went 21 for 40 for 211 yards and two interceptions for Maryland, which was limited to 151 yards in the second half.
After closing the first half with turnovers on its final three possessions, the Terrapins began the third quarter in similar fashion. Brown fumbled a snap from center, and Cameron Lynch recovered for Syracuse to set up a field goal for a 13-0 lead.
The Terrapins finally scored late in the third quarter, with plenty of help from the Orange. Three 15-yard penalties against Syracuse enabled Maryland to reach the red zone. After the Terrapins had a lost fumble wiped out by an offside call against the Orange, Brad Craddock kicked a 23-yard field goal.
That ended a shutout run of 113 minutes by the Syracuse defense, beginning in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech and including last week's 13-0 win over Wake Forest.
In the fourth quarter, Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt ran for 29 yards to set up Smith's game-clinching touchdown jaunt.
Hunt finished 15 for 24 for 140 yards and an interception. He also ran for 67 yards on seven carries.
Syracuse won despite being penalized 12 times for 115 yards and going 3 for 14 on third-down conversions.
The Orange outgained Maryland 267-141 before halftime and scored on their first and last drives to take a 10-0 lead.
Syracuse took the opening kickoff and launched a 16-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes and featured a pair of fourth-down gambles, the last of which produced Smith's first touchdown run.
The Terrapins converted a fourth-down try of their own late in the first quarter, but that only led to a missed field goal try by Craddock.
In the second quarter, a fumble by Smith started a run of five of six possessions that ended in turnovers, including three by Maryland -- two interceptions by Brown and a fumble by Amba Etta-Tawo. Syracuse converted the last turnover into a 34-yard field goal by Ryan Norton.
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