Maryland vs. Virginia recap: Terps hold on for lucky 27-26 win

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland made many mistakes, but Virginia was unable to capitalize.

Maryland played to lose, but Virginia managed to be worse. Alec Vozenilek missed a 42-yard field goal with less than 20 seconds on the clock, giving the Terrapins a 27-26 victory in College Park.

The Terps were penalized six times for 48 yards, but two came on crucial third downs that gave Virginia scoring opportunities. The key one came on Virginia's final drive -- gifted to the Cavaliers after Maryland's inability to execute on offense -- when A.J. Hendy was called for a pass interference Vozenilek missed the ensuing field goal, giving Maryland the win.

Late in the third quarter and trailing 20-16, Virginia threw an incomplete pass on third-and-three from their own 33, seemingly giving Maryland the ball back with a chance to further their 20-16 lead. Marcus Whitfield was called for offsides, giving Virginia the first down, and the Cavaliers were able to drive down the field and score on a six-yard Kevin Parks touchdown, giving them the 23-20 advantage.

Maryland repeatedly struggled to cover Virginia tight end Jake McGee, especially on third downs. The most sensible matchup for the junior, safety-turned-linebacker Matt Robinson, missed the game with a shoulder injury, leaving dime back A.J. Hendy as the player tasked to the Virginia star.

The Cavaliers succeeded on eight of 18 third down attempts, with four of their conversions coming by way of receptions to McGee. The tight end finished with eight receptions for 114 yards and a score.

The Terps were finally able to stop the Cavaliers on third down with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but the punt hit a Maryland player and Virginia recovered at the Terrapin 17-yard-line. Cole Farrand made a huge play on third down on the ensuing drive, forcing a Virginia field goal to make it 26-20.

With the ball and around seven minutes to play, trailing 23-20, Caleb Rowe found Stefon Diggs for a 21-yard gain on a slant pattern. On the next play, he pitched a ball to Brandon Ross that missed its mark, considerably, resulting in a 12-yard loss. After an incomplete pass, Rowe launched the ball downfield to Deon Long, who caught it in double coverage for a 47-yard gain to bring it to the Virginia 13-yard-line. Two plays later, Rowe found Dave Stinebaugh in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. Brad Craddock hit the extra point, making it a 27-26 Maryland lead.

Virginia's ensuing drive began with a two-yard loss on a pass to Parks. He ran for five yards on the next play, and Virginia targeted Jake McGee on the third down play. Isaac Goins made a phenomenal play to break it up, giving the Terps the ball back with less than four minutes to play.

Maryland got the ball back, but was unable to get a first down and gave Virginia one last shot. After an incomplete pass to McGee, the Cavaliers got a first down. The Terps were able to force a third-and-12 at the Cavalier 25, and an incomplete pass to Swanson turned into a first down thanks to another huge Maryland penalty -- this one a pass interference on A.J. Hendy. Poor playcalling by the Cavaliers saw them play to the long field goal instead of going for the touchdown, and Vozenilek was unable to come through, giving the Terps the win.

Virginia took an early lead on two Vozenilek field goals, but the Terps grabbed the lead thanks to some Brandon Ross heroics. The running back took a screen pass 77 yards, and scored two plays later on a one-yard dive over the end zone to make it 7-6.

Ross scored again midway through the second quarter, with a seven-yard run to increase the lead. On Virginia's next drive, David Watford found tight end Jake McGee for a four-yard touchdown after some nifty scramble work, bringing the Cavaliers within one.

Two more Terrapin outside linebackers suffered injuries in the game -- Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil and Alex Twine, Robinson's back-up.

Vozenilek hit a 27-yard field goal before the half, giving Virginia a 16-14 lead. Maryland took it back early in the third on a 36-yard Brad Craddock field goal, and a 32-yarder from Craddock made it 20-16 late in the third.

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