Maryland-Virginia Tech recap: Terps win 27-24 in overtime, clinch bowl eligibility

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland wins a thriller in Blacksburg.

For the first time ever, Maryland has defeated Virginia Tech in ACC play. The Terps pulled out a dramatic 27-24 win in Blacksburg on an overtime touchdown run by C.J. Brown, clinching bowl eligibility and turning the season right around.

Maryland's defense played a phenomenal first half, keeping the Terps in it despite an early anemic offensive effort. Brian Stewart's unit allowed only one real Virginia Tech drive all half, holding Logan Thomas to an 8/16 mark for 89 yards and just seven yards rushing, and were led by linebackers Matt Robinson and Alex Twine.

With how well the Terrapin defense has played these past few weeks, the hope was for Maryland's offense to just break one play -- but without Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, it was unknown where that play would come from. Will Likely answered, returning a punt 63 yards for the game-tying score midway through the second quarter, giving Maryland the boost they needed.

The Terps' defense responded with another stout stop, and Maryland's offense was able to drive down the field on the legs of C.J. Brown, who punched the ball in for a one-yard score and the 14-7 lead to close out the half.

Maryland got the ball to start the second half, and a series of big plays led them down the field for the score. On third-and-nine, Brown found Nigel King for a first down, then connected with Amba Etta-Tawo for a 43-yard gain. On the next play, Brown threw a perfect ball to King in the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown, making it 21-7.

Virginia Tech started with great field position on their next drive thanks to Demetri Knowles's 88-yard kickoff return, and converted on Logan Thomas's two-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Coles to cut the lead to 21-14.

A few drives later, the Hokies were spelled out on a huge third-and-24 completion, and ended the drive on a five-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Willie Byrn in the corner of the end zone to tie it 21-21.

With the defense looking tired after a fantastic effort, Maryland's offense needed to put together a significant drive to spell their sibling unit. They were unable to do so, going three-and-out and giving the Hokies a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. The Terps' defense showed up yet again, forcing a three-and-out and getting Maryland the ball back with just over six minutes left to play.

The Terps were unable to take advantage, as Mike Locksley's play-calling in the fourth quarter continues to be in issue. Maryland's drive resulted in their third straight three-and-out, giving the Hokies the ball.

Andre Monroe got another early sack on the next drive, and on third-and-nine the Terrapins stopped a scrambling Thomas to get the ball back. Brandon Ross started the possession out with a ten-yard run, and C.J. Brown followed up with a four-yard gain. On third-and-five two plays later, Brown completed a pass to Nigel King over the middle for a first down. Maryland was forced to punt the ball away however, and sent it into the end zone for a touchback. Virginia Tech kneeled the ball, sending it into overtime.

Maryland won the overtime coin toss, and elected to start the period on defense. On third-and-eight, Alvin Hill was called for pass interference on a play in which multiple replays could not find the contact. The Hokies were given the first down, but Andre Monroe broke through for a huge sack on third-and-goal to force the field goal attempt. Erik Kristensen hit the 31-yarder, making it 24-21.

Brandon Ross broke a huge run on second down for Maryland in their overtime possession, setting up first-and-goal from the three. Two plays later, C.J. Brown rolled out to the left side and dove into the end zone for a dramatic winning score.

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