The Maryland football team squandered a three-point halftime lead, but overtook UCF in double overtime, 30-24, Saturday night in Orlando.
After opening the season with two straight blowouts, this game was different from the start. Maryland grabbed a lead right before halftime, but UCF charged back in the second half to force overtime.
After Perry Hills went off with an injury in the second overtime, Tyrrell Pigrome came in and ran for a game-winning touchdown from 24 yards out on his only play of the game.
UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton’s hand slipped as he was throwing a pass in the second overtime, and Kingsley Opara hopped on the ball to secure the recovery.
Maryland scored first in the extra period, as Perry Hills ran it in from five yards out. The Terps stonewalled UCF on first and second down, but a Tre’Quan Smith 31-yard touchdown catch from Milton evened it up.
Neither team could get much going in regulation, and just when Maryland tried to pull away in the second half, UCF was there. This was an ugly night for Maryland’s offense, as the Terps had 83 total yards going into their last drive of the first half. Maryland was able to run it right through UCF’s defense for one drive in the second half, but the Knights stopped the Terps’ rushing attack for much of the night, just as they did to Michigan in Week 2.
Lorenzo Harrison was a definite bright spot for Maryland at running back. He gained important yards on both of team’s touchdown drives, and finished with 77 yards and one touchdown.
Maryland had the benefit of recovering two fumbles on exchanges between Milton and his running backs, but that didn’t help the Terps’ offense much.
Milton diced up the Terps’ defense on the ground in his first collegiate game. He toyed with Maryland’s defense on scrambles all day, and the Terps couldn’t figure out how to contain him. He finished 21-for-36 through the air for 260 yards, as Maryland’s secondary played tight coverage all night.
After UCF fumbled on its first drive, the game featured five straight punts. The Knights gained 17 yards on a fake punt during that stretch, but still had to punt later in that drive. UCF struck first near the end of the first quarter on a four-yard pass from McKenzie to running back Dontravious Wilson. The Terps started the game with four straight punts.
Harrison got Maryland on the board with a seven-yard touchdown run, and a 51-yard completion to Teldrick Morgan set up a 36-yard field goal to make it 10-7 going into halftime.
Will Likely returned the second half’s opening kickoff 64 yards, but UCF stopped the Terps and Adam Greene’s 38-yard field goal clanked off the upright. Greene’s attempt from 51 yards on the next drive also went wide right. It would have been a career-high for him by a big margin.
Maryland and UCF traded scores, but the second half ended up being less exciting than the first. With the game tied and less than two minutes on the clock, the Terps got the ball at midfield, but were unable to advance into field goal territory. A Hail Mary at the end of regulation fell incomplete.
And then Tyrrell Pigrome happened.
Three things to know
- This is could be what Maryland’s going to look like the rest of this season. The offense will have better games, but UCF gave Maryland problems on both the offensive and defensive lines, which is worrisome for the future.
- Maryland’s offensive line didn’t give Perry Hills any time to throw. UCF’s zone blitzes got men into Maryland’s backfield on almost every drop-back, finishing with six sacks and three quarterback hurries. Hills finished 10-of-23 on the night for 123 yards passing, but he rarely had a chance to get a pass off unscathed.
- Maryland’s rushing attack sorta came alive late. After an inconsistent start, the Terps ran it right down the Knights’ throats on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to make it 17-14. However, UCF’s run defense is, by most accounts, is actually good. A tough time running the ball against the Knights isn’t necessarily the end of the world.