Maryland football defeats Central Florida in double overtime, 30-24

Tyrrell Pigrome made the most of his appearance for Maryland Saturday night. The freshman quarterback came in after starter Perry Hills hurt his shoulder, and took a designed run 24 yards to the end zone to give Maryland a 30-24 win in double overtime over Central Florida.

The game’s exciting end caught the attention of some students.

“I felt a connection” freshman letters and sciences major Ernest Arnold said, “I really felt Terp pride.” Arnold didn’t attend the team’s 52-13 win over Howard, but has already got his ticket for the homecoming game against Purdue.

Graduate student Daniel Rich said that students at the Terp Zone were on the edge of their seats, and he foresees a bright future for this team.

“I think a few years, this team will own the Big Ten,” Rich said. He also believes the season will only get tougher, as the team is about to enter Big Ten play.

Despite the Knights going 0-12 last year, the Terps had some trouble, especially with quarterback McKenzie Milton. The freshman made his first career start Saturday night, and wasn’t intimidated by Maryland’s defense. But Milton still had his freshman moments, turning the ball over four times. His last turnover came when he coughed it up on the Knights drive in double overtime, and all Maryland had to do at that point was score to win.

Central Florida got on the board first when Dontavious Wilson hauled in a pass from Milton with 24 seconds left in the first quarter. The drive started with a bang, as Adrian Killins ran for 43 yards on the first play of the drive. It looked like the Terps had them stopped after they stuffed Milton on third and one at the Maryland 23, but Scott Frost made the call to go for it on fourth down and Wilson ran for eight yards to get the first down. Four plays later, the Knights were in the end zone.

Maryland struggled on offense in the first quarter, but caught a break when Milton fumbled at his own 41 yard line. This gave the Terps great field position, and Perry Hills picked up three first downs through the air before Lorenzo Harrison ran it in from seven yards out.

Adam Greene added a field goal at the end of the half, finishing off a drive that started at Maryland’s five yard line. The Terps got two first downs, and then Hills found Teldrick Morgan for a 51 yard gain to set up the field goal.

Although Maryland had the lead at halftime, they easily could have been trailing. Central Florida had success moving the ball against the Maryland defense, but turned it over three times.

After Greene missed consecutive field goals to start the third quarter, Milton scored to give the Knights a 14-10 lead. Maryland answered back on the next drive, getting carries from Trey Edmunds, Ty Johnson, and Harrison before Kenneth Goins finished the drive off with a 16 yard run. But Milton led the Knights back down the field, and Matthew Wright hit a 42 yard field goal to tie the game at 17.

After Hill’s Hail Mary attempt at the end of regulation was batted away, the game headed to overtime. Hills ran the ball on all three plays on the Terps first drive, scoring from five yards out to give them the lead.

Maryland forced Central Florida into a third and 16 after Milton was sacked, but he came right back and threw a 31 yard touchdown to Dequain Smith to tie the game. But Milton fumbled on the ensuing drive, and Pigrome finished it off for the Terps two plays later.

This is the end of Maryland’s nonconference slate, and they open it Big Ten play in two weeks when they host Purdue.

Freshman aerospace engineering major Matthew Fletcher said he wants to support the team no matter their record, but thinks that the energy new head coach D.J. Durkin brings will encourage more people to come to games.

“With a new coach, it can definitely bring more people to the game,” Fletcher said.

 

Photo courtesy of Liam Beatus

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