It took until the final game of the season, but Maryland now has a Big Ten win.
Behind 401 yards of rushing, spread across big days from Brandon Ross, Ty Johnson and even Caleb Rowe, the Terrapins stormed back from 21 points down to beat Rutgers, 46-41, on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
Here are 5 things you need to know.
1) Another QB swap
After Perry Hills was cleared to play and start under center, it became clear that the Maryland running game was going to have a tough time against the Rutgers front early on. Hills again struggled to get the ball deep on a pair of attempts, so in came Caleb Rowe -- also cleared to play after being listed as a game-time decision.
There was more life with Rowe in the game. If he limits turnovers, that has always been the scouting report for the South Carolina native. At the half, he was 10-of-19 for 157 yards with no turnovers.
2) Maryland’s secondary again having issues
In the season finale, Maryland faced one of the toughest wide receivers that it has had to match up against all season.
Rutgers’ Leonte Carroo was at the 100-yard receiving mark by the middle of the second quarter and had 132 receiving yards at the half. He finished with 183 yards on seven catches.
It really didn’t matter what Maryland threw at him. Sean Davis was burned deep on a nice stop-and-go route. Darnell Savage had equal troubles staying with him. Will Likely missed the game with an injury, which added to the issues.
Having to focus so much on Carroo opened things up for other receivers, as well. But Maryland wouldn’t give up.
3) Second-half fight
There were points at which this game could have gotten out of hand, like when Maryland trailed 31-10 following a Rutgers touchdown. But to Maryland’s credit, they fought back.
The Terrapins scored 17 straight points to cut the deficit to 31-27.
They continued to fight thereafter. Rutgers scored a TD to answer, but Maryland added one of its own to cut the deficit to five. They continued to fight.
4) The final push
A 42-yard touchdown run by Kenny Goins put Maryland up by a one. A field goal response put Rutgers back up. Then, it happened.
After two long Ty Johnson touchdown runs earlier in the game and that one by Goins, Maryland got a final one from Brandon Ross to seal it. His 80-yard run up the gut put the Terrapins up by five, 46-41.
Maryland stopped Rutgers by literally an inch on a 4th-and-1 on the ensuing drive. On 3rd-and-5 on the game-sealing drive, Caleb Rowe kept the ball on the read option and scampered 36 yards to give Maryland the victory.
5) First Big Ten win
It took until the last game of the season, but Maryland has a conference win. The Terrapins finish the year 3-9 and 1-7 in conference, but end a disappointing season on a high note.
It is almost certain that interim head coach Mike Locksley will not become the program’s full-time head coach, but it is unclear if he will remain with the program and in what capacity. But right now, a victory to end a trying season is a credit to the way he was able to bring the players in this program together during his interim coaching period.